The drive from British Columbia to Hyder, Alaska is breathtaking. (Get used to that word, because most posts about the Alaska trip will be full of words very much like that.)
The roads aren’t that wide and sometimes you have to share them with rock overhangs. But Hyder is the only community in southern Alaska accessible by road, so you take what you can get. The greenery on the ocean side of the mountains is lush and plentiful, because it’s located in the northern part of the Pacific coast known as the ‘Temperate Rainforest’. They get LOTS of rain – around 93 inches per year. Of course, in Hyder, it isn’t all rain, they also get large amounts of snow in winter, about 40 inches.
The result is that the mountains are snow-covered, even in July, and that glaciers are peeking out of valleys all over the place! It also means that you pass road signs stating that it’s a year-round avalanche zone, like the one below. (Please excuse the shadow in the windshield, it’s the granddaughter’s Flat Stanley who made the trip with us.)
Hyder is a little community located at the end of the Portland Canal – a 70 mile long fjord forming a part of the border between the U.S. and Canada. (On the other side of the fjord is Stewart, BC.)
In the 2010 census, the population of Hyder was 87 souls. And unless you are a National Park Ranger or postman, you make your living from tourism.
These kids were setting up as our caravan arrived in town, selling very delicious baked goods, painted rocks and produce. And they were totally adorable little businessmen, proudly announcing which of them had baked which pastry and cleverly upselling the whole time. I can highly recommend the cupcakes.
That’s enough for now, next post – more Hyder!