2022 Alaska and the Inside Passage – Part 7 – Bear Country and Wildlife Expedition in Ketchikan

August 29, 2022 – Shortly after the ship docked in Ketchikan we boarded a bus for a scenic drive to Herring Cove in the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary. The tour started with a nature walk on an easy path through the forest to raised boardwalks beside Eagle Creek. Our guides Bryn and Claire were on the lookout for Black Bears that come to the creek to fish for salmon. We learned Eagle Creek is named for the many Eagles that are often seen there. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any that day.

The scenery was spectacular and we found bears! There were eight bears sighted including three cubs. Some of the bears were walking through the dense woods and others were far off at the edge of a field. I saw seven of them but was only able to capture this adult black bear feeding on berries and wading in the creek in search of salmon.

We came out of the forest and walked to the Alaska Raptor Center where we were introduced to these three birds. The birds were rescued after receiving injuries that would prohibit them from surviving in the wild. The mission of the Alaska Raptor Center is to promote and enhance wild populations of raptors and other avian species through rehabilitation, education, and research. 

Ketchikan is home to the most standing totem poles anywhere in the world. A native master totem carver told us how the totems are made before we walked outside to see some of the finished totems.

With about six cruise ships in port the town of Ketchikan was crowded with people as we rode back to our ship. There wasn’t enough time for us to explore the town.

Spending our last day in Alaska seeing bears, raptors, totems, and the town of Ketchikan was a great way to end our Alaska adventure.

Next up – A final day at sea

Lens Artists Photo Challenge # 211 – What’s your Photographic Groove

In this challenge host Anne asks us “What is your Photographic Groove? What type of photography do you truly enjoy? “

I enjoy the challenge of photographing birds and wildlife in their natural habitat. The header image is of a bugling Elk in Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in North Carolina. One fall we traveled there in hope of seeing the magnificent elk herd that lives there. We weren’t disappointed. I posted about our experience at Cataloochee Valley Elk in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

The following gallery contains some of my favorite wildlife images from our travels around the United States and Canada.

This next gallery contains some of my favorite bird images.

Many thanks to Anne for this Lens-Artists Challenge #211 – What’s your Photographic Groove?

Favorite Alaska and Canada Wildlife Photos

Five years ago this week we were on the road to Alaska from Georgia. Once we crossed the border into Canada, I spent every day looking for wildlife. There were many “WOW” wildlife sightings in both Canada and Alaska.

I’ve been thinking about posting some of my favorite wildlife photos from the trip and today I finally got the boost I needed to put it all together. When my friend Ingrid at Live, Laugh RV posted that the theme for her very first Wednesday photo inspiration was wildlife, I immediately started going though the thousands of photos from the trip.

If you would like to participate or see other posts inspired by Ingrid, click on over to Ingrid’s post Wandering Wednesday.

Here are just a few of my favorite wildlife photos from our Canada and Alaska adventure.

Elk in loop 63
Elk near our campsite in Jasper National Park, Alberta

Bear in British Columbia
Soon after entering British Columbia we were in Mount Robson Park and saw this grizzly beside the road

Black Bear eating Dandelions
Bear in British Columbia

A small herd with calves
Bison herd with calves near Liard River Hotsprings in British Columbia

Moose in Denali National Park, Alaska

Black Bear Cub
Black Bear Cub in Valdez, Alaska

Stellar Sea Lions on day trip to Juneau
Stellar Sea Lions on wildlife cruise from Haines to Juneau, Alaska

Whale Tail
Humpback Whale on wildlife cruise from Haines to Juneau, Alaska

Two Sea Otters Valdez
Sea Otters on Columbia Glacier cruise from Valdez, Alaska

Pod of Orcas with calf
Pod of Orcas with calf on Columbia Glacier cruise from Valdez, Alaska

He was looking at me
Eagle at Deep Creek Beach, Alaska

Pair of Eagles
Pair of Eagles on Columbia Glacier Cruise from Valdez, Alaska

Puffins on the Columbia Glacier Cruise from Valdez, Alaska




Celebrating Ten Years of Wandering

What an amazing ten years! Each marker on this map represents a place where we camped in our RV.

Ten years ago, on July 1, 2006, we spent our first night in an RV park in Tampa, Florida. Two weeks later we left Georgia with no reservations anywhere and a bucket list of what we wanted to see. You can see highlights of that trip at Looking Back on our First RV Trip. Last year I posted a few of our most memorable experiences from our first nine years at Celebrating Nine Years of RVing.

Many of our trips revolved around either visiting family or attending a special event such as a wedding or Titanium Rally. Sometimes we traveled just for the fun of seeing new places. No matter where we were going, we always took the long way around to get there.

