Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Now THAT’S a Woodpecker!

Pileated Woodpecker, Holiday Florida

Took Skruffy out for her morning ritual after Breakfast (she goes before breakfast and then about an hour after her 8 am breakfast…so this was around 9 am in the morning.)  I hear the squirrels just chattering and chattering…enough that I look up in the tree which is just over the fence from the Condo’s property.  And what do I see?  A Pileated Woodpecker!  Wow, this is my first Pileated Woodpecker in Florida…I think.  At least the first one here where we live. I use to see them in Arkansas in the park I lived in while working at the Library.  Not real often, but enough that I knew they were around there.  I have also seen a couple during our travels.  The only woodpecker which is bigger is the ivory-billed woodpecker, which they 'thought' they found again in Arkansas, but never caught on camera.

Pileated Woodpecker, Holiday Florida

This picture above was my first shot…you never know how long a creature will stay still, so you need to get a quick picture just in case that is all you get.  Fortunately, I was able to get a number of close-up shots.

Pileated Woodpecker, Holiday Florida

Then you in with the zoom, and with birds, you put it on multi-shot because they have a tendency to move their heads real quick…this way you have more shots to pick from.

Pileated Woodpecker, Holiday Florida

And if you are lucky, you get to see what they are up to.  I knew the squirrels had nothing to fear with the Pileated Woodpecker, it does not go after squirrels or their young.  These birds mainly eat insects, especially carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae. They also eat fruits, nuts, and berries.  Today, it was Berry time…which is probably why it was out among a few isolated trees, and not in a grove of trees…but there are many groves nearby.

Pileated Woodpecker, Holiday Florida

Here it was “eyeing” the berries that you saw in its mouth in the previous picture.

Pileated Woodpecker, Holiday Florida

Not sure it knew I was down below or not…it turned to the right like this a few times, never did see it turn to the left.  Those squirrels never did stop…they saw this big bird as a threat regardless of its true intentions.

Pileated Woodpecker, Holiday Florida

This was one of the last pictures I took…it was still after some more berries.  Went inside to show Marcia what I got, went back out…and it was gone.  What a good way to start the day!  Just think what type of pictures I could get if I got out there and tried to find something.  Well, that's something to worry about on another day.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week in a Glance

So it is Sunday night, and lots has happened this past week.  Here it is in a glance…not necessarily in chronological order.

Motorhome – Went by on Monday and all is well.  Ran the generator for about an hour, and it brought the batteries back up from 12.4 to 12.7 after it sat there for a week with everything turned off.

John & Tara – Had dinner with Marcia’s son John and his girlfriend Tara.  Had a good time, good visit, and we were all surprised by cousin Marion and her husband Roger and child Katie came in and sat next to us.  Of course, when we go to a Greek Restaurant, I think they are all related anyway…

Skruffy – Tested Skruffy twice this week, and she is doing well.  Blood sugar was at 125 and 200…which is within the normal area.  Last Sunday I tested her at she was at 80, which is a bit too low.  She has never showed any negative signs as long as she stays out of the garbage…and out of my bagel bag.  Yes, since we have been home she has been in the garbage twice, and at a whole blueberry bagel right out of the sealed bag which was sitting up on a table that she climbed up to.  Since then, all bagels have remained safely in the refrigerator, and the garbage is either taken out, or put up on a counter.

Bubba – Bubba had a bacterial infection under his chin and along the side of his mouth.  The antibiotic given to him 2 weeks ago has cleared him totally up, and I was able to shave under his chin to help keep him from getting another one.  He is due for another grooming, and I will be doing it sometime this week.  Will get some pictures of him.

Daughter – Fifteen months after my daughter’s surfboard accident, she has FINALLY got a positive ruling for getting disability.  We are not sure if this will be temporary or end up permanent…her brain still struggles from the massive concussion, and only time will tell how far she recovers.  But working is just not an option right now.

Thanksgiving – We had a great dinner over at Marcia’s brother Mike’s house where his wife Sandy had put together a great Thanksgiving dinner with some dishes and desserts brought by attendees.  The Marshmallow Salad that I talked about in the last blog turned out real good.  Made a triple batch, and took 2 1/2 batches over there, keeping just a bit for us.  And after I confirmed that my sister Patti had already finished off that which my sister Sandy sent home with her out in California, then Marcia and I finished ours last night.  We did not have any turkey leftovers…but we have a 12-13 pound Butterball still in our freezer.  I think we will be cooking it soon because it takes up a large part of our freezer.

