Sunday, February 19, 2012

Alaska Please Don't Eat Me

So OBN has a writing prompt asking what would be or was your scariest outdoor experience.

It was June 2011. I was on a boat trip heading from Ketchikan, Alaska to Juneau, Alaska. We were taking two weeks to go from point A to point B. I told the captain (who happened to be my Dad) that I wanted to stop along the way and do some fresh water fly fishing. I had some success in one small stream but was having some issues finding something to bite my dry flies.

We stopped at this one spot which had a nice sized river coming into the bay we were anchored.  So I tried talking my wife into going on a hike with me. But since she had already gone on a few death marches with me on this trip with little to no results, she said no. However, I was able to convince my Dad to drop me off as far up river as possible with the dingy.

The pointy eared creature
So after Dad hit a few rocks with the boat motor he kicked me out into the tall green grass of the salt marsh, with just my fly fishing rod and a camera. My goal was to get above the tide line to fish fresh water without any influence of salt water. I stayed in touch with the big boat via a handheld radio. As I walked though the deep grass knowing full well I was in grizzly bear, black bear, wolf, and moose habitat, I came up with a song to sing while walking through the grass.

Please Bear don't eat me.
Don't eat me because I'm skinny and tough.
I promise Mr. Bear you won't enjoy me.
Please Bear don't eat me.

I sang this over and over at the top of my lungs as I walked.

I came around a corner and there they were two black creatures staring at me. They had pointed snouts and their ears stood up as they were alerted to my presence by my singing. The only thing I could think of was Oh shit I just walked up on two black wolves and they now know they have an easy dinner. I knew I could not out run them so I pulled out my camera and I figured well when they find my body they will see the pictures of what ate me.

Then the two creatures stood up on their hind legs, and I thought wow these are some talented wolves. Then it hit me Oh Thank God they are just black bears. So of course I stuck around and got some more photos of the two.

The fishing hike ended when after an hour and a half of walking I was still in the salt marsh and I had a moose bolt out in front of me.  I also had to meet up with Dad before too long to get a ride back to the big boat.

This was not my only close encounter with bears in the Alaskan Wilderness this trip, just the one that got my heart going the fastest.

Another bear encounter later in the trip.


  1. I'm glad it wasn't me having that experience! Awesome pic of the three bears.

  2. Looking back it was kind of cool. I got some great pics in Alaska and had some great times.

  3. You are really a brave man. Nice song and captured images.