Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Alaska is beautiful, but harshly so. My few days there were spent getting a pretty fairly rounded tourist experience of the state, so I went salmon fishing, got chased by a bear while salmon fishing, did some hiking, went whale watching, saw glaciers calving, pretty much the works. But like most experiences dreamt about and finally realized, the actuality is not the myth. The harshness of the environment is evident in the landscape, in the plant life, in the animals, and even in the people. Something else I realized while up there is that there are two types of outdoors people: those who shop at REI, and those who shop at Cabela's. Alaska is full of people who shop at Cabela's. Portland, for comparison, is full of people who shop at REI. Personally, I'm more part of the REI crowd.
Still, I had a lot of fun. Not only did I see a grizzly bear in the wild for the first time, I saw one in the wild a second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth times. Probably more too, I lost count. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the event, but I was also chased off the river we were fishing by a trio of bears who wanted to fish the same spot.
Then we took a boat out into the Kenai Fjords National Park. I'll let the pictures talk here.
Finally, we did some hiking north of Anchorage, and then it was time to go home.
I've got more pictures coming, and I'll consider putting up some more, or a link to something like flickr later. But for now, enjoy!