ALASKA

 

The Kodiak Archipelago seems like Alaska at it’s best.  A harbor full of fishing boats.  Colorful numbered crab pot marking buoys scattered within eyesight each place one goes.  Fishing nets catch their prey in the many bays surrounding the “Emerald Isle”.  The greenest mountains and deep blue sea covered by an ever changing moody sky create extraordinary beauty. 

 

 

Kodiak Island is a home to thousands of Eagles.   They have been called Alaska’s seagull and are in the trees and skies everywhere.  Here one of them is screeching to warn us to stay away from it's nest.  It was interesting to me that such a magnificently beautiful bird made such an unpleasant sound. 

This area of the world is known for giant Kodiak Brown Bears, the largest are over 8 feet from nose to end of tail and standing over 11 feet on hind legs.  They spend most of their time out of the den eating berries and grasses.  They are imposing.  

  The majority of Kodiak bears live in the 1.3 million acres of the Island National Wildlife Refuge that is only reachable by air

  or boat charter.  We opted for the pontoon-equipped airplane.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracking a giant Kodiak is surreal.  We walked as a close knit group stopping when the bear looked at us, and stooping if the stare of the bear continued.  In this manner we communicated we were not aggressive and did not warrant being attacked and eaten.  Following these guidelines for three hours resulted in coming within 100 feet.   Watching them watching us watching them was really an experience beyond description.  

We walked through ancient moss covered forests on the beautiful Island.  We also experienced vistas taking in the mighty mountains.

The first Utility Scale wind farm in Alaska is on Pillar Mountain just above the town of Kodiak. Kodiak Electric hopes to have 95% of its electricity generated by renewable power by 2020. From ancient woods to the contemporary use of wind, what a treat to experience. Even a heard of buffalo graces some roads on the island. While maneuvering through them I was reminded of being in Yellowstone. Finally the areas of plant life and the beaches were calming places to visit. Wild flowers, gentle waves, soft wind, time for quiet reflection about the wonder of it all.