One Man's Alaska

Day 10: Stranded in Stewart, British Columbia

March 17, 2010

There was snow overnight, and when I went to leave Stewart, I quickly found that I couldn't. About 16 miles down the road, I was driving up a relatively steep incline, and my car kept losing traction. I knew I was slipping a lot, and the "slipping" indicator on my dashboard kept lighting up as well.

I stopped on the road for a little while -- there is no traffic here -- and thought about what to do. I decided I couldn't try to drive any farther; that was almost suicidal. So I did a three-point turn in the road, and drove back to Stewart.

Back in town, I talked to the woman behind the King Edward counter about my predicament, and she suggested I talk to the man at the Petro Canada gas station. I drove a few blocks over to where I had filled up my gas tank last night, and a wonderfully nice man suggested I stay in town an extra day. He said the tow trucks were already heading out to pick up three other vehicles, and if I wasn't in a hurry, the weather was supposed to clear up tomorrow, and I could try again then.

Well, staying in Stewart another day certainly didn't hurt my feelings, so I went back to the Kind Edward, got another room for the night, and enjoyed the rest of the day in town, particularly after the afternoon rain stopped.

Restaurants in Stewart, British Columbia

I should mention that there are only three restaurants open this time of year, and one of them is only open to people that book heli-skiing adventures through the Riply Creek Inn. So I've been bouncing back and forth between the two restaurants for my meals.

The waitress at the King Eddy restaurant is nice beyond words, as is the woman who runs the other restaurant. Both have been very kind to me, and answered all of my questions. If I were ever to write a book about a certain area, I would come back to Stewart and Hyder just to share their stories with the world.

In one interesting final note, the custom's agent who grilled me so much yesterday ended up at the same restaurant with me tonight. I've been told that there are 18 custom's agents and three policemen in town, and the locals understand that they have a job to do, and they respect that, but it sounds like there are also awkward encounters like this.

As I left the restaurant tonight I told the agent that I did try to leave town, and that I would try again in the morning. I don't know if it's correct protocol to mix business and personal life like that, but I wanted him to know that there was a reason I was still in town.

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