"The Real Alaska" — by Nancy Hoyt Belcher

Nancy Hoyt Belcher‘s article “The Real Alaska” was published in the March, 2010, issue of Highways Magazine.  Her story begins:


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Wrangell/St. Elias National Park, Alaska (photo ©  Nancy Hoyt Belcher)
Wrangell/St. Elias National Park, Alaska (photo © Nancy Hoyt Belcher)


“After years of feeling jealous when friends raved about their bear sightings in Alaska, I finally had my turn. And what a turn—not just a chance sighting where the bear is a speck on the horizon but frequent close-up encounters.

“When I reached the Anan Wildlife Observatory viewing shelter, a mother black bear was rubbing her shoulder against the trunk of a Sitka spruce less than 10 feet from the stairs to the platform while her cub peered down from an overhead branch.

“I waited until mom ambled away before I went up the stairs to the platform then peered straight down at the cascading falls of Anan Creek where three bears perching on boulders watched salmon leap up the river. Every so often, a paw would sweep swiftly into the water and bring up a meal.

“From early July to September, Anan Creek, an ancient Tlingit fishing site located on the northern shore of the Cleveland Peninsula, hosts the largest pink salmon run in southeast Alaska. The fish, in turn, host (so to speak) large concentrations of black bears and bald eagles, as well as some grizzlies. . .”

To read all of her tale where “it’s easy to get off the radar on Wrangell Island. Take the ferry–with your RV–and make port in a place where bears outnumber people,” click on Highways here.



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