Day 5: 2 adventures by the 2 Groups: Bear Viewing And fishing on the Spit

We woke up a tad late on Tuesday morning after hitting the sack around 2am. I had to be in town (20 minutes away) by 8:30 for my flight-seeing tour of the glaciers and bears in Katmai park with Bald Mountain Air service along with lunch and water.

My aunt’s place up on Bald Mountain:

Aunt Jeanne\'s Place

I woke up at 7:45, we packed up quickly and were out of the house by eight. I rambled down the hill taking corners far too swiftly in the small SUV and swung through McDonalds picking up 4 Egg McMuffins: 2 for Breakfast, 2 for Lunch. Mission accomplished.

We rolled into the parking lot and the guys dropped me off as I sent them towards the Homer Spit and told them where to fish.

I met up with my Uncle who let me sit Shotgun er… Co-Pilot I suppose on the flight out in his awesome plane:

cockpit

The inside was packed with tourists from all over the world. I met Israelis, Danes, and a few unknowns mixed in with the folks from California and Michigan.

CoPilot

One couple was from a flight magazine and wanted to capture some air-to-air photos between the two planes. This, of course, gave me the opportunity to catch some air-to-air photos:

Air to Air Plane Shot

Air to Air Plane Shot with wing

Air to Air Plane Shot Glacier Background

After roughly an hour, we landed on a small shallow pond and waded to the shore. Hiking through the woods for a bit:

In the Woods

We then hiked up to shore and sat down on some driftwood about a hundred yards from a rotting whale carcass sitting on the beach.

Bears Eating Whale

The carcass had washed up about 3 weeks prior and was acting as a magnet for all of the bears in the area. As a result, there were four or five bears in close proximity when we sat down. I tried to get artsy in a shot but ended up missing the bears… sort of:

Bears Eating Whale Artsy

Some did get quite close though:

Bear Closeup

Bear

Bears Eating Whale Closer

https://i2.wp.com/farm4.static.flickr.com/3043/2609070016_e6daae6860.jpg

One of the females pulled a piece of whale off and tried to go eat it in private when a larger male decided to chase her. We weren’t sure if it was for the meat or because she was in heat. At any rate, I caught a quick video:

The bear, carrying the rotting meat, smelled so foul that the entire group recoiled in disgust.

We hung out a bit more watching bears and eating our lunches within fifty feet of the bears at times. It was pretty amazing. Here’s a shot of the group – the bears were about as far away from the front of the logs as I was from the back of the people

Tourist Smorgasbord

After about four or five hours of bear viewing, we hiked up the beach and I got some shots of footprints and the beach:

Bear Paw Print

There were also prints from wolves and other wildlife all along the course volcanic sand beach.

From there, we hopped back into our plane

Parked on the Lake

And got an up close tour of one of the glaciers

Glacier from Plane

Glacier from Plane 2

Glacier from Plane 3

After riding back for another hour, we did a fly by of homer then landed:

Homer from the Sky

At this point I met up with the guys and heard about their adventures on the Spit that day.

They fished all day and pretty much got skunked but for some small Irish Lords and about a baker’s half dozen Star Fish

Star Fish

Irish Lord

Cousac also caught a Flounder

Cousac with Flounder

They did, however, get to check out the world famous Salty Dawg Saloon

Salty Dawg Saloon

Once their day was done, they came and picked me up. We set up dinner with my aunt and uncle, and drove up the spit to meet up with another Uncle. He showed us his boat in dry-dock and shared a boatload (har har) of fishing stories he’d experienced throughout his years.

Me and my Uncle Pat:

Captain Pat

This is the uncle who worked on the ice roads and sent me the whale photos in earlier posts. (previously)

We spotted a bunch of Bald Eagles hanging out on the Spit:

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle in Flight

One was even in the dumpster and let everyone take a bunch of photos close up:

Bald Eagle in Dumpster

Pretty majestic, huh?

After that, we went to a little Mexican restaurant and had an awesome scratch margarita followed by some Mexican food. We avoided the pizza also listed on the menu… odd.

Driving back up towards Whittier for fishing the next day, we hit the Russian around 9pm. Opting for more fishing versus more sleep, we got out and tried our luck again. Once again it was gorgeous, but we got skunked on the fish.

Cousac Fishing

Driving back towards Girdwood, half of the group passed out in the back seat and I did my best to stay awake while driving. We hit town around 1am and tried to get some sleep in the truck… this proved difficult.

After a quick discussion, we opted to drive down the road 15 minutes and pitch a tent at a local campground. We got the last spot and swiftly made camp. Four hours of sleep later we awoke and made our way back to Girdwood where we were meeting Dave and family for a day of fishing.

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One Response to “Day 5: 2 adventures by the 2 Groups: Bear Viewing And fishing on the Spit”

  1. Day 6: Whittier, fishing, whales, sea lions and more « adventures in obscurity Says:

    […] a solid four hours of sleep at Bird Creek, we drove up the road to Girdwood in time to meet Captain HAL, my cousin, and her […]

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