Friday, June 15, 2018

Monday June 15, 1998 - Telegraph Creek

Kinaskan Lake in the morning
Glenora - mixed sun and cloud

From Kinaskan Lake I continued north on the Stewart-Cassiar and crossed the Stikine River. I had heard of this river many years ago and it was one of the places I really wanted to see.

At the bridge across the Stikine
I was still hesitant about going into Telegraph Creek so I drove to Dease Lake which is just past the turnoff for Telegraph Creek. I asked about the road into Telegraph Creek at the gas station and decided to chance it. I had checked the truck fuses in case that was what was wrong with the radio, but it wasn't. The dome light was also not working and it turned out its fuse was burned out, but the radio fuse was fine.

Ray and Laurena on the road to Telegraph Creek
Shortly after turning off onto the Telegraph Creek Road I ran into Ray and Laurena again. They suggested that we travel together which I quickly agreed to, it seemed less scary with company. We took numerous photo breaks along the way, letting the dogs, Yohan and Sparky, out on leash.

Poor old Yohan, I didn't know at the time but he probably had liver cancer and was not a well dog. But he was a good road tripper
Telegraph Creek is on the Stikine River which goes from central northern BC to the coast, through part of the Alaska Panhandle. Telegraph Creek is probably about three quarters of the way from the Stewart-Cassiar to the Alaska border.

My truck by the Tuya River canyon

Tuya River canyon
The Stikine Canyon is sometimes likened to the Grand Canyon, parts of it are quite spectacular. The road goes across a plateau for a short distance before descending into the Tuya River canyon (20% grade with switchbacks). then it goes up again and down to the Tahltan River at Eagle Rock, which marks the junction of the Tahltan and Stikine Rivers. Then it goes up again and down to the Stikine River.

Eagle Rock
Eagle Rock is a large rockface that appears to bear the image of an eagle with outspread wings in the lava tube rock. There are fabulous views all the way along, lava rock faces, narrow gorges and distant mountains. The road is very narrow, not wide enough for two-way traffic. There are a few pull-outs in case you meet another vehicle going the other way, but it means that someone has to back up quite a ways when that happens. Most of the traffic on that road is First Nations trucks travelling at speed. The road is steep and very slippery, so as a tourist I was driving very slowly.

Stikine canyon
At one point the road is on a narrow ridge between the Tahltan and Stikine River canyons; the ridge was maybe twice the road with wide and straight down on either side. Half I didn't dare look out the window and half I wanted to see the fabulous view.

Tahltan smokehouses
The Tahltan Indian Reserve has fish nets on the Stikine and vertical pole barns which are used as smokehouses for the salmon they catch there. We reached Telegraph Creek a short distance later on the bank of the Stikine in time for supper at the Riversong Cafe.

Riversong Cafe in Telegraph Creek
Ashley, the son of the proprietor told us of forestry campsites a little further down the road near Glenora and recommended one in particular. The Cafe was very homey and set in a general store that carries a little bit of everything. We chatted with some other people there as well. After supper we headed down the road to the recommended campsite. It was right on the bank of the Stikine, a flat gravel area in the river itself. Laurena got out some beer and we sat in our camp chairs on the Stikine.

I had always wanted to see the Stikine, and now here I was, sitting on the riverbed having a beer at sunset.

Glenora campsite on the Stikine riverbed

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