Crossing the line from Stewart, British Columbia into Hyder, Alaska wasn’t quite as romantic as I’d long envisioned it would be, but my heart still skipped a beat. Alaska! My 50th state!
With its one narrow, muddy street and two bare-shelved general stores, Hyder wasn’t much to write home about (though I did send out a sheaf of celebratory Alaska postcards) but the drive out of town up to the Salmon Glacier was well worth the 1,400 mile trip up from Vancouver, not to mention the $6/gallon gas…
I spent three days overlooking Salmon Glacier- the fourth largest expanse of ice in North America, a river of ice so wide and white that it covers two countries: far western Canada and the edge of Alaska.
After three whole days of staring at the glacier, I still found it completely, overwhelmingly incomprehensible. Every time I looked at it, every time I opened my eyes, every time I blinked, I was wonderstruck. I hadn’t seen that kind of staggering scale since the Grand Canyon. Could I walk across it? Not without many days and a rope team. The countless crevasses looked big enough to swallow the Raven and the Rattler and many more lay hidden like trapdoors beneath the snow.
I wasn’t alone at the overlook. Keith “the Bear Man” Scott was there too. Keith has lived up there, in a tent, for the past 35 summers, staring at the glacier and getting to know the numerous black and grizzly bears that call the salmon-rich Salmon River valley home.
My first evening at the overlook, I struck up a conversation with Keith, bought a few of his homemade postcards and asked if I could cook him dinner. When I handed him a hot plate of pasta, he smiled and said, “You do this a lot, don’t you?” Why yes, I do.
I don’t think it ever occurred to me to make all 50 states a goal. After college, I remember declaring that I was going to live in a new place every year for five years and things just escalated from there. Now here I am, 30 years old, with all of America under my belt. I don’t just mean I’ve driven through all 50 states; I have hiked in all 50 states and gotten to know a part of each of them on foot.
I’ve reached a milestone, but I am far from finished. My mission in life has always been to see as much of the world as possible and I have no intention of slowing down anytime soon. Stay tuned to see lots more of this wonderful world! 🙂
congrats on reaching your goal. And indeed what a wonderful way to spend three days. I hope that you will take us around Alaska for a while. It would be nice to continute living vicariously through you. Thanks for sharing with us your story. You should write, and maybe you are, a book of your travels. Your adventures are indeed book worthy. Cheers!
You said everything I was going to say L.A.Edwards, so I’ll just say “ditto”.
Congrats, Mary…what a wonderful accomplishment…something that most of us will only dream of…. It’s been fun following along and sharing in your journeys. 🙂
I can’t wait for the email I get telling me you have a new blog up. I wish I was there in person. thank you for sharing the adventures.
Congratulations. Looks like an incredible place. The pictures are awesome.
I just found this blog. This is so inspiring, exciting and beautiful. Thanks for writing about it.
What an amazing experience. I loved your photos!
I”m so proud of you Mary!!! What a way to really live!
LA Edward’s you said it all and more eloquently than I could have. Mary please take us with you on your next adventure. I can’t get around anymore due to the side effects of chemo, you are doing all the things that I wanted to do.I can’t go co,d turkey. Thank you again. Marjorie
What a terrific accomplishment, especially the way you have done, putting your feet to work on the ground of each state. I think maybe Canada has to be next – not a lot of provinces and territories, but stretched out far apart.
“I kept waking up and peeking out at it…”
You’re cute and sweet with the wonderment of a wide-eyed child 🙂 Retaining that at thirty years of age is an accomplishment too Mary. Perhaps an even greater one 😉
Kudos on your achievement and looking forward to seeing more!
WOW! That last picture of you with your hands in the air is so amazing.
your to cool, as alway’s great pic’s .thank’s gary
Congratulations! You are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your journey!
I just found your blog by accident. WOW!
I am blown away by your stories and amazing pictures. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. What I would give to start a journey of my own my spirit is yelling GO!!!!! But common sense kicks in. MAN!!!! Maybe someday but for now I will continue to follow your journey. Thank u so much Rosemary
Hyder! Nice. I once dreamed of Hyder (and then when I finally visited it, found it to be a bit of a disappointment as well). But Stewart is nice and the drive out there is awesome. It’s beautiful country down there, even if my fellow Alaskans have made a bit of a mess of it.
Wow! Congrats on that great accomplishment! I just found your blog and love your pictures. Can’t wait to read more and see where you head next!
Thank you, Fern! 🙂
Congrats! That is so amazing! I love that you have actually hiked in all of them. I have visited a lot of them but it was before hiking became a passion for me so I counted driving through as seeing them. I love the idea of hiking in every state! Especially Alaska! Amazing!
Thanks Danielle! Traveling on foot is my favorite way to see the world. 🙂
Pingback: Travels With Bowie & D.O.G.: Canada! « Travels with the Blonde Coyote
Pingback: The Incredible Shrinking Athabasca « Travels with the Blonde Coyote
Pingback: Oh, Canada: By the Numbers « Travels with the Blonde Coyote
Pingback: My Fifth Great Lake! « Travels with the Blonde Coyote
Pingback: The Blonde Coyote: 2012, in review « Travels with the Blonde Coyote
Pingback: Upcoming on the Blonde Coyote! « Travels with the Blonde Coyote
Pingback: On Turning 30 « Travels with the Blonde Coyote
Pingback: If I could have made this enough of a post, it would have everything in it…* | Travels with the Blonde Coyote
Pingback: Ode To Kansas | Travels with the Blonde CoyoteTravels with the Blonde Coyote
Pingback: Not All Blogs That Wander Are Lost | Travels with the Blonde Coyote
Pingback: The Teardrop Sees America! | Travels with the Blonde Coyote
Pingback: Best Hikes on Earth: The Dragon’s Back | Travels with the Blonde Coyote
Pingback: Rover Love! | Travels with the Blonde Coyote
Pingback: What Would the Blonde Coyote Do? Questions from an Aspiring Nomad | Travels with the Blonde Coyote
Pingback: Into the Wind Rivers: Part 1 | Travels with the Blonde Coyote