First day at Brooks Camp

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That's the Otter we rode in…next to the larger Beaver. 


The first thing on arrival is to go through the mandatory "bear etiquette" talk with the Park Service.  An hour later, after setting up camp we were walking down the road and saw this heading our way…


Absolutely ridiculous!  We quickly backtracked to the conveniently located viewing deck just a few yards behind us.  We spent some time at the viewing deck and during this time saw:


When you look in the water you can see the swarms of salmon, and these guys were all on the hunt.  This photo looks like a bunch of guys in bear suits—many of them here are employing the "dive and grab" hunting approach.  It's quite comical watching this technique…and it also seemed extremely ineffective.  The guy in the front is using the more reasonable "snorkeling" technique.


And that's just a taste of the first hour bear-watching.  Ridiculous.

So now it was time to brave the road/trail we were previously thwarted on to get to the upper falls where all the big boys hang out eating fish.  Walking down the trail we encounter this…


Oh my.  There was a whole lotta head-scratching at this point trying to decide what the next step would be (turning around was of course not an option).  Eventually, we did an end around—the main rule is to keep 50-yards away at all times.  Success.

So the upper falls are what you always see in photos and the telly.  The photo conditions were way too advanced for my skills, so these are highly mediocre shots. 

First glimpse of fishing at the falls:


Next thing you know, there's a wolf making a cameo appearance.  He stuck around for all of 30-seconds and we were told this was a quite rare sighting.


How's this one for a mug shot?


A sub-adult stretching out (or perhaps just walking)…


A pretty good start to the trip.

On the walk back to camp, we saw our one bird of the trip—the three-toed woodpecker—and they were a treat to watch.  There are actually two in the photo; the yellow crown on the bird in the back identifies the male.  They'd peck away until they'd find something tasty.  Then they'd give a little "tweet tweet" and share with their mate/kid. 


Dinner was dehydrated beef stroganoff.  Not bad.  Not bad, at all.

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