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Day Six: Ketchikan

Posted on Friday, September 18th, 2009

Dave!I don't believe in luck.

That being said, I have been incredibly lucky all-around on this trip. Landed in Juneau... POURING RAIN! But then it stops just in time to trek on the Mendenhall Glacier. Arrive in Skagway... POURING RAIN! But then it slows to barely a drizzle when it's time to raft through the Chilkat Eagle Preserve. Floating through Glacier Bay... POURING RAIN AND IMPENETRABLE MIST! But then, just as the ship arrives at the Margerie Glacier, the sun breaks through and we have perfect visibility. And then this morning, dock at Ketchikan... POURING RAIN AND MORE MIST! But then, after a half-hour or so, it pretty much stops.

As I said, unbelievably lucky.

And then there was today's excursion, which was a float-plane flight to Neets Bay to look at bears...

Float-Plane Flight to Neets Bay, Alaska

Misty Alaska

Neets Bay Fish Ladder

And then I got so unfuckingbelievably lucky that I should probably buy lottery tickets immediately.

Because usually on nature sightseeing trips, there are odds that you won't get to see any wildlife at all. I booked the earliest bear-watch tour I could get since I was told the odds were better in the morning, but even that was no guarantee.

But I was lucky, again, because there were bears to be seen. And it was pretty much as I expected. Little bears off in the distance, looking for food...

Momma Bear and Baby Bear

What I didn't expect was to see a bear up close...

River Bear

I certainly didn't anticipate being just 30 feet away either...

Bear in the Bush

And I about shit myself when I saw bears just 15 feet away...

Wet Bear

Bear Says

So you can imagine how I nearly lost all control over my bodily functions when I saw a momma bear and baby bear in a tree just 10 feet overhead...

Momma Bear in a Tree

As I said, unfuckingbelievably lucky. Having a Bald Eagle show up as I was leaving was just icing on the cake...

American Bald Eagle in a Tree

Then the float-plane arrived to take our group back to Ketchikan... where the rain started pouring again...

Float Plane Landing in Neets Bay

Back in Ketchikan

Eagle Statue in front of the Norwegian Pearl Ship

Maybe I should start believing in luck after all.


  1. Mrs RW says:

    Seeing bears 10 feet overhead would’ve been the end of me – or bear food, whichever came first.

  2. Tug says:

    I’d have totally stroked out & ended up bear dinner – holy shit! Totally enjoying seeing Alaska through your lens…absolutely stunning!

  3. claire says:

    Wow! I’m glad the weather if behaving so well for you.

    Love the bear in tree shot, so relaxed. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your trip. I’ve really been enjoying all the photos.

  4. Jennifer B says:

    Glad you are having a good time in the Greatland and yes, you are lucky. But even those of us lucky enough to live here get excited when we see bears and eagles, and we see them a lot! Too bad you didn’t come to the Kenai Peninsula. Our weather has been pretty good this week.

  5. Colleen says:

    Buy that lottery ticket! I grew up in Ketchikan and can attest to the frequent rain — you lucked out with the weather. The bears? The salmon ARE running right now, so you really just chose the right time of year to go to Neets Bay.

  6. Sarah says:

    Dude. That’s awesome.

  7. Robin says:

    Bears are awesome! I hope you bought lotto tickets in town before the boat left the dock….you just may be a winner!

  8. I’m soooo happy that your trip has gone so well! It’s my favorite vacation ever, and I wasn’t even on it. 🙂

  9. Crail00 says:

    Truly, truly lucky; along with great photos. Although further south, somewhat reminds me of my years in Dawson Creek, BC (Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway).


  10. Sybil Law says:

    I LOVE that you’re having such a great, lucky time, and that I get to see the beautiful pictures!!

  11. Jules says:

    Wow, the pictures are incredible. I love your trips!! Enjoy.

  12. yellojkt says:

    We were that close to a momma bear and a cub in Yellowstone. Fortunately we were in a car at the time. That is waaay too close.

  13. Jeff says:

    Damn… I totally thought you were going to say, “but then suddenly our plane crashed and we were nearly killed.” See that would have been ironic, what with all the luck you were having beforehand. Get it?


  14. Robin says:

    It’s good karma. This is your payback for all the good you do. Looks like a great vacation!

  15. isthatlulu says:

    I’ve been an avid Blogography follower for years. Not usually one to make comments, but this is an exception.

    I have lived vicariously through you, traveling to so many wonderful places, seeing things I will never see in person.

    This is my favorite vacation! The photos you have taken are breathtaking, the colors are unbelievable. Glacier Bay-fantastic. Just wanted to say thank you!!

  16. Hilly says:

    Wow, that is amazing! That baby bear is so damned cute…even though I am sure he could shred me in 2.2 seconds. 🙂

  17. The Ref says:

    Dude, that’s one amazing day of luck and one day of amazing sights and photos.

    Hope you are having a great trip.

  18. Nenette says:

    You know, I was expecting you to say “Then we saw the bears, and *that’s* when my luck ran out!” 🙂
    Glad I was wrong.

    Your vacation has been lovely… very happy that you’ve taken us along!

  19. Finn says:

    Excellent! Terrific pictures. I’m so loving this!

  20. Catherine says:

    Fantastic, omg!

    Although I now have the Princess Marguerite jingle stuck in my head. I really loved visiting Victoria as a kid & you’ve inspired me to think about going again. I wonder if Laura Secord Chocolates is still in the lobby of the Empress. Mmm.

  21. holy fucking four leaf clover up your butt, batman! fantastic!!

  22. That’s just amazing.

  23. martymankins says:

    Bears, Seagulls and Eagles, Oh My!

    Lucky… lucky guy.

  24. “And I about shit myself when I saw bears just 15 feet away…”

    So, the question begs, does a Dave shit in the woods? Yes, if he sees bears. 😛

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