Katmai National Park, Part II
After a late dinner, most of us were bedded down at 11:00 p.m. But we were also all up at 5:30 a.m., charged by the
excitement of the day before, to watch the sunrise as it lit up the surrounding mountains.
Because Jackie and I had to take an early afternoon
flight, we separated into two groups on the second
day. The others went to another site to watch all day
and Lee led Jackie and me on another walk among the
bears. Lee is awesome in knowing where to expect the
bears. He led us around a point, and before long we
had five bears in view, three males and two females
with the males enthusiastically following the females.
Eventually, two of the bears became a
couple and engaged in playful
As time passed, the bears broke into two groups on the beach. A group of three to our left, and a male pursuing a female on
our right. We stood next to a large rock on the edge of the beach watching the spectacle and Lee planned for us to follow the
couple to our right back to our little landing boat. Normally, the bear watching planes land in a different cove. However,
because of the unusually low tides that bay was completely exposed so they came to our bay and landed on the other side of
the couple. This caused the bears to come back in our direction putting us in a squeeze. So, Lee decided we should go down
the beach to the water and try to walk past the bears. As we started to walk past the bears, the female started walking in our
direction which caused Lee some concern and had him advising us we should walk at a deliberate pace towards our boat. It
was a funny little walk with me trying to take pictures and Lee and Jackie demanding that I keep up with them.
Then the female turned and walked back right over the spot from which we had been watching them and all was well, almost.
Jackie placed her hand in
one of the fresh bear prints
as we walked back.
Then we looked back for
one final look at the bears
digging in the ground for
food. The one in the sand
was digging clams.
The adventure was not quite over. The tide was lower than Lee expected, so the landing boat was sitting on the beach, too
heavy to move. As the water came up, we rocked the boat and eventually managed to get it off the rocks and out into the
water where we returned to the yacht. Soon a four person plane arrived to leave off a new couple and take us back to Kodiak.
On our way back to Kodiak we circled more whales. We also circled the remnants of a town flooded by the earthquake and
Tsunami of 1964 with houses sitting out in the lagoon where they were washed in that Tsunami.
Prior to our coming to Kodiak, there had been nothing but six months of clouds, snow, and rain. Spring came three weeks late
and leaves were only beginning to come out when we arrived. During our nine days in the Kodiak area, the sun came out and
brought warm weather. In just a matter of days the grass grew up and the leaves blossomed. It was a wonderful trip and we
thank Doris Monti for planning this great event.