After I wandered around Sitka for a little while, I met up with Jill and the 4 other people (2 couples who I think were related…or at least traveling together) and our excursion hostess. We got into a van and she drove us out the main road to a dock where we got on a little boat to travel to Kruzof Island
We saw a sea otter or two in the water (“Just look for the brown canoe” our boat driver said.) but we were going too fast to get a picture of them. After about 15 minutes or so, we pulled onto the island and our transport was all lined up.
We got our “special kid” helmets on (also we all had sanitary beanies so all was cool)
Given that I haven’t driven in 8 years (moved to NYC and sold my car), I let Jill drive because I figured a rocky dirt trail with ditches to help with water run-off wasn’t the best place for me to start again. Haha! So I got familiar with the contents of the glove compartment – an air horn which would most likely scare off any bear who came too close, bear spray in case the horn didn’t work and we were under attack, and binoculars.
The odds of us having to use the first one, much less the second, were slim, but we had to be prepared. After a safety briefing, we were off.
(I’m just going to put pics unless they need commentary…)
This is an area of muskeg (the Alaskan equivalent of a peatbog). The little trees are not babies…the land only permits them to grow that high.
Sitka Black-tailed Deer
Our guide told us there WAS a bear in the meadow. He was probably laying down, but when all the rhinos started up he would probably stand up. Interestingly, they aren’t all that scared of the rhinos and pretty much leave them alone. And when people are in them, the bears don’t notice. It’s like they don’t recognize people as people inside the rhinos. Interesting. We did see bear tracks…
And we were going to have to go. But sure enough, once all the rhinos were running…
I named him Koda – at least in my head. He’s probably 3 years old and in the 500-750 pound range now. I was sooooo happy we got to see him!!!
We had to go pretty fast down to the meeting point and then fast across the water. Luckily the construction seemed to be on break, so driving back to the tender dock wasn’t as long as going to the excursion dock. And even then we weren’t the last ones on the ship! There was at least one tender behind us, and one of the excursions actually boated its participants right to the Westerdam.
Wandering around, dinner, and some hanging in the Ocean Bar that night because the Crows Nest was in use by another event or group, and it was time to say goodnight to another wonderful fun-filled day in Alaska.