Excellent Adventures Heads North To Alaska…

This is my eighth year in Katmai, Alaska to photograph the bears. When my friends, Ted & Joan told me about the wonderful lodge in the middle of nowhere with amazing bear photography I had to check it out and since that first visit I have made my annual pilgrimage to the last frontier where you can photograph the gentle giants of Alaska, the Coastal Brown Bears as they go about their daily lives. It’s an adventure just getting to the lodge with the weather and tides games that we have to play. There has to be a 300 foot ceiling for the float planes to fly and we have to arrive when the tides are relatively high so we can get out gear from the plane to our cabins. Well, the fine pilots at Andrews Air got us to the lodge safely in two Beavers and a 206…

Our home for the next week is a remote lodge in the Alaskan Wilderness…

But before you think we are totally roughing it, I have to disclose that we have hot running water and flush toilets in our cabins, great guides Perry and Chris who bust their butts getting us to the bears, a real sweetheart of a person, Angela, who keeps things running smoothly at the lodge and Dan, a gourmet chef who will fill our tummies with delicious food. He had home made corned beef sandwiches waiting for us when we arrived. And these weren’t just any corned beef sandwiches, he baked the bread, corned the beef (whatever that means), made the horseraddish from scratch…well you get the idea. And that was just lunch. But, I get ahead of myself…before we could even unpack and sit down to lunch we had two bears near the lodge sparring…

and watching us watch them as if to say “What, you’ve never seen a bear before?”…

All this happened in the first minutes of our arrival. The two bears which look to be a mated pair spent the afternoon appearing and disappearing around the lodge. We got settled in, photographed the bears off and on all afternoon and had a wonderful dinner of salmon, pork, polenta with Rosemary, a salad and a delicious baked apple treat that Dan “whipped” up before everyone headed off to our cabins to dream about the bears, sea otters, harbor seals, eagles, kittiwakes, puffins, and maybe whales that we will have the opportunity to aim our lenses at over the next week. I can hardly wait to see what’s in store for us. Stay tuned…

Images captured with Nikon D3X, AF-S 24-70mm, &0-200mm, TC-14E II on Lexar Digital Media.