Before we begin I want to reference the Bears of Brooks River 2018 reference guide. Indeed, all these bears are well-documented. So if you see me refer to them by their number, more information can be found in this reference.
This trip sort of started way back in January. January 5th 12:00 AKST to be exact. That is the precise time registration opens for the coveted Katmai Campground. It only holds 60 spots, and it seems that the whole world wants them during the month of July. Attempting to coordinate with a friend (Tim), we were set on grabbing the second week. But that date literally filled up in seconds. Almost suspiciously fast. Alas, we were pushed off our goal of visiting peak season and had to settle for the last week of July into early August. Here’s hoping that the salmon run…runs late.
Watching the Maple Fire from a distance, I was curious what it looked like from the roadside, since the map showed it so close. Also that bison carcass at LeHardy Rapids was getting some attention. So, I thought to use up my free Saturday on a quick day trip.
Just in the park for the a day, but it was great meeting up with people I’ve gotten to know over the last couple summers and also catching up with the latest Wapiti drama. The goal for the day was to see them interacting with the Mollies, and maybe get a picture with them all together.
I arrived at Bridge Bay around 9pm Friday. It was already dark from cloud cover, so I went to the ranger presentation instead of heading out for a sunset shoot. Most campsites will have them nightly, and it’s usually an interpretive ranger talking about wolves, bison, park history, etc. Tonight it’s wolves and their history in the park – informative. I also got his opinion on some recent Jackson news I found interesting (and controversial).