Bed, Bath and Beyond – This past week we visited BB&B because we had two 20% “off one item” and a $15 off combined purchase.  Bottom line, we ended up getting a new Crock Pot, which was marked down $20 already and then another 20% off for one coupon, a Toaster Oven at 20% off with the other coupon, and a handful of other items with $15 off that total.  Essentially we saved about $85 off of a $250 purchase, bringing our total down to $165.  This Crock-Pot® Choose-A-Crock Programmable Slow Cooker that we got is at Amazon for $106 as of today…we paid $79 plus 20% off.  The only way to shop at BB&B is with coupons…that’s for sure.

Internet – And we have been happy with our Internet…not so happy about how much Verizon cost us last month, but the overages will not happen anymore.  At least I can publish blogs without having to go to McDonalds…even if the blog is just a collection of things we did this past week.  One would think I would include pictures…perhaps next time.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Childhood Memories


Thanksgiving was always one of those GREAT Holidays when I was a kid...four days off from school, lots and lots of family, and usually some football.


Football was not just sitting in front of the TV and watching…back then the number of games offered were small compared to today.  A pro game or two, a few college games on Friday and Saturday.  But what I am talking about was our Thanksgiving Football out in the street, or over at the lawn of what is now a major water sewage plant in South Sacramento.  We typically would start out in the street…and if enough of the neighborhood came out, it would move over to the huge lawn of the water treatment plant (which was 1/3 of the size it is now, which meant 2/3 of it was lawn back then…lots of lawn.)  Of course, everyone had to be back to the neighborhood by 1:30 or 2:00 so that nobody miss out on the big Thanksgiving Dinner.  And there were those few times that we had Thanksgiving away…but typically it was right there at our house or at another relative’s house in Sacramento.


There always seemed to be lots of family.  My dad had a brother who lived in town for much of my childhood, and that meant 4, then 8 cousins.  Aunt Myrtle passed when I was very young, leaving four children for Uncle Red to raise.  In his wisdom, he quickly (about a year later) married Aunt Flo, who had three kids…and having a child together brought the glue which held the family together, hence, the eight cousins.  There were also times that other cousins from mom’s side might show up too…as one of eleven kids, there were lots of cousins from her nine brothers and sisters who survived the war.  Then there might be others who were invited ... the FINOs, Family in Name Only ... lot's of those in our family.  One FINO quickly became my second adopted sister by proclamation read at mom and dad's 50th anniversary.  Sandy was adopted legally when we were young (she is a few years younger than I, and I WAS the baby back then.)  Patti was Sandy's older biologic sister, younger than me though, who, as an adult, came into our family...and it did not take a proclamation for her to be my sister.  As for large dinners, one 4th of July I think we had close to a hundred people for a backyard BBQ…although it probably was closer to 60 or 70, kids always remember things as being larger than they really were...but that was Independence Day...this is Thanksgiving.


Including the size of the Turkey…or should I say Turkeys.  They always seemed bigger back then compared to today's turkeys.  Also, the craziness that seemed to abound … I think my mom would be scolding us kids all day long…perhaps that’s why we always went to the park to play ball.  And not that “we kids” did not deserve to be scolded…at least she didn’t have to put us in the “corner” for hours on end…except that time poor cousin Richard was in the corner and mom ran to do an errand and forgot he was there…until a few hours later when she got home and there was poor Rich still in the corner.  These days poor mom would have ended up in jail…now days the kids get away with everything and they are the ones that end up in jail…go figure.


There was always lots of food, and we all ate and ate and ate.  My favorite was what was called “David’s Salad” … a jar or two of Kraft Pimento Cheese Spread, mixed together with a large tub or two of Cool Whip (and before the premade Cool Whip you get in the store today, you had to mix up a batch or two by hand with a Dream Whip powdered mix.)  Add some drained mix fruit like Fruit Cocktail, Mandarin Oranges, Crushed Pineapple,  and then the best part, bags and bags of mini marshmallows.  Yep, that’s David’s Salad...NOT Patti's Salad (should have included that note in the proclamation mom and dad.)  Sister Sandy called me last night, late afternoon her time in California, to let me know that she was in the midst of making my salad, thought of me, remembered it was my birthday, so she called.  I told her that I had made ours earlier that morning to take to Marcia’s brother’s house today.  Now, IF you make this the day before, which is the best time to make it, you DON’T add the marshmallows until a few hours before you want to serve it.  Also, it is BEST to start making it the day before because the Pimento Cheese has a chance to flavor up the Cool Whip.  But don't add the marshmallows too early, they get soggy.   YUM!


