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Adventures with Bears

After we had gained some experience backpacking in the Alaska Range we decided to try our luck on the Alaska Peninsula. Without knowing it we headed to the very best place possible for seeing bears fishing for salmon. We also spent 3 weeks canoing through the fantastic Savanoski wilderness. How we survived the physical rigors I will never know?

1/13 : We saw our first brown bear 5 min after we were dropped off by the float-plane.
An image of  a  high wing floatplane being  turned around physically by the pilot so he could take off. In the foreground is a young brown bear which the pilot is watching carefull while he works at rotating the aircraft.
2/13 : We hired a canoe at Katmai HQ. We had no idea how physically demanding this would be!
An image of Paul and Clarissa Augustinus in their canoe prior to setting off. In the background is the vast expanse of a frigid Alaskan glacial lake.
3/13 : At first the sun came out and it was very calm as we set off to cross 10 km. of water to the opposite shore.
 An Image of Paul Augustinus paddeling a canoe, taken by Clarissa Augustinus in the front of the canoe. The lake surface is like a mirror and the sun out.
4/13 : We tried to catch some salmon on that first day.
An image of Clarissa Augustinus casting a spinner into the water while I paddle at the back.
5/13 : Alaskan weather is very fickle. By late afternoon we were only half way across and the water became choppy.
An image of  a lake and mountain scene with grey choppy water and cloudy sky. Foreboding!
6/13 : Much later we found a small island just off shore from stream mouth.
An image of Paul Augustinus unloading the canoe. Equipment lies all about on the gravel bar.
7/14 : We made a very idyllic camp there. Fantastic wilderness, incredible scenery.
An image of Clarissa Augustinus sitting on the shore where thay had  pitched their tent in the undergrowth of the island. The sun is deceptively warm and sunny.
8/13 : We took the risk of eating meals inside our tent when it was raining.
An image of Clarissa Augustinus inside the entrance of the small tent eating the supper we had heated up on a small white spirit camping stove.
9/13 : On the mainland there was a small stream where we saw some brown bears chasing salmon.
An image of  a brown bear looking up from where it is fishing in a very narrow fast flowing stream
10/13 : Red foxes were common and constantly on the lookout for discarded salmon pieces left behind by the bears.
An image of a red fox looking inquisitively through some vegetation towards the viewer.
11/13 : We had to be on the lookout for the bears that constantly patrolled the lake shoreline.
An image of a bear and half-grown cub walking along a rocky shoreline with the lake in the background.
12/13 : The slopes above the lake-shore. It was a wilderness wonderland that had extreme beauty.
An image of Clarissa Augustinus walking through some long grass studded with beautiful clumps of purple flowers on a mountain slope.
13/13 : The mountains surrounding where we were camped were all volcanic cones.
An aerial image of  a volcanic cone in the Alaska Range in the region where Paul Augustinus was camped. It is still active and the snow is tinged yellow with sulphurous deposits.

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