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Adventures of a wildlife photographer

August 24, 2012

Photo by Rocky Holland – This young brown bear decided to fish next to our float plane on our arrival to “Katmai National Park.”

This is part nine of my 2011 Alaskan wilderness photographic adventure. We have traveled from Fairbanks, through Denali National Park, down the Alaskan railroad to Anchorage, stopping briefly for an overnight stop to catch my breath, and then heading southeast towards the village of Seward.  South of Anchorage we stopped in the village of Girdwood. This was to be our one luxury stop of our trip. Our stay for a day and a half would be at the beautiful Aleyska resort. With luxury rooms, indoor pool and access to the chairlifts, the stay was nice reprieve from the fast pace that we were used to. We spent a day photographing some great mountain scenery, and spotted a great horned owl hunting in the daylight. The next day we were on our way towards Seward where the scenic vistas were breathtaking. I had thought from the beginning of my trip that I would catch a few catnaps while riding the bus to our next destinations. This never happened, as I found myself sitting at the front of the bus, taking in every sight at every turn in the road. I felt like a ten year old at Disney World trying to take everything in, but with one exception. This wasn’t make believe.
Leaving the beautiful Kenai Fjords we were now making our way back to the city of Anchorage where we would spend the rest of the day relaxing in preparation for our next leg on this great adventure. In the morning we would be flying to southwest Alaska to a small airport called King Salmon, then on to Katmai National Park. This is the part of the trip that I dreamed of for many years. Although I did get to photograph Polar Bears near Hudson Bay years ago, I always wondered how I could ever top that adventure. People would often ask me what I would like to photograph next, and my answer would always be a giant Alaskan brown bear. I had a feeling this might be my best opportunity, because where we were going next was the home of an estimated 2000 brown bears. I did see my first Grizzly in Denali, but at a great distance. My goal was to get a bit closer for the ultimate bear shot without becoming lunch for one of these hungry giants!

See full article by purchasing the Aug. 25 edition of The Kane Republican.

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