Hope you all have a wonderful 
Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Day at the Drinking Fountain

Drinking Fountain

Wow, does that look old?  Brings back memories to me…memories of a particular day, a day that people my age and older always remember.

Cabrillo Elementary School

I was at this elementary school in Sacramento.  The time was around 11:00 am Pacific Time, perhaps just a little before that.  It was recess time, and I was thirsty on this cool morning, sunny but in the mid-40’s.  I got my sip of water and I heard two teachers talking with each other…something about the President being shot in Dallas. 

Just before Kennedy is shot

It was Friday, November 22, 1963…a fateful day for our nation.  Our 35th President was shot dead while parading in a open convertible along Dealey Plaza, a Dallas city park built in 1940 as a WPA project.  Many times through the years I would visit his grave in Arlington…along with that of his brother Bobby.  I also visited Dealey Plaza a few times while living in Arkansas.  Truly a piece of history.  People come, they look, they point, they take pictures.  Some enter the book depository…some just drive along the route.

People crying outside the hospital, Kenndy is dead

I went over and told a few school friends about the shooting, no one believed me.  I went closer to the school office where a few teachers were standing around, tears in their eyes.  I asked if what I had heard was true, and one lady told me yes, and that they had just announced that the President had died.  She was sobbing.  They closed school down early on this day…I cannot remember how I got home, or if anyone was at home when I got there. What I do remember is the TV going for what seemed the entire weekend long, and on Monday too.

Jack Ruby takes out Oswald

The TV was full of the news of the event, and the event which followed when Oswald got shot by Jack Ruby on Sunday. 

Kennedy coffin in the White House

On Saturday, the coffin containing Kennedy’s body sits in the White House.  On Sunday his body lay in state under the Capital Dome.  Hundreds of thousands of people walk through the capital...it is a gloomy time...and the TV covers it all.  It was a time when we all looked for answers, and names like Cronkite, and Huntley and Brinkley were news people who  we all could trust, and they provided what answers they were able to give.

JFK Jr. salutes his daddy

On Monday President Kennedy was buried.  I can remember watching much of the procession from Capital to  St. Matthew's Cathedral, the flag-draped casket of President Kennedy borne by a horse-drawn caisson.  Later, the procession proceeded on  to Arlington.  I can remember the the sounds of the muffled drums and the clacking of horses.  The military flyover at the cemetery…and the 21 gun salute.  And again, the many tears…

Back to School
On Tuesday we were back in school…but just for two days because Thursday was Thanksgiving.  Sometimes my birthday falls on Thanksgiving…not that year, it fell on Saturday, as the nation mourned the day after our President was shot and killed I tried to celebrate my birthday.  It was a hard time back then.  In 1962 many of us were scared to death that nuclear missiles would hit our country at any moment.  In May of ‘63 riots took place in Birmingham.  The summer of 1963 saw civil rights protests in many American cities.  And then there was this place called Viet Nam, which was just starting to be in the news.   One has to wonder how we got through it…but we did…and I have faith and confidence that we will get through our current turmoil.  At least that is what I plan to wish for when I blow out those candles tomorrow.  Happy birthday to me...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

2016 Travel Map


After working on it for about six hours, I have finally updated our 2016 Travel Map.  I had it up-to-date up until May just before we crossed into Canada.

When I decided to write a blog of our travels, I gave it much thought as to what I wanted to offer.  I wanted to have a web address which was fairly easy to remember, hence the “GoingRvWay.com” web address, which take one right to the blog page.  Another thing I wanted to be sure to do was offer a map of our travels.  This is nearly as daunting as writing a blog post when we have something to share.  Knowing that the Internet was not going to be very reliable as we crossed into Canada, I decided to just let the map go until we got home.


The first two years I had the travel map(s) located at the bottom of the blog page, but as years went by, that would get too large.  So I added a tab at the top of the blog, which is where these maps are located.


If you click on the area shown by the arrow, it will open up the descriptive items on the map.


And with this information area open, you can click on the particular one you want to see, such as the Vicksburg link…


…and that brings up the information for the Vicksburg Mississippi Welcome Center, a link to our blog, and the map enlarges to the Vicksburg area.  In the map you can also click on any of the blue (or other color) balloons and it will show information for that one similar to the one above. 


An easier way to view a map is to click on the “View [year] Travels in a larger map.  If you click on the map above, a new browser tab/window will pop up and you can see the map, which is also shown below, just as if you clicked the blue link found in the maps tab area.


I find that the large map is easier to navigate and use.


Above is an example of our stay in Seward Alaska, and it contains links to all six of our postings while we were there over the course of a week long stay.