We discovered beauty in every state and province we visited. Sometimes the everyday things were the best.

I love watching the changing landscape and seeing the many farms and ranches.

I love seeing the farms as we drive along
I love seeing the farms as we drive along
We always enjoy seeing lighthouses.

Split Rock Lighthouse on Minnesota's North Shore
Split Rock Lighthouse on Minnesota’s North Shore
Seeing wildlife is always a treat.

Black Bear beside the road in British Columbia
Black Bear beside the road in British Columbia
And of course we loved visiting many of our National Parks.

Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View Overlook
Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View Overlook
Sometimes we enjoyed watching the sunset from our campsite.

Mount Redoubt sunset in Ninilchik, Alaska
Mount Redoubt sunset in Ninilchik, Alaska
We did a few amazing hikes.

At the Summit of Enchanted Rock
At the Summit of Enchanted Rock in Texas
Chilling by a camp fire is always fun.

Enjoying the campfire
Enjoying the campfire
Now that we have ten years of RV’ing under our belt, our priorities have changed. Of course, we are ten years older and it is more difficult to make long trips. When we started our wandering, we only had two grandchildren. Now we have four and we want to spend as much time with them as we can. Going on long trips takes us away from them for too long.

Our wandering days are not over. There are still many places we haven’t seen in and near our home state of Georgia so from now on we will travel a little closer to home.

Traveling South through Yukon, British Columbia, and a side trip to Hyder, Alaska

Today is Day 90 of our great adventure, Tuesday, August 13, 2013. It’s been a week since my last post from Tok, Alaska.

Our journey from Tok to the Yukon border on the Alaska Highway was uneventful. When we stopped at the border crossing in the Yukon we handed the border agent our passports and his first question was “Are you heading home to Georgia?” He had not even opened our passports but he knew we were from Georgia when he saw our Georgia G license plate on the front of the truck! He is a fan of American college football and he and Henry talked football for a minute. Of course he asked the required questions and we were on our way.

Sunrise at Burwash Landing
Sunrise at Burwash Landing, Yukon Territory

As soon as we got past customs the road was terrible. We waited for a pilot car to take us several miles through a construction zone and the rest of the way was full of potholes and frost heaves. It took almost four hours to travel the less than hundred miles from Beaver Creek to Burwash Landing, our stop for the night. Our campsite was right on the lake and Blondie even got to go swimming. I woke up in time to take some sunrise pictures before we continued on down  the road.

We enjoyed watching a Bald Eagle in our campground in Teslin, Yukon Territory before we turned south onto the Cassiar Highway into British Columbia. Although the Cassiar is paved, it is narrow, winding, and full of pot holes and frost heaves. The first part of the road had no lines painted on it and no shoulders. The going was slow but beautiful. Our one wildlife sighting was a red fox on the side of the road.

After a restful night in Dease Lake, BC our next stop was Stewart, BC and Hyder, Alaska. To reach Stewart and Hyder we turned off of the Cassiar Highway onto the Glacier Highway for the forty mile drive down to Stewart and Hyder. It was one of the most beautiful drives we have been on and we saw two bears along the road.

After setting up camp in Stewart, we drove the three miles into Hyder, Alaska. We drove through town where there are a few stores, most of them closed, a hotel, bar and restaurant, an RV park, and some houses. Just on the other side of Hyder we were in the Tongass National Forest where there is a nice bear viewing platform on Fish Creek. The salmon are running through the creek to spawn and bears are frequently seen going after the fish. As soon as we got there we saw a black bear in the creek.

The next morning we went to the creek early to watch for bears at Fish Creek. We missed three grizzlies and a black bear that were there earlier. The most excitement we had was watching a wolf go after fish. After about two hours we decided to take the 17 mile drive on a gravel road to see Salmon Glacier. We reached an overlook where we looked down for a spectacular view of the glacier. After stopping again at the bear viewing platform with no sign of a bear we returned to the campground to get ready for the rest of our trip.

We stopped to look at Bear Glacier after we left Stewart
We stopped to look at Bear Glacier after we left Stewart

Early the next morning we were on the road again. We stopped at an overlook on the way out of Stewart for a close look at Bear Glacier.

We turned off of the Cassiar Highway onto the Yellowhead Highway. The road is good and we traveled through several towns before stopping in Houston for the night. We went out to a pizza restaurant for dinner and called it a day.

The going is slow on most of the roads we have been on since we first got to Alberta in June. We have been averaging about 45 miles an hour most days so the going is slow. It’s even slower on some of the mountain roads.

We are on roads now where we will be able to make some time. If all goes as planned we will be in Washington state on Thursday.