Every time we venture over to Alaska, we always try to do something different (sea kayaking, paragliding, whitewater rafting) or go somewhere different … and this year was not an exception. OK, so it’s no surprise that we LOVE the brown bears. We always fly over to Katmai or visit the Russian River to spend time with them, but we had never gone to the other area national parks, which are also renowned for their bears. So, off we went to Lake Clark National Park for a new adventure.
It was a short flight from Soldotna to Lake Clark and it was also an outstanding one – once we got off the ground. The views were incredible! That being said, for a few hours, I thought for sure that we would not be going, as the fog layer was quite thick in Soldotna. That’s pretty much a way of life in Alaska … flight delays 😦 … and to make it worse, the weather was reportedly beautiful on the other side of the inlet.
But we finally made it there. We usually fly over in a floatplane to Katmai, so it was quite a treat to experience a beach landing! Pretty nice arrival, I must say.
We had plans to stay at the Alaska Homestead Lodge, hosted by James & Shelia Isaak, on the shores of the Cook Inlet, with Mt. Iliamna looming in the backdrop. What a fabulous place with great views, great food, great lodging, great guests and great “neighbors”.
The first “neighbor” to greet us was a brown bear nicknamed “Trouble”. How excited I was as I rushed to grab my gear to document the welcoming party. It came strolling down the “road” … I say “road” because the dirt road in front of the property was also the “runway” for James’ personal airplanes.
Trouble didn’t get that nickname for nothing, as he immediately found the barrel out in the garden and began to try to roll it around and mess it up. To us, it was fun to watch though and quite comical.
Eventually, with a bear just being a bear, it found the cover to the septic tank and began to gnaw on it. Well, that didn’t sit well with the owners and he got yelled at and as it ran off, it tried to take the cover with him! LOL
After a quick orientation to the property, we were off to find the bears. There were signs of them along the way, as we ventured out to the shores of the inlet.
Before long, we came across our first brown bear … coming in from the water it was coming right towards us … and continued past us. Trouble was also present and we thought that we might have an interaction between the two, but Trouble was quite the submissive one around other bears.
Most of the time, we found this bear doing one of two things …. sitting and looking around
…. or resting on a pile of warm sand, probably with its fresh catch buried under the mound.
But you couldn’t beat the view!
The bears weren’t the only ones fishing off the coast, as one morning we were treated to a bald eagle flying in, hitting the waters surface, grabbing a fish, and flying off with the prize.
Again, the bears wouldn’t be outdone by the eagles, so they would catch their own, carry it off, bury it, and of course, take a nap!
During our stay, the bears were less plentiful than even just a few days ahead, but none of that mattered to us. We were just so happy that we could spend our wedding anniversary in the most magnificent place around. Our “30th” … maybe, but probably more like our 5th. See, our hosts had a 30th celebration for us, which made us laugh, but we took that as a good omen to come. Thanks to all at the Homestead that helped to make it special for us. 🙂
Until next time …. we leave you with the serenity of Lake Clark NP
Next up for the Blog …. All aboard in Talkeetna!!