Everybody gets excited seeing animals in the wildlife. And there are plenty of opportunities in Alaska. That’s for sure. But it isn’t enough to just see them and enjoy the moment. Everybody (including David and me) wants to have the perfect shot – camera shot, of course!
You want to capture all your memorable moments and show them to your friends at home. Maybe even make them a little bit jealous about the amazing animals you have seen.
But for some reason animals love to show us their butts or hide behind the bushes. So the competition starts: who gets the best shot of the day? Even when you are hiking out in the wilderness you really start wishing for a bear sighting. Even if it scares you, you desperately want all these exciting memories and great photos.
The Denali National Park Shuttle Bus drops us off and there we are on our own: trailblazing! A little anxious, but driven by the excitement, we all came to Alaska for an experience out in the wilderness and an opportunity to see some animals! We were making our way up a little creek alongside a hill. Flowers and berries grow along it; this would be a perfect location for a bear to feed! And earlier on, we had seen a mama bear and two cubs not far from this place while we were still riding the shuttle bus. They must be somewhere nearby!
Then your senses start to overreact to every little noise: Wasn’t that a cracking branch next to you in the bushes? Is there a bear in there?!
And suddenly it really smells strong! We learned earlier, from a Ranger talk, that this might be a hint of the strong mouth smell of a bear. We began looking around, prepared to see something really exciting. Until one of us recognizes the smelly brown remains in front of our feet: bear poop!
Everybody gets out their cameras. If not a bear picture, then at least a photo of the bear poop! And some of us might be quite relieved to actually not have the bear too close to us, anyway. We all know that there will be plenty of photo opportunities of all kinds of animals while riding along the lonely Alaskan roads. And as I said earlier: this is challenging enough as it seems that animals just love to show us their butts. But don’t you think we actually got a few really good butt shots?
But all of our patience was paid out in the end: From the safe distance out of our remodelled school bus, Atka, we finally saw two bear cubs, playing close to the road. And we could even capture their faces – no butts anymore!