Mountains Hide Away

Alaska - Day 2 Brooks Falls

Saturday, July 6, 2019 4:48 PM

Saturday was one fantastic day. WOW!!! I mean WOW!! Here let me try again, today was WOW !!! Even before I left where I was staying at King Salmon Lodge, waiting for Katmai Air to pick me up I saw a bear walking up the driveway. I thought was pretty cool. Today was going to be a good day and as it turned out it was. Made it to the Katmai Air office and then was in a plane hiding out to Brooks in good time. I was hoping I would get the same time at the Falls viewing platform as I had the day before. I filled up both water bottles and started to walk out to the falls. I was surprised walking across the new bridge and there was hardly anyone around. I made to the other side not having run into one person walking to the Falls. I had to walk it alone. I have done it before and all has always been fine but still there were feelings of nervous and anxious. As I walked the road to the trail I kept a look out in front of me, behind me and to both sides. I had a thought about if you see a bear to move off the trail, but what if one happens to look back and there is a bear right behind you following you to close for comfort?  I decided if that were to happen, I would simply move off the trail as far as possible remaining calm and hoping the bear wasn’t right there. As I walked I would count to marching or go through the alphabet naming cities for that letter. I decided thinking required to much energy. I just counted out loud. Along the trail, I would see fresh scat and then I saw a fresh pee trail that to me came from a boar. I made it to the gate and was relieved. I didn’t see another person on the trail coming or going. LOL I was on the Falls Viewing platform where I remained for the next couple of hours taken pictures and video. During this time I found myself using the Canon camera more than the Sony. I am happy thus far with the quality of the pictures and video. I took a moment to look around and behind me to see how crowded the platform was and there was hardly anyone there. It didn’t seem like that much time had passed and my name was being called, that my time was up. It filled up fast.LOL I took my leave made my way back to the treehouse to put my name on the list. I asked if I would have enough time to get down the trail to the outhouse and back. I was told yes, so I made my way down the trail. I only made it to the gate as there were bears up the trail playing. I wondered if they might be the same I spent time watching until they moved out of sight on this side of the river. My main cameras was packed so I reached for my iPhone to take pictures. I was able to capture some nice pictures as the bear walked up the trail towards the gate. The two bears moved off and was clear to walk the trail again. I made it the outhouse and back with no other encounters. I was glad as I didn’t want to lose my spot. After a lengthy wait my name was called. By this time I was getting hot and tried to cool off, drinking my water that had warmed. I heard the ranger say the wait is nearly two hours. I figured this would be my last hour at the falls and it was. While I was out at the falls platform, I saw the gulls scatter. From the past, I knew eagles will scatter gulls. I started to look up and saw an eagle flying up the river towards the falls. I was able to get a bit of video. I was so hot standing in the sun with a long sleeve shirt and pack on my back. I walked out to the Riffles viewing platform to take some pictures there before going back to the lodge for lunch and to cool down. On my way back there were two ladies looking down the trail and then back to me. As I reached them, I asked if everything was alright, they said there is a bear up a head and they lost sight of it. They though it might be next to the trail laying down. I walked in front of them to try and spot the bear and I didn’t see it. We walked a little further looking off to the sides of the trail and then I saw it, the bear was walking up the trail. Where we were in an area of the trail there were no real good places to move very far off the trail. We moved off as far as we could and asked the ladies to remain calm when the bear passed and it would pass very close to us. The bear walked by not even giving us a glance. After it passed and we allowed it a safe distance we proceeded down the trail. I wanted to get video but just didn’t have a chance it happened too fast. Back at the lodge I had lunch and after that I just didn’t have the energy to go back out as I wanted to. I played it safe and stayed out of the sun. I was able to do yesterday’s travel entry. Once back in King Salmon and at the lodge it was a repeat of the night before, Copy pictures and video to laptop while eating and then to bed….