To get to the bears of Pack Creek took a bit of work. It started in Juneau with a 30-minute ride on a floatplane (a little six-seater plane on skis) to Admiralty Island.
The floatplane lands on the water, and then the pilot paddles it in to bring it closer to shore.
The view from the co-pilot's (that would be me) seat was spectacular! And the landing was much softer than on land.
Our kayaks were waiting for us on a remote beach on Windfall Island for the two-mile paddle to Pack Creek along the Seymour Canal. As always, I loved being on the water, but was terrified of going underwater, so I was paddling like the dickens to get back to land.
We had the option of stashing our backpacks between our legs or in the little compartments at either end of the kayak. Thinking I would like to have my camera within reach, I opted for between the legs, not realizing that meant my legs would be pinned in by the backpack. So all the way across, all I could think about was the kayak flipping over, and me being trapped underneath it! Lesson learned: next time, the pack goes in the back.
We hung out for over an hour watching bears amble over the tidal estuary in search of salmon. Admiralty Island is home to the largest concentration of brown bears in North America; there are over 1,600 of them roaming the island. Lunch was followed by a one-mile hike through the lush Tongass National Forest to another creek where hundreds of chum salmon were running. ("Chum" is a type of salmon; it doesn't mean they were buddies...) :-)
An observation tower over the creek gave us a good view of the water below, where hundreds of chum salmon were running. The close-up of the bear in my previous post was taken from this spot.
Me at the top of the tower, watching for bears below. Then, it was back to another hike, paddle, and floatplane back to Juneau.
Pack Creek, Admiralty Island, Hoonah-Angoon, Alaska.