McNeil River 2017 – Day 1

Two years ago I backpacked for a week in the Brooks Range. I was more excited than nervous about the opportunity to see some brown bears, and so was thrilled when we saw four on our first day. Alas, though we saw plenty of sign we saw not a single bear for the remainder of the trip. So when I won a lottery slot this year for bear viewing at the McNeil River Game Sanctuary, I was, to put it mildly, thrilled. Due to tides my group of lottery winners are going out a day later than we would otherwise and so might lose one of our four days of going out to the Falls or Miflik Creek. However, the forecast is for calm winds, no precipitation and some sunshine – which will hopefully make up for the lost day. 

We leave by float plane from Homer on this DeHavilland Otter. Supposedly we’re likely to have only a few feet of inches-deep water to cross on arrival so I’m sticking with my all-terrain sandals rather than putting on and flying in my waders. Let’s hope this turns out to be a sensible idea…