“Mother bear and two cubs, out the front of the house.” Our host’s voice rings out clearly in the silent early morning house. We are out of bed and over to the window in seconds. Nothing, so we tumble downstairs to meet our hosts in the kitchen. There the five of us stand in our pyjamas, it is 4.30am but already light, all eyes fixed on the driveway and sure enough mama brown bear waddles in. Standing on all fours, she sniffs the air and looks around.
“She can smell the chickens.” Our host worries, but luck is on the feathered family members side. She turns and wanders out. Next baby bear appears, again looks in but scarpers off after mum. Then along comes number two cub, who plonks himself down and looks again in the direction of the chicken coup. You can almost hear him moan, “But Mom I want chicken for brekkie!”.
This is the start of our day at our rural AirBnB in Eagle River, just north of Anchorage Alaska. I hadn’t expected Alaskans to get so excited about their own wildlife but they do, it is on par with Australians seeing a koala in the wild.
Now we have the scent for bear we want more, so we head off to the Eagle River Nature Centre for a hike. We choose the 10km Dew Mound Trail, and 15 minutes into the walk we come upon a black bear in the grass. He pays us no attention and only moves on when a rowdy group behind us come along.
So tick, we have seen brown bears and now a black bear in the wild! I can hardly wait to tell Facebook!
You will need a car for this part of the trip and driving on the righthand side of the road is a challenge! I can’t tell you how many times we turned the corner with the windscreen wipers!
We thoroughly recommend the AirBnb we stayed at, we really did feel like we were staying with friends.
If, like us you are into hiking, the Eagle River Nature Centre is the place to go. Take your bug spray because the mosquitos are hideous, much worse than anything I have come across in Australia. You have to pay for parking US$5 for the day. It is done on a funny put money in an envelop and then in a box system, so make sure you always have a $5 note on you. Do borrow a can of Bear Spray (Mace) from your hosts, we never needed it but best to be sure.