From Stewart to Dease Lake, the travel distance is only 400 km.
When we got up in the morning we found the weather had changed and it was drizzling outside making the whole place gloomy. Ripley Creek Inn has no free breakfast. Luckily we had enough food with us. Mala made a quick breakfast of sardine sandwiches (better than it sounds) and coffee. We checked out early to find some wild bears on the road and we were really lucky. We saw six bears making the total number seven. It is hard to take a good photo, because they don’t stay in one place. They keep on moving, trying to get away from the car all the time. Malisha managed to take a good photo and also a short video clip of one bear. We will try to upload the photo when we get a chance. In one place , we had to stop for a long time due to road construction.
From Stewart to Meziadin junction, the scenery is exceptional with snow capped mountains. The major attraction is Bear Glacier. There are many waterfalls on the way. In some of them, the bottom is hidden under a thick layer of snow with water flowing through the cavity made out of snow. There are lakes everywhere and water streams feeding them. From Meziadin junction onwards, the road becomes narrower. There was hardly any traffic and we had the road to ourselves. Not many people seem to travel this way. We put petrol in Stewart and topped up at Bell. Our plan was to refill and top up at every place we came across. We were told that some of the gas (petrol) stations may be closed. True enough, in Iskut, we found the petrol station was closed, luckily Dease Lake petrol station was open when we arrived there.
We saw as many as eight bears and one moose on our way from Stewart to Dease Lake. The moose was a big one standing on the road, but when we got closer it ran away into the woods. Malisha could not take a good shot of it.
Dease Lake is a very small village with only 560 people. The petrol station has a small restaurant but it serves hot food until 1:00PM. There are two more restaurants in the area. One is called Mammaz. It was too late to have lunch. So we decided to have an early dinner.
Dinner at Mammaz:
We read the many negative reviews about Mammaz and did not expect anything good. The reviews were mainly about the high cost of food. You cannot expect to get quality food at normal prices in a remote village like Dease Lake. To our amazement, the food was good. Mala had a caesar salad with chicken, Malisha and I ordered pork schnitzel. They were surprisingly tasty. The host came and talked to Mala. She wanted to know what additional ingredient they used to get the strong flavour in the caesar salad dressing (that ‘special’ ingredient being lots of garlic). I told the host that Mala is a very good cook and knows a lot about food unlike me. In my case it is either good or bad. There is nothing in between. The host said she has vacancies for good cooks. This is a good opportunity for Mala to work in this lovely village when she retires from her present job (obviously joking with us). I would recommend this place as a place with tasty food. Pork schnitzel was in the range of twenty five dollars which is not overly expensive. They have their menu with all the prices clearly marked and you can select something cheaper if you have a limited budget.
We spent the night at the Northway Motor Inn. We have seen some good reviews and also some bad reviews about this hotel. This is the only place to stay in Dease Lake. There are small bed and breakfast places all along the way. If you want a good hotel to have a good sleep after a long drive this is the only place. The lady who is the host in charge of the Northway Motor Inn was very polite and helpful. She is more reserved and not volunteering to give information like Sharon at Smithers. We managed to ask questions and get some useful information about the area and eating places. The room was big enough with two queen beds. The toilet was clean. We also had a small TV set and free Wi Fi. There was no coffee machine in the room, but you can make your own coffee at the reception.
When we arrived at the hotel, there were only two or three vehicles and we thought the place was empty. The next morning when we got up, the place was full of vehicles.
The late comers have checked in and filled up the place. If you are not booking in advance, it is advisable to come early around 3:00PM and check in.
The following day, we were planning to travel 622 kilometres, and we needed to get up early and start early.