Stewart, BC. There’s a special magic to this place. I struggle to put it in words and I feel like the photos just don’t do it justice. I first visited in 2013 and have since considered Stewart to be one of my favorite little towns. Now I’ve returned 6 years later…and it is almost exactly how I left it. Time slows down here, and I think that might be what draws me.
The road into Stewart is spectacular. Similar to 6 years ago, it was a stormy day..but that made the view more mysterious and wondrous as the clouds draped over the mountains. The mountains are close along this road and they are often capped with glaciers. Everywhere you turn there is another small glacier, with seemingly small rivers of water rushing down. The Bear Glacier is a larger one, filling an already wonderful journey with more awe.
I remember in 2013 being very disappointed that mountains were covered in cloud. The forecast told of nothing but rain and I didn’t have time to wait it out. This time around I embraced the clouds and made use of them for pictures. Somehow, the forecast this time is still nothing but rain…and I can’t wait over a week to see if it clears up. But somehow I don’t mind. The clouds add to the magic of this place. I don’t think it would be the same without them. It hasn’t rained yet, so I’m actually ahead compared with last time.
As my last goodbye in 2013, I had coffee and breakfast at a wonderful little cafe called the Toastworks, or the Rookery. Eggs Florentine with Pacific Smoked Salmon…drinking coffee, watching the rain fall. It was a favorite memory of my time. So of course the first thing I did was head right for that cafe, get a coffee and order the same thing. It was heavenly. Better than I remembered it. The cafe hasn’t changed a bit either. This time I got a proper picture.
I then went for a walk/wander around town. The mountains loom close, wreathed in clouds and dotted with glaciers. There are so many interesting buildings. Many are abandoned. This town is very real . Like most of these northern villages, the glory days are over. But Stewart is still alive, in part due to tourism, and in part because of mining activity. I’m sure the fact that it’s actually a port to the ocean helps too. I was genuinely surprised at how little had changed in 6 years. I think that’s part of the magic. Things change so slowly here that it’s like going back in time. The people are friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed.
Last time, I spent a whirlwind, rainy day. This time, I’m taking several days…to slow down and let time stand still. I got a great little campsite. Next I hope to turn to the Salmon Glacier and truly take my time there as well. I’ll be honest, a bit of sunshine would be great…but I’ve been learning to be content with what ever God has planned. Even in the rain last time, I was left with wonderful memories.
I still feel like none of this does it justice. The experience is something that will stick with me. I just wish the photos and words could pack the same punch.