Chasing Bears or Butterflies

By , July 6, 2010

While we were in town to celebrate Independence Day with Beth and Kim, we took Marissa out to Chilkoot River to see some bears. I got talked into it, but I wasn’t hopeful; I find that going to look for bears rarely leads to success.

Sure enough, we drove slowly up the river to Chilkoot Lake, and slowly drove back. People were fishing the river, and someone from Fish & Game manned the weir, sitting patiently with a dip net to catch sample fish as they funneled through. But, as I expected, no bears.

Before going home, to make the trip a bit more worthwhile, we decided to drive by a friend’s house we knew to be for sale. When we drove up to see the house, I glanced out over the beach across the road, and there, by golly, was a young brown bear, padding across the sand! We watched it mosey along for about 5 minutes in the evening light.

Our "4th of July" bear on Lutak Beach, north of Haines, Alaska (Photo: Michelle Zeiger).

This was Marissa’s first look at a live bear in the wild, so we were all excited, satisfied, and gratified. I guess bears are like butterflies; if you chase them, they’ll allude you, but if you turn your mind to other things, they’ll come to you.

You know, that’s a much more comforting thought when applied to butterflies than to bears!

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