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Alaska

There’s bears out there

Dozing mid-afternoon in my log cabin..

Redoubt Bay Lodge,a short seaplane flight from the Alaskan capital Anchorage

Dozing mid-afternoon in my log cabin to alleviate lingering jet lag, reluctantly I get out of bed to close the door, shutting out the delightful sunshine warming the room. Despite it being the height of summer it’s chilly, there’s snow on the mountains beyond my window and the fireplace has not yet been lit.

‘Black bears are dangerously inquisitive, don’t leave your doors or windows open,’ I had been warned earlier upon alighting from the floatplane at Redoubt Bay Wilderness Lodge. Though I did heed this warning mostly, a momentary lapse when the lodge staff woke me later for pre-dinner drinks offered a startling encounter with a bear. Ducking into the bathroom before walking to the main lodge, I emerged to stare directly into the inky eyes of a black bear the size of a refrigerator. I’m not sure who was more startled. As the bear was about to step over the threshold and into my cabin, instinctively I clapped my hands and growled as I would at a wayward dog. It was enough to send him scarpering across the deck and into the bush. My heart beat rose alarmingly as I mentally chastised myself for my stupidity.

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