6:00am Justin set alarm for 6am.  When it went off Barbara, and I threw on some clothes so that he could have some time to shower and dress and pack. 7:00am I am dressed and ready.  I tried to take a shower but the water started out only warm with it on full hot and did not take long to turn ice cold.  That ended my shower quickly. There is an option for another river walk.  Ari is going on it.  Barbara and I both declined.  She intends to fill out post cards and my arm is killing me.  I don’t think I could manage another of shooting using my long lens. 7:45am I am watching a Mamma bear and 2 cubs in the river while sitting in front of our cabin.  Barbara and I are ready to go. 8:20am Barbara and I had breakfast alone.  Everyone else was done eating by the time we got there.  Barbara is going to hit the gift shop one last time and I am going to wander around looking for things to photograph and hoping I see more bear. My first subjects were two Subadults on the beach. 8:30am While walking the beach looking for subjects to photograph a float plane (sea plane) came in for a landing, unloaded people and gear and took off again.  I took a sequence of photos of the landing and takeoff. 8:50am I saw two Subadults play-fighting in the grass.  While I watched I noticed that a third Subadult had been resting in the grass nearby.  The third Subadult got up and started walking past the play-fighting duo.  Then I saw that another Subadult was walking towards them.  The approach was slow and cautious, as the small bears scented and tested each other.  The newcomer seemed to have been rejected by the original group, and it kept walking by and the trio stayed together as a temporary pack.  9:10am A Sow with two Cubs came wandering by.  One of the Cubs chewed on the anchor line of a small boat pulled up on the beach.  I thought the Cub was going to climb in the boat.  Then the three just slowly strolled down the beach. 9:50am I got some photos of paw prints of Mother and Cubs in the sand on the beach. 10:00am I walked over towards the floating bridge and saw a bear on a sandbar that was holding up the foot traffic.  There was another bear on a grassy island.  I also got some photos of an LBT (Little Brown Thing – bird watcher’s term for a small brown bird I can’t ID). 11:09 While walking around I saw a mother and two cubs walking the main trail out of the camp right next to the gift shop. 12:08pm After having a quick lunch (Tuesday is Taco Day) we have just crossed the foot bridge to where we will be picked up by a shuttle bus that will take us to Lake Brooks.  Once again we were stuck on the wrong side of the bridge.  Had to wait for a while before we could cross the bridge and then the bear that was holding us up went under the foot bridge and ran down the beach. The wind has picked up and the normal lake for takeoff & landing has gotten pretty choppy.  So we will be lifting off from a different, more protected, lake. 12:10pm The shuttle bus just showed up. 12:15pm We are at Lake Brooks and there are already a couple of float planes at the ready.  We flew back in the same plane we flew out in, Otter. Ari gave up his camera to Justin for a chance to sit in the front right seat of the plane with the pilot during the flight.  I don’t know why but the pilot won’t allow anyone in the front with a camera. 12:43pm We are at the dock, unloading and waiting for our luggage.  The ride was just a little rougher this time than it was going to Brooks, but not too bad. 12:48pm We are now on a shuttle bus to get from Katmai Air to the King Salmon  Airport. 12:54pm Driving the rough dirt roads of King Salmon. 1:12pm We are at the King Salmon Airport and already signed in and our bags have been weighed, tagged and are gone.  I am sitting outside the airport enjoying the nice weather, while Barbara looks in the gift shop, waiting for our plane. 3:00pm We appear to have some time before our plane takes off.  It isn’t even here yet.  We were supposed to leave a little after 3 but that isn’t happening. Justin was telling us about the nice Visitor Center right next to the airport.  The outside looks okay, but it is closed so the group just hangs out on some picnic tables outside the Visitor Center. After a while someone shows up and opens the Visitor Center.  Barbara wanders around it and buys 2 stuffed Brown Bears.  Justin kept checking to see when to expect our flight and they kept pushing back the time.  The kind gentleman at the Visitor Center even put on a video, Katmai National Park, The Ends of the Earth, produced by Alaska Geographic, for us to watch. After the video was over we still had plenty of time to look, some more, around the visitor center. 5:10pm We are finally in our seats in the plane.  In the couple of photos of the inside of the airport all the coolers/insulated boxes are full of Salmon.  We are flying PenAir (Peninsula Airways) ‘The Spirit of Alaska’. 5:22pm We are in the air on our way to Anchorage. 5:55pm We have just started our descent into Anchorage. 6:10pm On the ground and taxiing towards the terminal.  I have never been in a plane on the ground moving so fast.  We think the pilot was trying to make up for lost time since the flight was delayed. 6:16pm We have just stopped and the plane is shutting down. 6:42pm We pulled up to the curb at the Marriot in Anchorage.  While we waited to get our bags from the bus, Justin ran in and got our keys from the desk.  By the time we got in the lobby Justin was ready with all our keys.  We are room 1327 this time.  The bags that we left were already brought into the room and waiting. 7:30pm We all met up on the lobby of the hotel and Justin is going to guide / escort us to the restaurant for our farewell dinner. 7:45pm We are walked to Sacks Café on G Street, between W 3rd Ave and W 4th Ave. 9:54pm Dinner is over.  We shared a variety of appetizers: Sprouted Three Bean Hummus, King Crab Napoleon, Hudson Valley Foie Gras & House Smoked Triple Cream Brie.  For the main dish we both had Chicken + Shrimp Udon Noodles. 10:26pm We are back in our room, our very messy room.  It is already late and we need to pack and be ready for a very early flight out.  Gonna be a late night and an early morning.
August 1, 2017: Day 14
“Leave only footprints, Take only memories’ (…and maybe some pictures)
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Alaska Vacation
July 19, 2017 to August 2, 2017 The Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Photo Safari Barbara & John on Natural Habitat Adventures
August 1, 2017 Day 14
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