Random photo: The bears of Katmai

Recently, we went to Katmai National Park.  Katmai is best known for its bears—brown bears, some of the biggest in the world, made gloriously fat by the endless supply of spawning salmon that enter the Brooks River every year.

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Random Quote: Pukuk (“Suck the meat off the bones”)

Photo credit: Bethel Regional High School
“Suck the meat off bones.”

Colorful panels cover an exterior wall of Bethel Regional High School.  Obviously created by students, they seem to be answering some question that was posed to them.  Responses vary, ranging from poetic:

“Hope will come, and we will be waiting,” and “Call the sun beautiful”

…to concrete and honest: “Passing my classes,” “Basketball is the most beautiful sport of all,” and “I don’t know.”

One in particular stood out to Cheri and I:

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Seward snapshot: Not ALL of the eagles are starving

Yesterday, I talked at length about the sad fact that Seward’s eagles are sick, so I thought I’d follow up with evidence that not all of them are starving.  Dale took a photo of an adult eagle last weekend that was posing majestically next to the bay, but he didn’t notice until he processed the photo that this bird had just finished a meal.

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Random Gear: Gossamer Gear Mariposa Backpack

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Stopping to smell the roses on the Camino

When you spend five weeks hiking nearly 500 miles through Spain, your gear becomes an important part of who you are.  Throw in eight weeks of sightseeing all over Europe in addition to the Camino, and you have the perfect testing ground for what works and what doesn’t in your selection of gear.  In an ongoing gear series, I will be talking about some of the items that became indispensable both during our European trip as well as on our current North American road trip.

The first bit of kit I want to talk about is our choice of backpacks.  Not only did these packs have to carry our load during the Camino, but they filled in as our suitcases for our entire 13-week journey.

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