Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Grizzly Bears on the Last Day in Alaska

     On our last day, we visited Katmai National Park, where the grizzly bears go to fish for salmon. When the float plane taxied up to the beach, we spotted a mamma bear with her cub on the beach. The pilot told us we'd have to "hustle" away when we got out, because we were going up on the beach about 100 yards from them.

We took a float plane to the park.

Which is the only way to reach it.

Glacial rivers.

     When we arrived, we had to go to the visitors center for an orientation on bear safety. The lodges in the National Parks are all sort of log cabin style.

The Ranger was giving her speech when...

      A bear walked right through the middle of camp past our window! This is a photo I took of the bear from inside the visitor center.

The mamma bear and cub walking along the river.

     The bears were everywhere, springing out of rushes and trees. The rangers would close the bridge when the bears came by and people would have to wait on the secured platforms until the bear went away.
Salmon spotting.

     While we were watching the bears, something about them seemed familiar to me. I realized I had a little bear waiting for me at home.


My little house bear.
     You can see the resemblance, can't you? They even look the same when they are shaking off.

Grizzly shaking off.
Gypsy shaking off.

      The higher falls were where the bigger bears hung out. Better salmon catching there.

Look how close this guy is to the crowds of people on the opposite side of the bridge.
     There were also people out fishing for salmon in the streams, which I thought was nuts in this bear country.
He'd just finished chasing a bunch of fisherman out of the water and now he was going to have a sit down.
The bears rub against the trees to get their winter coat off.
This guy was surprised on the trail and the ranger threw a rock at him to get him to turn around and go back to the beach.

Our float plane home.

Louise and I about to leave.

Louise getting on the plane.

Taking off from the lake.
     Once we land we get right back on a plane for Chicago. It has been a wonderful experience. But I know I have my very own little bear at home, so the wildlife continues! Thanks to everyone who enjoyed the photos along with me, it was fun to be able to share. Happy Trails!


Daniel said...

Absolutely beautiful photography! And a very funny an interesting narrative!


J.Tuttle said...

Thank you!