One woman’s stand-off with a persistent grizzly I am drifting off to sleep in my tent in the Ray Mountains, a little-known mountain range north of Fairbanks and south of the Brooks Range. My 12-year-old Australian sheepdog, Blumli, sleeps at my feet. The arctic sun, still above the horizon, casts a soft evening glow on the surrounding peaks. The wilderness is pleasant and peaceful. After a long day’s walk, I drift into sweet slumber, knowing the next 10 days will feed my soul in a way that only wild country can. I don’t know what awakens me, a slight motion from Blumli, or that internal messenger that says, “Wake up, there is a bear 15 feet from your head.” I am not excessively worried. I’ve seen hundreds of bears, and never had anything you would call a bear encounter. Bears, except possibly polar bears, don’t habitually hunt humans. Our troubles…
A park superintendent’s memories
A walk across Chichagof Island
The floatplane lifted off glassy water and I wiped a bit of vomit from my lip. I was about to trek across Chichagof Island, and nerves had gotten the best of me.
The hunt for the perfect photo.
IT’S 1981, a mid-August evening on the spine of the Kobuk-Noatak divide, 70 miles above the Arctic Circle. It’s hard, wind-scraped country: tundra valleys webbed with caribou trails, rolling away beneath a wide sky.
Exploring Katmai’s wild coast
Our floatplane skimmed low over a grassy headland. I pressed my nose against the window to see a family of brown bears ambling along a game trail below.
Plastic items remain favorite toys for bruins
Pack Creek offers visitors a chance to see bears in their natural environment.
View the largest land predator at eye level.
[by Kevin McCarthy]
A lens on the beasts of the Last Frontier
[photography by Art Wolfe]