Friday, July 29, 2011

Last Day Together and Bear Sightings

I must apologize in advance for this rather long post. Thursday was the last day for the remaining 5 rigs and 10 people of our “Last Frontier Gang” to be together. Don and I spent part of the day at the SE Alaska State Fair nearby. The Southeast part of Alaska includes Juneau (the capital), Haines, Skagway, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Sitka, etc. People from the other cities take boats or planes here for the fair, as there are no roads in and out of most of them.


We noticed there’s a dog contest on Saturday, but the ‘No Dogs Allowed’ sign might mean there won’t be any contestants.


There were exhibits for arts and crafts.




Interested in a pop tab corset?


How about earrings made from computer keys?


There were musicians.


There was a petting zoo and lots of cute kids.


This little guy just couldn’t stop dancing, even when his sister and mother wanted to move on.


There were Bubbles.


About 20 women did a Zumba-fitness demonstration.


Pat joined in. Is that why her knee hurts today?


I learned how glass beads are made and bought a few.


And, of course, there was food.


That evening we shared a potluck dinner in the Elks Lodge and talked with the Exalted Ruler about life in Alaska. Carol and Dennis gave Don this cute moose bobble toy for his upcoming birthday, since they won’t be with us then. It will look cute on his desk.


Several of us drove out to watch the bears. We picked up Karen and Fran to go with us. We arrived just as the sow and two cubs were coming up from the river to the road.


This section of road has been reserved for bears, and rangers are on hand to keep people and bears apart.


The bears found fish trapped by the weir to make their hunt for dinner easy.


Every fish that passes through the opening in the weir is counted. When there’s no person out there counting, the weir is closed and fish have to wait for it to open again. People who take on this duty seem to be ignored by the bears, so they get over their fear of being mauled. Rangers are usually nearby, too.


Mama did most of the fishing (she’s in the water near the center of this picture) and passed the catch up to her cubs on the walkway.


This little guy decided to take his “to go.”


But he didn’t have a good hold on the slippery fish, so he ate it on the road.


Mama didn’t have patience, so she left him while she went into the woods.


She realized nobody was following her, so she came back and eventually all 3 of them went into the woods.


We enjoyed the “show” and agreed that we’ve never been closer to wild animals in their natural habitat.


We felt reasonably safe with two rangers nearby, but the woman ranger cautioned us when we were standing on the other side of the road, as the bears could be just on the other side of the trees. We quickly crossed back to the safe side!


Mary &  Gary, Carol & Dennis, and Marilyn & Larry all pulled out this morning heading for Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Pat & Jim are leaving on a ferry in the morning, headed for Juneau and other cities along the Inside Passage. We’ll take a ferry to Skagway tomorrow night, then join Marilyn & Larry to drive the Cassiar Highway southward. We’ll meet up again with some of our group, but the “Last Frontier Gang” has officially disbanded. It’s been a great time together, but the adventure’s not yet over for us.


  1. WOW Great photos... Loved it!
    Continue to have fun and Travel safe

  2. I loved the crafts--especially the pop-top corset! Can you imagine wearing that in the winter? Cute idea for the earrins. Enjoyed the bear photos! Wow! Boy, another birthday for Don? He is getting old! Enjoy your ferry ride! Hugs, C

  3. Great pics, once again. I'd bet your entire Alaska adventure is the trip of a lifetime! You sure have seen a lot of great sights and seem to have had a great time with all your traveling friends too.

    Just watch out for those Bears!

  4. Great pics, Sharon. Thanks again for taking us out to see the bears. It was a highlight for us. Enjoy your ferry ride tonight. It's shaping up to be a beautiful day here in Juneau (sunshine!) so should be nice up the canal as well. Hope to see you both this winter in AZ.


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