Reaching Stewart &
We were already pumped by the
time we drove into Stewart at around 1 PM. The adrenaline was really flowing,
especially after seeing Bear Glacier. Our initial plan was to take the
whole afternoon to see Stewart and Hyder, stay overnight at the Sealaska
Inn, and then drive up to the Outpost site the next day. As we caught
our first glimpses of Stewart, we quickly realized that it wasn't
exactly what we expected.
Copy of The Thing at the local video store in Stewart, with other
locally filmed movies, Insomnia and Iceman. Sticker on box reads,
"This movie was filmed in Stewart."
Not to be down on anybody but Stewart is long, long past its glory days.
The town population used to be greater than 10,000 back before the Great
Depression. Nowadays, the official number is around 500 people (but even
that can seem like an overestimate). Don't be surprised when you pull
into Stewart and see virtually every other house with a "For Sale"
sign in its front yard. There were so many homes for sale, in fact, places in Stewart can go for just $25,000 CND! About the
only thing that keeps Stewart alive is its summer tourism.
"Rush hour" in downtown Stewart
Our "Thing-Mobile" parked on Stewart's main stretch
The first thing we did was to
go see the Stewart Museum, which is located inside the building of a former
fire house. We knew from their website that the museum had some pictures
of The Thing, but we had no idea which. It turned out that most
of their pics were standard publicity shots, but they did have 5 pictures
that neither Todd nor SPC had ever seen before. These included one shot
of Fuchs' burned body, three shots of the Norwegian-Thing as it was being
unpacked from its shipping crate, and one shot of the Dog-Thing's skeleton
without any of its overlaying flesh. These are the only known pics of
their kind, and Stewart Museum has them!
The complete Thing display in the Stewart Museum
Close-up of a picture showing Fuchs' burned remains
A picture of the Norwegian-Thing still inside its shipping crate!
Another shot of the Norwegian-Thing in its crate
After we were finished seeing
the museum, we ate lunch at the Prince Edward Lodge and then started walking
up and down the main strip checking out the shops. We were quickly running
out of things to do in Stewart when we, on a stroke of pure luck, decided to walk into the Visitors
We talked with the lady in charge and told her that we were going to visit
the Outpost site the next day, but in the meantime were looking for things
to do. She then told us about the updated weather forecast. Before our
trip we checked some weather websites for Stewart and predictions were
that every day would be sunny and cloudless while we were there. But the
woman at the Visitors Center said the forecast had changed so that it
was supposed to be cloudy and rainy the very next day.
Well, when we heard that, we all agreed that we should visit the site
as soon as possible while it was still sunny and beautiful. As we found
out the next day, the new forecast was totally wrong. But little did we
know that our decision to find the Outpost a day early would turn out
to be the best thing we could've possibly done!
Up the Old Mining Road