Boondockin’

Salmon Glacier Summit

Salmon Glacier Summit

Mountain Shadow

Mountain Shadow

View from Boya Lake Campsite

View from Boya Lake Campsite

Early Sunlight on Mountain Shadow

Early Sunlight on Mountain Shadow

Fish Creek Pond

Fish Creek Pond

Artistic support—a waiting spouse

Artistic support—a waiting spouse

Yes, working cell phones and WiFi are wonderful things. But, painting along the Stewart-Cassiar highway was well worth leaving these modern conveniences behind for a bit. So, although it has been a while since my last post, I am thrilled with the paintings and photos I’ve collected in this rugged part of BC.

“Oh no! Not another highway article!” you say. Yep, as gorgeous as the Glenn was, the narrow, hilly, and even more remote Cassiar is just as beautiful.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway 37 is “the artery to some of the wildest scenery in North America”. Following the east side of the Coast Mountains, it traverses south through the Cassiar Mountains and Liard Plain for 450 miles from the Alaska highway just west of Watson Lake in the Yukon, to the Yellowhead highway just east of Terrace in British Columbia.

It seems we found another small, clear, emerald lake around practically every bend in the road, with plenty of pull-offs to enjoy them, and four provincial parks provide campsites right at the waters edge—a painter’s paradise!

If you can take even more scenic beauty, try the 40-mile spur to Stewart, BC, where we crossed the border back into Alaska. Part of Tongass National Forest, tiny Hyder is the southernmost community in the Inside Passage, and the only one accessible by road. At the Fish Creek Wildlife Observatory there is a boardwalk overlooking a river teeming with spawning salmon. This bear sanctuary is a highlight for many northern travelers, and a wolf came to catch some fish while I was painting the pond. Check out the bear video I made on our first visit here four years ago.

As usual, here’s Dave, composing a photo while waiting for me to finish the Salmon Glacier painting. It’s great having his support along this journey!

Such abundance! On this leg of the 2013 Plein Air Odyssey alone, I’ve collected enough inspiration and material for many studio paintings when I get back home. It’s a shame that I have not been able to find any local painters in this area, but I guess that’s why we call it the boondocks.

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