Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wolf and Me and the Bears

We are home tonight after a wonderful four days of much-needed relaxation and celebration in Homer. Relaxation after and before a busy summer (with weeks of travel ahead of us and weeks behind us), celebration of Yukon's conquering the 50th birthday. I can say, howeve, we were not counting on Wolf to spring into the middle of all this in the way he has...

I stated in my last post that I was about to hop aboard a plane and fly over to see some bears. I did that, but I also addressed two fears. I hate small planes and, up until last Thursday, hated bears (I say that with all due respect to their existence, just not my existence among them). Convincing me to board a teeny-tiny little airplane and fly across the Gulf of Alaska to Katmai National Park and Hallo Bay Bear Camp to see bears close-up, on purpose, filled me with fear (thus the other reason I was up all night Wednesday; there, it's out).

Flew on the small plane with four other souls and the pilot. Landed on a remote, sandy beach pockmarked with bear and wolf tracks. Hiked through a peaty bog to a lush, green, beautiful meadow where I saw Mother Nature's bear-children engaging in their own version of family dynamics. Complicated, painful, and utterly epic in their scope and importance.

My jaw dropped. My brain whirled. My hatred cleared.

I saw animals just trying to survive. I saw females fighting for their rights. I saw neediness and joy and jealousy, and anger.

Then my own kid's struggles came into perspective.

1 comment:

Marge said...

Your bear encounter sounds like it was a healthy experience for you. What incredible creatures they are, from a distance! We watched them for hours down by Hyder and Stewart B.C.

I've taken that water taxi over to Seldovia. Love Outside Beach....we spent two summers on the hill overlooking the beach when we were hosts in the campground there.

Hope you'll have time to post during your upcoming travels.