Filming Bears in Alaska

DSCN0653By Jennifer Hallmark

Bucket List-a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.

Close to the top of my bucket list was to spend vacation time in Alaska.  I’ve wanted to visit my brother and his family in Anchorage since he moved there twenty-two years ago but something always stood in the way. You know the kind of things: money, taking time off work, having to travel with children, fear of flying, and did I mention money?

Who would guess that not only would I get to go but I’d also end up filming bears while there?

During the first week of June, 2016, I journeyed to Alaska with my husband and mother to attend my niece’s wedding. Yes, the “I hate to fly” Alabama girl boarded an airplane for a nine–hour flight. That’s nine hours in the air, not including layovers in Atlanta and Seattle. We went from Central Time to Eastern Time then back to Central Time, on to Mountain Time, Pacific Time, and finally Alaskan Time. Talk about adjustment.

Anyway, we had eight days (two spent in travel) of a glorious, jam-packed adventure in the Last Frontier. I thought I’d share some of the five hundred photos I snapped while there. And tell you what I found most interesting during our Alaskan vacation, including the bears.

Mountains. They were everywhere. Massive, snow-covered and, in places, reminding me of the movie, Lord of the Rings. In Anchorage, you can go from busy city to wilderness in minutes.

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The highest temperature was 74 degrees while we were there. I wore a jacket most of the time and a sweatshirt and jacket while we explored the mountain areas. My brother ran around in short sleeves and shorts at times. The water from the tap was so cold. All the rivers, lakes, and streams were either clear and icy or clouded with glacier silt and icy.

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Wildlife is all around you. And I don’t mean possums and rabbits like around here. I’m talking moose, bears, and wolves. We did a small amount of hiking and we’re given a bell (to warn animals we were coming) and bear mace to take with us. Hence, the small amount of hiking. Here is the Momma bear and her two babies…

We saw so many glaciers; everywhere we drove, on the train ride, and on our boat cruise around the bay at Seward. It actually snowed in the mountains while we were there and you could tell the difference between the fresh snow and what basically is permanent ice in the high altitudes. Right over my shoulder is a photo of a glacier we hiked to. We couldn’t get on it because they’re very dangerous but we did make it to some icy snow…

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The Restaurant

Alaska abounds with artsy communities like Talkeetna. We enjoyed the craftsman and eclectic places to eat there. We ate at the Roadhouse restaurant. It was set up family-style with just a few big tables for everyone. We had beef pasties, reindeer sausage and Marion berry jelly on homemade sourdough bread. Yum!2016-06-03 11.42.47

There are a lot of ethnic groups in Alaska and lots of international grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping. I wish we’d had more time to explore the different cultures found here.

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I loved this painting in the Anchorage Museum

There was drive-thru coffee shops every few blocks. Linda Yezak, you would be so happy. I would’ve tried to count them but they were almost innumerable. 🙂

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9:30 at night

And from the time I left Seattle at 10:30 p.m. on June 1st until we reached Seattle in the wee hours of June 8th, I never saw darkness. It truly is the land of the midnight sun.

I could go on for days about all the sights, sounds, and smells that were so different than what we experience in the Deep South. I hope at some point to go back and visit my family again and this time stay several weeks so I can visit Fairbanks, Juneau, and Homer. I can highly recommend Alaska in June as a place to visit. And while you’re there, stop in and visit my brother. Tell him I’ll be back…

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6 thoughts on “Filming Bears in Alaska

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