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Our First Bear Encounter!

Friday, July 13, 2007

semi-overcast 0 °F

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We wake up to a beautiful morning – blue skies and 60 degrees. I walk outside enjoying the view of Mt Wrangell, drink my coffee and talk to a German tourist across from us. There are many German and Dutch tourists in Alaska with RV rentals. I'm not sure why German vs French or British, but there are. Later when we make our first stop this morning, there is a van full of German tourists and they seem more interested in our big rig than the scenery. I smile and say “ Yes, I know it’s big.” One of them smiles and says “So someone has already told you that?” I talk to them about our trip and rig.

The trip today on the Richardson Highway to Valdez is one of the most scenic drives in Alaska, so we enjoy the drive and take our time enjoying the scenery.
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We find an oceanfront campsite at the Sea Otter Campground in Valdez. It’s not the fanciest RV Park in town, but the scenery out our back and side windows is great.
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I’m making dinner and take a break to look out the window and there is a sea otter about 20 feet away in the water – so cute.

After dinner we walk around town, mainly along the harbor area. Then Jere decides he wants to take the trail up to the look-out next to the convention center in town. We turn the corner to walk up the hillside path and stop in our tracks. There’s a bear on the trail about 15 feet from us! The bear looks at us. We look at the bear (and forget anything that they’ve told us about bears in all the park warnings). We say, “whoa…that’s a bear”. The bear turns and continues up the path, so I grab my camera and try to snap a picture. It’s blurry – I was in a hurry.
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But then we walk down the street (away from the bear, as instructed) and take another picture of the bear walking up the path that we had planned to take. We thought we might have a bear encounter at some point in Alaska, but NOT in the middle of a town park!
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Jere wants to walk up the path and see if the bear is still up there, but Joe and I refuse. We walk back past the harbor and watch the fisherman again, before returning to our trailer for the night.

Posted by jengelman 13:41 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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