There are NO bears in Alaska

Community Highlights North America There are NO bears in Alaska

Today was trail day.
In simple words – climbing up 1000 metres over a distance of 7 km and coming down the same height and distance. Body feeling – terrible
So what did we do. The Harding Icefield trail. Along the Exit glacier which we visited upon arriving in Seward, this trail goes all the way up to the gigantic icefield that is the source of most of the glaciers in Kenai. The path is famous for its wild life encounters. And as it was noted on the board yesterday, there have been spottings of black bear in the area multiple times.
We started in the early morning (if you can call 9.30 early) because the forecast was warning for rain in the afternoon. Since the time for the trail is estimated between 6 and 8 hours we wanted to be sure. Got some good advice from the rangers on the weather: it may rain – it may not rain…
So we left, getting up the hill on the watch for bears. Getting uphill was OK for most, but difficult for me and had to make many stops on the way up. But slowly we made it, with multiple stops, to the top with a beautiful view over the icefield. As we ascended we stepped under the trees, then in the bushes and later in the middle of stones many of which still covered in snow, which we had to cross a couple of times
At the same time, the clouds were coming in and as we reached the summit it started drizzling, but the view was still OK.
On the wildlife – we spotted a marmot on the way up, n undefined bird with its kids and no bears.
We then started our descend in the rain which went from drizzle to pouring rain. It took a while to get down, now the roles were different, Johan had no problems (probably the weight helped here), while the others had more problems. Anyway we got down safely, although there were many more creeks now than when we went up.
Big surprise when we came down, the rangers were waiting for us, bear spray ready and we had to move in group – ranger in front, ranger in the back and no noise. They had spotted black bears with 3 cubs and they wanted to give them some space. So, under escort we walked from the last path of the trail to the parking lot. Street was closed ‘BEAR ALERT’, but no bear seen.
So our conclusion so far is that these stories about bears are a tourist trap, but so far we have only seen bears in protected areas, similar to what we have in Belgium. So, there are not really wild bears in Alaska. Makes a good selling of bear spray, pistols etc. and of course good stories.

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This featured blog entry was written by johanmaes from the blog Johan & Hilde(*2) & Lieven Alaska trip.
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By johanmaes

Posted Wed, Jul 24, 2019 | Comments