Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Visited by a Grizzly on Lake Laberge: Day 3 of the Yukon River Trip

I heard a rustling on shore this morning, and a big grizzly sniffed his way out of the the treeline.  Looking out our back window, I could tell that he noticed us right away.  We made some noise, and he scampered away back through the trees.  This bear instantly created a deeper, more obsessive vigilance in me.  Moments later, I spotted him out of the front of our boat poking out of the treeline in a different and much close place.  Instinct caused me to slam the lid to my storage box/bed three times as hard as I could, which caused the bear to dash back into the woods.  Though we never saw him again, we felt his presence for a long while.  The birds and their warning calls told us he was still watching us.  

Jake Standing Guard after the Second Visit from the Grizzly 
(Notice I'm back in the cabin; I didn't dare step out as Jake did.)

The calm, alluring waters of Lake Laberge had us fooled.

Lake Laberge (along with the warm sun) beckoned us out onto her cool waters this morning with her silky surface.  We saw our second boat since entering the lake.  Most of our miles gave us a lazy vacation feel; one of us ran the trolling motor, and the other paddled (still our max speed was about 3-4 mph).  The winds later picked up, changing the smooth surface to a choppy mess.  We ended our travel earlier than expected and exhausted our arms as we fought the winds and waves all the way to shore.  

The rainbow was a nice contrast to the beginning of the winds and choppy waves.  (Notice the start of whitecaps forming.)

Our new camp spot was not as desirable as last night's.  The shoreline was narrow and if seated on shore, it was impossible to see up the small embankment.  There was also a huge rock structure at each end.  I felt this gave the bears a definite advantage; they would be on top of us before we even sensed their arrival.  The waves continued to beat and bang our boat around all night long on the rocky beach bottom.  We crossed our fingers that the Sundowner would float the next morning.  

Our New Campsite

Me Thoroughly Scanning the Shore before Jumping off the Boat

A Look at the Waves out of Our Back Window

Jake Scouting out a Less Choppy Place to Anchor the Boat

My muscles are still very sore, and I'm still very hungry much of the time.

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