Monday, September 5, 2011

Silver Salmon Creek Lodge and Lake Clark National Park–Coastal Brown Bears and Salmon

The trip from Anchorage to Silver Salmon Creek Lodge started out in the office of the plane company that was to fly us up there. It was raining in Anchorage and the reports from the Salmon Creek Lodge were there was very low visibility, so we were placed on hold. The problem was, if we were not able to leave by 2 o'clock, we would not be able to go at all because of the tides; the planes must land on the beach at the Lodge. Finally, around noon time a pilot that had a DE Havilland Beaver felt that it would be safe to fly and we loaded up the plane with 450 pounds of baggage and the 5 participants. We flew from Anchorage to Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, probably at 500 feet, keeping below the clouds and follow the coastline. As we grew closer to the Lodge area, which is in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve the rain stopped, and we landed without any incident.Mountain and Cloudscenes of the Mountains behind the Lodgemountainmountains_ROT0183  NIKON D3S August 31, 2011 We were taken to the Lodge, into which you cannot wear shoes, assigned rooms, unpacked, and went to lunch.  Our guide Rick gave us safety instruction on how to position ourselves so that we would not be in any danger from the bears.

As the tide came in it came right up to the lawn of the lodge. High Tide 2_HDR2  NIKON D300S August 31, 2011This evening was the highest tide of the year at 22.3 feet. After the tide started receding , we got our camera gear together and went out and started to photograph the bears. bear_ROT0148  NIKON D3S August 31, 2011xBear in Water_ROT0394  NIKON D3S August 31, 2011bear walking_ROT0521  NIKON D3S August 31, 2011Brown Bear Swimming_ROT0605  NIKON D3S August 31, 2011untitled_ROT0806  NIKON D3S August 31, 2011Bear in WoodsMSB_9945  NIKON D300S August 31, 2011Our transportation was an ATV to which carts were attached which we were seated in and carried our gear.and photographed until around 10 PM. Everyone went to bed tired. So ended day one