Dances with Bears.

Did you hear about the guy that wanted to take a selfie with the bears at Katmai National Park? Yeah, I saw that also. Not on the Bear Cam like most others. Unbelievably, I was on the platform at the same time.

The women that they were with were the smartest in the bunch. They called him “stupid” and left immediately. These guys told the women that they have “done this a thousand times” and that while “hiking up the fish ladder, kicked  a sleeping bear”. They walked out of the emergency exit of the falls viewing platform, walked downstream, and retreated up the emergency exit of the riffles viewing platform.

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Tonsina Creek.

Hike 20/52 was to a place that is special to us. Leaving Lowell Point and heading towards Caines Head, you cross Tonsina Creek. From here, you can walk to the beach or continue through the woods. This was a trip of firsts for FN-2187. It was his first long car ride. His first creek crossing.20180301_141301.jpgHis first time to the beach.20180301_141520.jpgHis first time in the ocean.20180301_142332(0).jpgIMG_4375.jpgIMG_4379.jpgHe seemed to love all of his firsts, so we will make sure to bring him back in the summer!

Birds: 3 Rory:0

Hike 17/52. this time, we took off towards Matanuska Peak. I had never been on this trail and I tend to stay away from “The Valley” as I don’t like meth or replacing car windows. For Obi’s happiness, I decided to risk it.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 8.54.38 AM.pngIt is a steep hike in the typical Alaska fashion and covers 5,670 feet of elevation gain in 4 miles. When you turn around, the views keep getting better though.Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 8.54.53 AM.pngEventually, we could see Matanuska Peak.Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 8.55.16 AM.png

I can never quite capture the beauty in a picture. Our hike was slowed by me turning around and “oohing” and “aahhhing” to the dogs every few minutes.

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We saw one grouse on our return to the car. It flew far away very quickly. At least we saw one.

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Obi seemed to have a good time and that is all that matters.Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 8.55.34 AM.png

Hike 2/52

I am counting my runs as hikes. They meet most of my made up criteria. A few friends, Amanda, and I went running at Campbell Tract. There are over 730 acres to play in. It is across the street from work. We ski the trails in the winter and run there in the summer. It is outstanding. Bears, moose, birds, and all of the other Alaskan wildlife can be seen here.Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 12.47.10 AM.png

In fact, there is a part that is closed when the salmon are in the creek because of the high bear activity. We ran 8 miles and had a great time. We did not see any large mammals, but that is always okay with us. They probably see us and we get to see them when we are least expecting it.

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Amanda’s Birthday.

The nicest part of road trips is being able to stop whenever you see something pretty. The problem in Alaska is that everything is gorgeous. It is hard to drive anywhere because you are stopping all of the time. It already takes a long time to get anywhere here. We headed to Homer for an overnight birthday trip.Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 10.36.30 AMWe stopped if we felt like it. If we saw a cliff and wanted to know what was on the other side, we went to check it out.Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 10.39.49 AMEventually, we made it all the way to Homer. We found our cabin and admired the view. Homer is beautiful with water everywhere and big mountains and glaciers visible from town.Homer spit is a big draw and we headed there immediately. Going into the Salty Dawg is mandatory.Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 10.40.14 AMWe found a great restaurant at the recommendation of our cabin owners. What a beautiful place. The decorations are one of a kind and the food was outstanding. We ate enough to keep us full for our adventures the next day.Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 10.40.51 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 10.41.33 AMThe next day, we looked off the balcony and figured we should get to the glacier that we could see while eating breakfast.Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 10.42.13 AMThe biggest problem is that it is on the other side of Kachemak Bay. Luckily, there are a few boat owners around that were willing to drop us off near Halibut Cove so we could hike to the glacier.

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We jumped out like a relaxed D-day and watched the boat leave.

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That is when you start hoping they will come back when they promised. Or that you will make it to the extraction point. Or that you should have brought some bear deterrent. Although we did have cell phone service the whole time. There are many well maintained trails on the opposite side of the bay. The hike was beautiful.

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We were making good time and decided to detour to Humpy Creek. Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 11.06.51 AM

While there were no Humpies (pink salmon), there was a beautiful view and a rare way to cross the creek. Well, it is  rare for us before moving to Alaska. This is the second hike we have been on with a hand tram used to cross a river.Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 11.07.09 AM

Eventually, we hiked to the glacier. It turns out we hiked to the lake that is made by the glacier. We couldn’t actually get to the glacier from where we were if we wanted to get picked up today.

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Amanda did get to touch the glacier. In her own way.

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We made it to the extraction point and survived. Somehow. The boat returned. We weren’t eaten by wildlife. We even had a delicious dinner in the car on the way back home.Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 11.19.59 AM

Happy Birthday Amanda!