Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ketchikan, Part I

Bald Eagle in Ketchikan
We docked in Ketchikan on Aug. 10, where Danelle had arranged a private excursion for us with Wild Wolf Tours.  Our guide was also the owner, and she crammed a lot of great stuff for us into a relatively short four hours.  Like this bald eagle sitting on the edge of a viewing platform, with a feather inexplicably sticking in the wood.

Juvenile Bald Eagle in Ketchikan
A lot of groups stopped to see that bald eagle.  But we were the only ones to drive no more than another quarter of a mile away down a side road towards a salmon hatchery where we also saw this juvenile eagle and at least four black bears, including two cubs.  Our vantage point was too far away to get compelling photos of the bears, but it was still fun to watch them amble about.

The bubbles behind this gull reminded me of a scene from Finding Nemo.

The "liquid sunshine" continued to accompany us on and off.  Taryn had had about enough of the rain.

The constant presence of water gave even common things like fireweed a completely different look than they have in Colorado.

Lots of plants in Alaska seem to have red berries.  Some are safe to eat, others not so much.  I have no doubt I would get them completely wrong if I were stranded in the wilderness.

Black Bear on Ward Creek Trail
A wonderful short hike on the Ward Creek Trail got us much closer to a black bear than the ones we saw earlier.  One was fishing right below an overlook platform at which we stopped.

Black Bear on Ward Creek Trail
I have no idea how he could possibly see anything to catch in the swift-moving water.  From what I could tell, he didn't seem to have much idea either.

Black Bear on Ward Creek Trail
Black bears apparently shake just like dogs when they get too wet.  And they don't look any more dignified doing so.

Black Bear on Ward Creek Trail
The bear was probably only in view for a couple of minutes before disappearing back into the undergrowth.  I couldn't help but marvel at our good fortune in arriving at just the right spot at just the right time to see him.  A real treat!

Click here for Part II.


Sandy said...

lucky you seeing that bear! I hope we are as lucky -- those 'bear in a creek' excursions cost close to $400!!!

Great photos -- thanks for posting your link on the Wild Wolf facebook page.

SteveHarbula said...

Luck was definitely on our side in terms of being in the right spot at the right time. But having the right guide who could take us to the right places probably helped our chances. :)

I hope you get to see one, too!