Da’ Bears

30 09 2010

I was fortunate enough to get invited to help Roy Toft and Mark Garbutt with their photo safari tour to Brooks Camp in Katmai in early September. I came on as camp cook and helped with guiding our 12 awesome clients. Brooks Camp is situated on Naknek lake. To get there you first hop a PenAir flight from Anchorage to King Salmon, then hop an Otter (bush plane) on floats and land on Naknek lake. As we landed there were bears as far as the eye could see-in the lake, on the beach, in the river. It’s almost a disneyland of brown bears. It was a five night/six day trip-half rain/wind & half sun-a little bit of everything.  We even got to see two different sows with four cubs each! 


These sub-adults played non-stop the entire time we were there-they fun to watch.


We got up early two mornings and made it out to the platform before sunrise. A little creepy going through the woods with 70-90 bears in the area, some being sows with cubs! We were rewarded by one nice sunrise and this bear walking like a human off the end of the spit!


Lazy bears fishing. Otis, in back, is one big, very fat bear. That was his permanent position, no other bear challenged his fishing hole.  He was persistant, always in the same spot 24/7. The bear in front would wait until a fish swam into his chest, then he’d try to catch it.


The moose are on the loose….in Powerline Pass

24 09 2010

A few pictures from my first trip this fall shooting moose.  Lucked out finding this guy right away…..



Roadtrip-Anc to Pdx! Old school friends, skiing, & the brew tour.

23 09 2010

Greg and I left town-a little late, on Greg time :)-it was a gorgeous fall day.  The colors were brilliant and the sun was shining-a rarity this summer. We had a great drive down-perfect weather, lots of black bears (although mostly at night), and only one casuality-I killed a bunny rabbit in the Yukon *tear*.

We managed to drive about 2600 +/- miles in 3 days…….

Long Lake, Alaska

Greg soaking in the autumn sunshine on the way to Glennallen.

Driving into the sunset near Tok.

Sunrise in the Yukon.

Cassiar Highway, British Columbia

Andres came down to Portland from Seattle to show me September skiing in the Northwest.  He was awesome & let me beat up his equipment on the rocks 🙂  First we headed to Mt. Hood in Oregon and hiked and skied at Timberline. The volcano moonscape of Mt. Hood was beautiful-and-so different from the snow and ice covered volcanoes I’m used to seeing in Alaska.

Andres with Mt. Hood

Andres & me.

Me with Mt. Hood in the background.

Andres headed down.

The next day we headed up to Mt. Adams. Another volcano, but completely different landscape.

There was still plenty of flowers out.

Ancient skier’s pueblo.


It was a beautiful, sunny hike up. Until, that is, we hit the upper Crescent Glacier. The clouds rolled in and left us with little visibility, cancelling our plans of skiing some chutes off the summit or the Manzama Glacier.  Also, like gorillas in the midst, some forest service rangers magically appeared and ticketed us for hiking above 7,000 ft. without a permit.  Seriously??? Apparently, it costs $15 to hike above 7,000 ft. in Washington & Oregon.  But since we didn’t get a permit (the ranger station so convienently located 35-45 minutes away), it was a $75 ticket.  I’ll stay in Alaska, where hiking is still free-thanks.  We ended up just skiing the Crescent which was mostly sunpocketed-a great difference from the groomed spring ski like run at the resort the day earlier. As soon as we started hiking down heavy rains soaked us reminding us we were in the Northwest.

Greg and I got to have dinner with Colleen & Jim at Montage-it was fabulous with interesting drinks to match! It was great to see them again!

Saturday Greg took me downtown Portland on the Max-a lightrail system that cruises around town.  We checked out a few Portland institutions- Powell’s, Pioneer Square, the Chinese Gardens, the Saturday Market, and attempted to go to Voodoo Donuts-but was unwilling to stand in line for 45 minutes for a donut-even if it was maple bacon.  It poured rain on us most of the day, but it was still fun walking around checking out the different sights.


Wendi and Greg at Walking Man Brewery.

My last day in Portland was a beautiful sunny day-perfect day for a brew tour!

I had a beautiful road trip, great time exploring and skiing the NW volcanoes, and most importantly, spending time with good friends!  It was a quick week, but great to be able to spend lots of time with Greg & his family, spend time in the mountains with Andres, and to hook up with Colleen & Jim, and Mike & Keri!

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