A note about this post, which describes several bear encounters we had during our 2017 trip to Brooks Camp, Alaska: I published a shorter version about a year ago. Since then, I’ve contemplated doing some freelance writing, so I took an online writing course. I removed the post from our blog and used it as my submission, and, with some helpful feedback from the instructor, I fleshed out the article, creating something that might encapsulate the Brooks Camp experience for the average newspaper or magazine reader. In the end, the instructor felt it was ready for submission and gave me the contact info for several publications that I could submit it to…but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t give away ownership of a piece that I love so much, a piece that describes my favorite Katmai experience. So here it is, rewritten and with A SECOND bathroom-related bear encounter for your enjoyment!
We watched through the windows as four bears, a mother and cubs,strolled up the path.These were Alaskan coastal brown bears, one of the largest land carnivores in the world, and Dale and I had just ducked into the bathrooms to avoid them.
To celebrate Earth Day, here are a few of our favorite pictures from our time in Alaska and from the road trip that brought us here. These photos plainly illustrate just how quirky, fragile, and beautiful our planet is:
Before moving to Alaska, we spent two weeks bouncing around Texas, visiting family. That meant going from central to south Texas and then back again. We may be relocating to the biggest state in the Union, but Texas is no slouch, so this meant a lot of time on the road.
It was on one of those drives, on a rural stretch of U.S. Highway 183 from Refugio to Gonzales, that we had a very pleasant discovery—Goliad State Park and the Mission Espíritu Santo.
Riding on the Denali National Park shuttle in search of wildlife was usually an all-day affair. We had plenty of time to meditate on the scenery and get to know our neighbors as the bus lurched along at 10 miles an hour.
Our contemplations, however, were often interrupted by urgent, single-syllable cries of “Moose!” or “Stop!” that brought the bus to a jolting halt.
It used to be that the Alcan took some serious mettle to traverse. You had to carry spare tires and car parts and know how to use them, and you might spend your nights camped in the middle of nowhere due to lack of services.