7.20.2010

Alaska Bear Showdown {Sitka Alaska Photographer}

What started out as a pleasant hike through the woods (Herring Cove Trail, to be exact),

ended as a terrorizing experience Katelyn and I
will never forget.



Even looking at these photos gives me goosebumps because had we known
what was ahead of us . . .


We would've put these pups back on the leash way before, and turned around.










This picture just makes my freeze in fright . . . literally 45 seconds after I took this pic . . .

our friend, Grizz, decided to stalk us for almost a half an hour.

Can you see Grizz, back there?
( I just hate that Katelyn looks so vulnerable and that we were both completely unaware . . .it's just so unsettling.)


Can you see him now???!!


Yikes!
Now, Grizz was probably just a curious bear, but he got WAY too close.
You see, Grizz doesn't know what personal space is.
He just kept walking towards us.
(Well, RAN after us after we instinctively started screaming and running
before remembering you DO NOT RUN . . . the brain's frontal lobe takes a little bit of time to stop your instincts!)

Grizz probably sensed our panic despite our trying to appear big and tall. I had Bear Spray hooked to my backpack, ready to "shoot", but then Grizz would stop walking towards us and stare at us. Then he would stand on his hind legs to show us back how big HE was.

We must've yelled "GO AWAY BEAR!!!" hundreds of times.
We would slowly walk, slowly, slowly and then Grizz decided to play a game, called "Circle the prey". Where we would go, he would go around and block us.

Finally,
We thought God answered our prayers. But after we had cautiously walked about oh, I don't know 50 yards or so?? No sign of Grizz.

Then . . . THERE HE IS AGAIN!!!!! I caught him spying on us through the loop of a big tree root. Eyes right on me.

Seriously!!!!
With great trepidation and desperation we resorted to pleading loudly "God, PLEASE make this bear go away!! PLEASE!!!"

I do not know exactly how long this game went on for.
But I do know that when we were finally, ever so tentatively, certain that Grizz had gone away for good, we had an extremely loud conversation, made as MUCH noise as possible, scurried towards the trail head as rapidly as possible . . . and got to my Pathfinder and cried.

So thankful that Grizz decided we were not good food.

PLEASE always take precautions hiking, fishing, berry picking, whatever . . . in the wild.
Needless to say, I've been reading up on bear safety. We did some "correct" things and some "wrong" things . . . but one thing is true: No one's bear story is the same. These creatures are WILD and unpredictable and deserve our appreciation.

Here are some links:

Bring a rifle and LOTS of Bear spray. Please.

For serious.
I'm not kidding.
at all.




Really.

13 comments:

KATRINA said...

Special K is so glad you're both safe! Greetings from Finland.

xo

Jan said...

What an experience! It was not your time to go...Hugs from me : )

Anonymous said...

Wow - so freaky. I'm so happy you're both safe! Be careful up there!!

Ginger

Anonymous said...

So glad you're both safe! Love you lots! Lindsey

Lori said...

Oh my gosh!!! That is crazy...I was freaking out just reading the story! Glad you made it back safely.

Pietila Family said...

Wow. I imagine you were probably feeling a bit shaky after that. Glad to hear it ended well! Certainly a good reminder to be prepared both physically and mentally in bear country. Have there been a lot of bear sightings again this year?

Anna (IDC) said...

Crazy!! Can't believe you got a picture of it in the background. Hope you are enjoying yourself otherwise in Alaska. When are you coming back to Minnesota for good? ;)

Anonymous said...

wow! I've come back and looked at this like 5 times...so scary!

Julie said...

Oh my gosh! That's crazy. Loved all the green and the water photos. Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Ginger told us the story on sunday and it gave me the chills!!! scary!! Hans just heard a guy at work had a run in with a bear in montana!! glad you guys are ok!
-Janelle J

Tara said...

Beautiful pictures, scary situation! So glad you are both safe.

Amanda Kay said...

Goodness gracious! Scary stuff! You're pictures are beautiful!

~ Junkyard Jennifer said...

So, so scary! Mark told me about this a while back but I'm finally getting on here to read it myself.

Reading it makes my heart race. I'm so glad you girls are okay! God was watching out for you!

~ Jennifer