After two memorable weeks in Alaska, we started our journey homeward, opting to follow the Alaska Highway only a little over 900 miles, then heading south on the remote Cassiar Highway from Watson Lake (Yukon) most of the way down British Columbia. We fancied that the Cassiar Highway must have been named for some distant relative! It was a very scenic route, paved most but not all of the way, and afforded us the opportunity to see three more bears in the wild, not counting two we saw eating salmon when we decided to take a side trip from Meziaden Lake over to Steward (British Columbia) and Hyder (Alaska). We've never seen more beautiful scenery anywhere, nor had better wildlife viewing. You can see a video at the bottom of this post of bears eating salmon in Fish Creek, just outside of Hyder (a little "ghost" town of about 100 inhabitants and lots of closed up homes and businesses). Here are some of our favorite photos of the past week and a half. You should be able to enlarge any image by clicking on it (with the exception of the videos).
Major David Cazier on his way to work
Mountains with a fresh coat of snow between Fairbanks and the Canadian border. Fall comes early in the north.
A coyote (we think) between Fairbanks and the border. He had a fuller and more reddish-brown coat than many coyotes we have seen, but he seemed too big to be a fox and not quite the right color to be a wolf.
Virginia gathering raspberries at a campground in the Yukon. We had berries in our pancakes on several occasions. They included raspberries, blueberries, huckleberries, watermelon berries, and currants. We found that high bush cranberries would be better made into jelly (with the pit removed), and that "buffalo berries" are probably more delectable to bears than to people.
Typical scene on the Cassiar Highway
Rare two-headed bear encountered on the Cassiar Highway
Bear practices for the circus by walking on top of the barriers.
Bear Glacier on the road to Stewart/Hyder. This may be the best place in the world to see glaciers up close from your car.
Another glacier on the way to Stewart/Hyder. There were about 14 in all along the 40 mile drive.
Glacier at the top of the mountain spawns waterfalls on the road to Stewart.
Closeup of waterfalls coming off the glacier in the previous photo.
Leaving Hyder on the way to Stewart
Don in clutches of bear in Hyder
Picturesque pond next to Fish Creek in Tongass National Forest, where we observed bears eating salmon
Salmon in Fish Creek waiting to be eaten by bears
Black bear eats dead salmon (probably previously killed by a grizzly) in Fish Creek. See the video posted below for action shots.
Young grizzly prefers to catch live salmon in Fish Creek.
Grizzly enjoying salmon sushi
Bald eagle in tree at Fish Creek waits for his turn to enjoy some salmon.
Sockeye (red) salmon in Hanna Creek South, near Meziaden Junction. You can see them move a bit in the salmon video posted below.
Elk in Jasper National Park in British Columbia
Scenery in Jasper National Park
Scenery in Banff National Park (which adjoins Jasper)
More Banff scenery
Elk near Lake Louise in Banff National Park warily observe alien intruder.
More relaxed elk view spouse of alien intruder.
Virginia at Lake Louise
Virginia at Moraine Lake, near Lake Louise
Virginia in wild flower garden near Lake Louise
See bears feasting on salmon in the video below: