Saturday, June 9, 2012

Friday, June 8: Happy Anniversary to us! After breakfast Ron takes me down to Hanhart Harbour where the boat launch is (at high tide) at the head of the Portland Canal. Cruise ships used to come here. There is evidence of continuing logging operations here and a huge pipeline yard "for a hydro plant," a local pipeliner told us. I love the smell of the sea! We take a ride to Hyder Alaska on the other side of the Canal to mail some letters. (Hyder is on the Salmon River which runs into the Canal froom the west; Stewart is on the Bear River which comes in from the east.) Hyder is all dirt streets now, but we pass surveyors and workers preparing to blast to widen the road for paving. Apparently three gold mines and the hydro plant are going in up in the mountains by the Salmon glacier. We continue up the road into Tongas NationalForest to check out the wildlife at Fish Creek. There's an elevated, fenced walkway there so folks can watch bears feed on salmon in the fall. The road is closed; they are working upgrading the old bridge for traffic to the mines. They've left a footbridge open though. We spend some time strolling the expansive walkway, then head back for civilization. We see a young bear grazing on the fresh greens along the river, and skunk cabbage coming up in the low, wet places. Took another stroll out on the estuary and I see a new purple lily; one of the volunteers working on the gardens by the estuary tells me it's a a rice root lily which the First Nation people used for food.Walking back through Stewart we notice most of the buildings have a little history marker on them from early mining days. We go for a seafood dinner for our anniversary, then back to the harbour to see it at high tide--and there are eagles there fishing! What a nice day!

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