Dease Lake, BC to New Hazelton, BC (Aug. 24, 2015)

This travelogue report covers my journey on Monday, August 24th, continuing along the Cassiar Highway (BC-37) from  Dease Lake, BC to Meziadin Junction, where I branched off for a side-trip to Stewart on the Glacier Highway, a.k.a. Stewart Highway (BC-37A). Afterwards I resumed the ride south to New Hazelton for the night.

The sky started out bright and sunny under a beautiful blue sky with only a few clouds. Later in the day the sky clouded over, but remained dry.

The following map shows my route for this day’s total distance of 411 miles / 661 km.

My route from Dease Lake via Meziadin Junction and Stewart to New Hazelton

My route from Dease Lake via Meziadin Junction and Stewart to New Hazelton

After a nice continental-style breakfast at the Arctic Divide Inn in the morning, I departed Dease Lake at 8:05 AM PDT.  As I rode south along the Cassiar Highway on the chipseal road surface, I took several photos of the scenery. This first photo, taken about 20 minutes after my start, gives a reasonable impression of the terrain in this area when the weather is quite nice.

IMG_4326sAbout ten minutes later I crossed over the Stikine River in the Stikine River Provincial Park. This photo shows the view towards the west.

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Just north of the community of Iskut, I took this next photo of the view towards the southwest and Mount Poelzer (El: 7,116 ft / 2,169 m), which is partially obscured by some clouds.

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After passing through Iskut, I took this next photo towards the northwest to get a somewhat clearer view of Mount Poelzer, even though the peak is still shrouded by clouds.

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Just a bit further south from Iskut is the large and beautiful Eddontenajon Lake. I captured two photos in quick succession to create this panoramic view across the lake.

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Nearly 30 minutes further along, I took this next view of another, unnamed mountain ridge ahead. According to Google Earth, the peak may be close to 6,520 ft /1,987 m in elevation.

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This next photo, taken nearly 40 minutes later, shows a view along the Ningunsaw River in the Ningunsaw River Ecological Reserve.

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At 12:30 PM PDT, I arrived at the Meziadin Junction gas station and café, where I again stopped for fuel and food. Unfortunately I again neglected to take any photos in or around the facilities.

However, lunch in the café was just fine, as was the satellite connection to the Internet. After quickly checking that the weather for Stewart, BC was acceptable, I decided to make the side-trip there also, a total of 82 miles / 132 km round-trip.

A short distance west of Meziadin Junction, I took these two next photos of the views towards the west along Glacier Highway.

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Just 15 miles /24 km from Meziadin Junction, I came to the Bear Glacier and stopped to take several photos. The small Strohn Lake in the foreground drains along the Bear River into the fjord called Portland Canal at Stewart.

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This second, telescopic photo was taken during a brief stop on my return when the clouds had lifted somewhat to reveal the mountain peak behind the glacier, Cambria Peak (El: 7,933 ft / 2,418 m), one of several peaks in the Cambria Icefield.

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After I arrived in Stewart, BC, I took several more photos as I rode through town than I’m sharing here. This first photo shows the welcome sign with some historical artifacts from the town’s early days.

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Some of the houses are run-down, others look OK.

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The RCMP has a duty station in Stewart.

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Some of the shops along 5th Avenue looked quite run-down, although others showed signs of good repair, including where two people were painting a window frame. The mural on the wall of the adjacent building caught my eye too. The enlargement shows a close-up view of the mural.

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The road from Stewart to Hyder, AK passes along the western shore of the Portland Canal. Not realizing that there was essentially no or only minimal customs formalities at the US-Canadian border between Hyder and Stewart, I did not continue into Hyder and thus can’t claim to have accomplished “Destination Hyder” that is a goal of many other long-distance motorcyclists in order to claim having visited Alaska, but I did of course visit more of Alaska than just Hyder.

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Returning to Stewart from near the border crossing, I took this photo of the fishing boat dock.

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The Estuary Boardwalk is another unusual structure and is obviously quite useful to pedestrians since it appears to shorten the walking distance between Stewart and Hyder.

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An older hotel and café along 5th Avenue doesn’t appear to be very busy, apart from several bicycles outside. A fresh coat of paint would doubtless spruce it up quite a bit.

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On my way heading out of town, I encountered another motorcyclist coming into Stewart. I didn’t see very many other motorcyclists during this day’s ride.

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A view eastward overlooking Bear River.

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Along the Glacier Highway the Bear River is confined to a quite narrow channel next to the road. The current moves at a good speed.

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After returning to Meziadin Junction, I stopped at this small steel box alongside the road to photograph it. My friend Larry in Florida had seen it while viewing the area on Google Earth and asked me about it. It’s a very common bear-proof trash bin. Although I did see two brown bears along Glacier Highway, I did not manage to photograph either of them.

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From Meziadin Junction to New Hazelton, I just rode along and enjoyed the ride without taking any further photos. Nearly 11 miles / 18 km north of the junction with BC-16 at the Skeena River, I stopped at a road construction zone for nearly five minutes and had no difficulty riding through the torn-up area, which was only slightly muddy, as I recall.

Just before 5:30 PM, I arrived at the mom & pop Bulkley Valley Motel in New Hazelton, where I had made my reservation. Thanks to the currency conversion rate, the total cost of CA$102.6o actually cost me only US$80.81 for the night, which is still pretty high for such a modest motel. When I asked the motel owner about washing my motorcycle, he kindly and promptly got out a hose and a towel for me to use.

Next door to the motel is a Chinese restaurant, where I had eaten during my previous stop in New Hazelton. Although I would have preferred to try another restaurant, there are very few options in this little town. At least it is conveniently close.

That concludes this travelogue report for August 24th. The next day, I continued my journey south, stopping at the same Quality Inn again in Quesnel for another night of free lodging. More about that day’s ride in my next report.

Don

About Don

I'm a retired computer programmer who enjoys touring the country by motorcycle.
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