McNeil River 2017 – Day 4

Last day going out to the Falls, though not the last to see bears. We’ve seen them every day from camp, out on the mud flats or cruising along the beach, so I’ve no doubt we’ll see some today while we’re in camp waiting for our fligh tomorrow. 

Today was cooler and windier than the previous three days – started off with a bit of rain early in the morning but that ended by noon or thereabouts. We had fewer bears today, though really, what’s “few” about 32 bears at a time?! I again spent a lot more time viewing than photographing. 

Several sub-adults showed up today, staying mostly on the fringes – in the upstream or downstream riffles – but occasionally making forays into the main fishing spots at the Falls. They weren’t very successful at fishing for themselves but they tried and often caught half-eaten carcasses as a reward for their efforts. 

Hot Lips paid us a visit while we were on the lower pad. I happened to be on the end closest to him, and had I streeeeeeetched my arm I could have touched his head. He stayed, snuffling at something in the grasses, about two minutes.  

Just four days at McNeil River has made it seem totally normal to spend one’s entire day watching bears and by the time we left the pad this evening I felt like I was leaving behind something very special – which indeed I am. 

Brown bears in “the pool”
Bundled up on the lower viewing platform
Overview of the Falls on McNeil River; viewing platform at middle left.
Main part of the Falls

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