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John Carpenter's

 

Reaching Stewart & Hyder

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.

thingvideostewart.jpg (12850 bytes)
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 Information Center.

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!

Driving Up the Old Mining Road

 


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