Went to Alaska for 30 Minutes

We left our hotel around 8:30. We were getting excited to get home now but still planned to make a few stops on the way.

Our next stop was Tintagel Cairn which we hit at 11:00 at a rest area near the town of Tintagel, British Columbia, Canada. What exactly is the Tintagel Cairn you ask

Well let me start by explaining what a cairn is. A cairn is a rough mound of stones used as a way marker, memorial or landmark. They are usually on a hilltop or skyline, but can be in other places. I thought I would explain that because there might be people like me that didn’t know what a cairn was. I do know what it is now but never did until I moved to England and was visiting Scotland where there are 28 or more of them. I guess we are never too old to learn something new.

A stone from the Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, England was given to their namesake Tintagel, British Columbia, Canada.

The castle stone is the center stone in a cairn located at a rest area along the Trans-Canada Yellowhead Highway 16 in Tintagel, BC. A plaque on the cairn provides the following information:

1867 – 1967
Named in 1913 after Tintagel, Cornwall, England. The central stone in this cairn once formed part of the Norman walls of Tintagel Castle, reputed birthplace of King Arthur, Knight of the Round Table.
Erected by
Tintagel Centennial Committee
Presented by
British Columbia Centennial Committee

TINTAGEL, pop 209, was a railway and LOGGING settlement 12 km east of BURNS LAKE on the CNR. The first homesteaders arrived in about 1915. It was named after the castle in Cornwall where King Arthur was supposedly born; in 1967 Britain’s Ministry of Works sent a 45-kg stone from the castle as a Canadian centennial gift to BC. It was installed here in a roadside cairn.”

We stopped at Glacier View Rest area around 1 for 15 minutes. Yes to pee, take photos and I even picked some pine cones.

I had to take a picture of this litter bin because it was so cool.

We had already decided to take the Cassiar Highway to the ALCAN because it is shorter than going the other way. Back in the day this road was pretty rough and was closed when it started snowing. Coming from Alaska you would stop at the gas station at the intersection of the Alaskan Highway and the Cassiar Highway to check if it was closed. It is all paved now and taken care of all winter.

Milepost at the Cassiar Cutoff

I would recommend topping off your gas here before you head on.

The Cassiar Highway junctions with Yellowhead Highway 16 at Milepost PG 298, Skeena River bridge, and travels north to junction with the Alaska Highway at Milepost DC 626.2, 13.3 miles/21.4 km west of Watson Lake, YT. The Cassiar Highway offers outstanding scenery and good wildlife viewing, especially of black bears in the spring. Driving the Cassiar Highway instead of the entire Alaska Highway saves about 130 miles/210 km.

To find our more about the Cassiar Highway check out this Milepost page:

I found in the milepost that a short distance from the highway was the Native Reservation of Gitwangak which has quite a few authentic totem poles and Kitwanga which is the adjacent white settlement.

I did enjoy looking at the old farming equipment that was there too.

Also, in this small village we found St. Paul’s Anglican Church and the wooden bell tower with the original bell from 1893

St. Paul’s Anglican Church

In a Historic Village stands a remarkable Anglican Church. Started in 1882 as a Mission station of the North Pacific Mission; Church Missionary Society. It’s a small simple Church with stained glass work.

Located at 149 Bridge Street, Kitwanga, British Columbia where the Kitwanga River runs into the Skeena River is the Village of Gitwangak which translates to “People of the place of rabbits” in the Gitxsan Language, within the Gitwangak Indian Reserve No. 1.

Even more unique is the 3-storey wooden bell tower that stands in front of St Paul’s Anglican Church and still has its original bell. The wood panels and unique design makes it a must see. You can see it from the East side of Highway 37.

Find more info here:


One side trip we didn’t want to miss was to go to Hyder, Alaska which we first had to get to Stewart, BC. We turned off at Meziadin Junction and headed to Stewart.

We had to stop to take some photos of Bear Glacier. They call it that because it is supposed to look like a black bear. What you can see from the road is one of its toes. That gives you an idea of how huge it is.

To find out more about Bear Glacier check this page out:


There was a lot of beautiful scenery on the way to and back from Hyder, Alaska.

Stewart got its name from the first Postmaster, Robert M Stewart. The town was a major port for Canadian mining activity. In 2011 the population was 494.

For more info:


We drove into Hyder, Alaska where really the only thing separating the two towns or countries is a small border stop. There is no immigration going into the very small, almost ghost town, of Hyder. The population is well under 100, like 87 in 2010 census.

We went out to the boat launch. We noticed most of the vehicles there had Canadian plates. We watched a Canadian truck come into Alaska and put their boat in. I am not sure why they do this unless there is no boat launch in Stewart.

Hyder was called Portland City in 1907 but was later change to Hyder due to the fact that there were too many towns in the US already named Portland. It was then named after Frederick Hyder a Canadian mining engineer. Mining was done from 1907 until 1956.

More history info here:


Plan your trip to Hyder:


Hyder was well worth a visit. We did have to go through the border crossing to get back into Stewart because the road dead ends in Hyder. They asked all the same questions we always get. We told him we have only been here for 30 minutes. We only got out of the car at the boat launch to take photos. Thank goodness once again for having our passports. We were let back into Canada.

Now back on the road. We decided to try to make it to Dease Lake to spend the night. We arrived in Dease Lake at 10:40 to find out the hotels close at 10. The first one we went to didn’t even answer the bell. It did have a vacancy sign out. We went to the other hotel in Dease Lake Northway Motor Inn. They too closed the check in at 10 but did answer the phone that was hooked up to the manager’s apartment. This was a nice hotel. I would recommend them.


If you have been following along you know that I am driving now because of David’s accident in Seattle. I do believe that I held my own with my road warrior husband by driving from 8:30 in the morning until 10:40 at night.

Thanks for stopping by.

Author: olehippies

I am a freelance travel writer and photographer. I love to travel with my loving husband. I like to see how the locals live better than going on tours. I love reading and will be reviewing books for everyone.

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