I've taken lots of pictures recently. So many in fact, that I'm not sure how best to organize them into posts. So, I'm just going to post pictures and write descriptions.
I talked to everyone about bears when I got here. I wanted to be fully prepared in case I did run into a brown bear. They are bigger here, because of the healthy salmon diet. They will typically run away if they hear, smell, or see you. They will be aggressive if they are 'surprised' by a quiet hiker. So, make noise on the trail. Talk to your buddies and dig your feet into the gravel path. Or step on every single twig that crosses your path. And barrel through the bushes. Sound BIG.
If you DO happen upon a bear. You should very calmly introduce yourself: "Hi bear. I'm Amanda. I live over in Sitka. I was just leaving." Then slowly back away, keeping you eye on it. Make sure the bear has an escape route. You don't want him/her/them to feel trapped. If it shows signs of aggression, take out your bear mace and get it ready. Make sure you are upwind of the bear. And make sure there is a tree between you and it. It may "false charge" at you. If it comes after you, wait until it's within 10 feet and spray him/her/them. Get away.
No lie, that is what I've been told to do in that situation.
He looks too big for that skinny branch.
Well, I have tons more to share, but this is a blog post not a novel. More soon!