Saturday, May 16, 2015

No Lions Or Tigers, But Bears. And Moose. And . . .

I'm pretty sure these are the same bears we saw on Wednesday.  But this time they were out of the brush, clearly visible, and on a mission.  They walked with purpose.  I'm just not sure what it was.  Along the Savage River just before it goes under the bridge at the end of the paved road in Denali National Park.  Then up onto the road, through the parking lot and up the mountain.  They didn't run, but they sure got up the mountain fast. 

Having hiked up a couple of miles earlier that day (this was Thursday), we were well aware of how much faster they got up the hill than we had.  We found out later that the trail we took - from near the Savage River campground - the Savage Alpine Trail actually ends four miles away at this spot where the bears ended up.  

Fortunately, we didn't see any bears while we were hiking - though they had something in mind and it didn't seem to be people.  But we did see Dall sheep on the hill above us.

Actually, on Thursday we saw the bears, the dall sheep, caribou (there were lots of caribou), and moose.  Despite seeing moose fairly regularly in Anchorage, it's still neat to seem them out in the wilderness as well. 

Then on Friday, we went back to the Savage River trail and on the way back, J shouted from behind "Stop!'  She pointed ahead of me and there was a caribou coming across the trail about 25 feet ahead of me. 

There were four more after that.  One at a time, each carefully checked us out and then crossed the trail.

And then there were a few ground squirrels who were not at all shy.  Suggesting they'd learned that people were a source of food. 

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