Right before leaving Alaska, on the shores of a lake, already inside the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, I stopped to have some tea.
Each day I’m more and more in tune with the needs of my body and stopping to eat is one demand I don’t ignore.
In the main visitor center of Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge. The park was developed to protect an important wildlife resting and nesting spot for migratory birds.
It had been a tiring day. It was the day I’d ridden 10 hours to be able to sleep where I wanted: on the border. I really wanted this to be my last day in Alaska.
There were some islands on the other side of the placid lake. The frost-bitten grasses gave a golden appearance to the shore of the lake.
Many noisy, rowdy ducks made a ruckus in the water. I got some water from the lake to boil and washed my face. What cold water! How can these ducks stand it?!
With my mug in hand and accompanied by dear Paul, we sat down to watch the scenery when suddenly I saw a ball of brown fur on the far shore, in the golden grass. Could it be a fox?
Drinking tea with Paul by the lake where I saw my first family of bears.
I ran to get my binoculars and camera. I noted how far away the other shore was. With my binoculars to my eyes I saw it! A bear! A bear!
And there was something more. He was doing something! Could he be eating a rabbit?
No… It was moving, too… oh, no! It’s a cub!!! It was a female with a cub! He was jumping and rolling in the grass while his mother was digging, probably looking for insects and roots. She was really focused on what she was doing while her cub, unconcerned, jumped to reach what looked like a butterfly.
While watching the mother and her cub, I saw something jump on the cub. What! Could it a predator? Discovery Channel! Live! What was that?! I can’t believe it! A little brother! There are two cubs! Now they’re wrestling each other while their mother occasionally looks at them to see if everything is all right.
They don’t sense our presence. The wind in our favor makes us safer. I see I know a little more about bear safety than Paul does, we soon see why. He’s travelling by truck and his camper is mounted on his truck, 3 feet from the ground. All his supplies and food are locked in the vehicle.
I position my camera to try to take photos, but I was so far away…I wasn’t able to get any pictures.
Well everyone, sorry to say, but as with the majority of the beauties of this journey, my first family of wild bears will have to be only in my memories.