The Stewart-Cassiar Highway runs approximately 500 miles from BC-16 north to the Alaska Highway. Friends have said they traveled the Cassiar years ago and it was all gravel and very slow. Today the Cassiar is paved the entire length. There are 50-200 ft. stretches of gravel where they are repairing the roadway, and there is a section near the northern end where they are applying sealcoat, but the rest is very good pavement.
It was sunny and clear when I packed up and left Meziadin Junction. I decided to ride awhile before stopping for breakfast in Bell II. I had no idea why the place was called, “Bell II,” until I crossed the Bell River. The sign on the bridge said, “Bell River Bridge #1.” Then I figured Bell II is bridge #2. Sure enough, Bell II Lodge is next to the bridge.
The lodge is pretty fancy, so I pretended I was on a luxury vacation while I ate a breakfast of yogurt, granola, and fruit.
Plants with purple flowers line the highway in large fields.
There are also lots of mountains. Many of them look like the Swiss Alps.
This is a typical gas station along the highway. Most have Regular and Diesel. I found Premium at one station, but am using Regular when that’s all that’s available. The bike seems to be running fine.
I spotted a bird’s nest at one of the stations. The baby popped it’s head up a couple of times, but I couldn’t catch it in a picture.
Sealcoat is a mixture of gravel and sand that they spread 6 to 8 inches deep over the roadway. They sprinkle it with water and then pack it down. They don’t grind up the existing surface because there is no base under it. They just spread the blacktop over the boulders when they paved years ago. I learned all this from the flagger while waiting to go through a section they were working on.
Once I reached the Alcan, I turned left and rode until it seemed time to stop for the night. I had to stop and put rain gear on, then take it off when it was too hot, then put it on again. It was drizzling when I stopped in Teslin, YT and secured a campsite. By the time I started setting up the rain stopped.
Tomorrow I head for Haines, AK, a place highly recommended by a friend.
P. S. It’s 10:30 pm and bright as late afternoon.