Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Day 15 Brook Falls - Bears

Well our biggest adventure happened today and was everything we dreamed it would be.  We'd made the reservations months ago.

Up early, we were began our day at 6:30 am when we arrived at the airport for our trip in a float plane for 2.5 hours south to Katmai National Park to view bears catching migrating salmon as they are leaping up Brook Falls.

This was our first time ever taking off and landing on the water. And because we stopped for gas coming home, it was three ups and downs.  Very exciting.   We flew in a six seater Cessna plane with attached floats; the pilot,a single man and a grandfather with his eleven year old grandaughter were our companions.

We arrived about 11 am after flying over mountain ranges and large lakes for 2.5 hours.  We each wore headphones so that we could hear the pilots taking over the radio and also helped lookout for other small planes.  We flew very near to several active volcanoes.

After a short lesson on bears from the ranger about sharing the forest with bears, we stored all of our food in lockers and began our 2 mile walk to Brook Falls along wooded trails that are shared with bears.  There were several wood elevated bridges over the river that were  gated and only used by humans.  

It was a wonderful experience and we saw at least twenty bears at various times.  There were never any barriers separating us.   Bears had the right of way on the paths.  We were told Never To Run, but to slowly back away until you can  move off of the path and let them pass.  

The largest group of bears was at the falls where they had several viewing platforms where we could take photos.  We have way too many and even three videos of bears actually catching a salmon to eat.

We spent nearly fours at the park  including time to eat the delicious hearty lunch the tour company prepared for us.

Then back on the plane for our flight to Anchorage on a totally different route where we saw many glaciers on the mountains that we flew between.  And a fun stop for gas where we all got our feet wet getting off of the plane on the beach.  Everyone had to get off before they filled the gas tanks.  And then with the added weight of the gas, we had trouble getting off the beach.  Lots of fun moments.

Arrived home about 6 pm.  GPS wasn't working when we got in  the car and we had to get a paper map out to find our way home.  A truly memorable day.

1 comment:

Mary said...

After receiving your phone call late last night I was so excited to find your blog when I woke up at 3 o’clock this morning. You did a great job of describing a wonderful trip and such great memories you and Jim will have and the fun of retelling the story of today’s events many times.I was very scared about you doing The bear trip today I mean yesterday as I feared for your safety but knowing you there’s no way you would not do this and I was so excited for you as you made so many new memories of this trip and your story relating it helped me to share it with you ..::all I can say is good job !! Love and hugs your twin Mary ......... kudos to my adventurous twin and her hubby Jim