If you are viewing this posting via the email version, you will need to go to the actual website at GoingRvWay.com to see the maps tab.

I have had a few communications with people who have thanked me for offering the maps.  These are Google Maps, and one can focus down to the street level to see exactly where a rest area, a RV campground, etc. is located.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Final Frontier–Boldly Going…

Star Trek

Well, not sure about the “final” part of this, but we are “boldly going” and it has a lot to do with “Frontier”.


Yep, it is this type of “Frontier”.  On April 1, 2016, Frontier Communications took over the Verizon Fios in parts of California, Texas and Florida that Verizon had.  This has been a shaky start for Frontier, that is for sure.  Here in the Condos, everyone who has Internet and/or a TV service has it through Brighthouse…which, by the way, just changed to Charter Communications' Spectrum brand.  Up until yesterday, we strictly relied upon our 40 gig air card with Verizon…but with use both on the computer so much, we eat through 40 gigs in a month while in the condo because the speed is so fast that too much data is transferred even when we click on a page that turns out to not contain what we are searching for…and with so many pages offering short videos…well, they just load away even though we are not going to watch them.


So we decided to go with Frontier, which, for $55 a month plus tax, gives us 100 mb speed, fiber optic to the house (so increasing speed or service in the future will be easy if needed), unlimited usage, no hook-up charge, 2 year contract with decreasing fee each month of use if we stop early, and ability to suspend/vacation when we are gone for only a $12 charge for each month…but it also freezes contract until we start up again.  Since we foresee 5 months of use, this will cost us about $375 a year…which is less than the $100 extra each month for data overage each of the five months we are here…and worrying about how much we are using.  Yes, with Verizon one can normally adjust their use…but we have a deal with 40 gigs for 1/2 the going rate due to a Christmas Special we got 2 years ago.  While on the road, we can use anywhere from 20-40 gigs, but never really over the 40.  So for us, this works.


As for the “Boldly going…”, well, so far we are fine with it.  When Frontier took over, they had a hard time getting it together.  First, they had to hire out phone assistance overseas to handle the new work load.  We all have been there….”Halloo, dis is Joe, hows cans I halp you todays?”  (of course, “JOE” is not his real name)  The communication gap makes for bad service.  Good thing, they have hired and trained new communications staff, and all reps you talk to now (as of sometime in October) are from the USA…and in my experience, all have been good.  Second, the new work load was hard to handle even though many of the old Verizon workers came into the Frontier family.  The tech who installed us said that anytime there is a change like this, it makes people nervous…but that everything seems to be clicking now.  Third, when there is a change, customers get contacted by the competition, and many times are lured away…which has happened…but there has been a slight up-swing.  And here in Florida where Brighthouse changed hands, they can now go after the Brighthouse users who are not happy with that change.  And in the Holiday/Tarpon Springs area, there are only two games in town unless you want to go satellite…and here in the Condo, satellite is not an option.  I already had one person inquire, and I told her I would let her know how it is working out.  She is paying over $120 per month for basic cable, Internet and phone…I think she can get the same with Frontier for around $85-$90.


Boldly going at light speed … just hope we aren’t just turning our wheels and going nowhere.  Winking smile

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans Day 2016

Al BurdickFirst, thanks to my dad who served during the waning days of WW2.  Although the warfare came to an end on board USS Missouri September 2, 1945, men and women who were in the military during the time period of December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946 are considered WW2 Vets.  Dad served in the Navy during 1046, so he is a WW2 Vet, and during his service he went to Japan for a short time period.  As a WW2 Vet, dad is currently receiving a VA benefit which helps mom and dad to live in a Assisted Living Center in the Sacramento area.

Jim (left) Bob (right)Second, my brothers, Bob and Jim.  Bob is younger than Jim being the second child, but Bob entered the Army about a year before Jim did.  Bob was stationed in Germany first, then went to Viet Nam, (also called “Nam”, and now days spelled as one word, Vietnam, in many instances.)  As Bob was going to Nam, Jim was going to Germany, and spent his military years in that general area.  Bob came home from Nam safe and sound and fairly “sane”, having spent most of his time serving in Military Communications at Lang Bian Mountain…many of our Vietnam Vets did not fair so well.

Uncle JimmyThird, my Uncles, Aunts, Brother-in-law, cousins and other relatives I know who also served in the military.  Some during times of peace, some during times of war.  Some who were at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day, one, James Woodrow Cline, who died on May 11, 1945 from a kamikaze attack aboard the USS Bunker Hill, a Essex-class aircraft carrier.  I have written about Uncle Jimmy before, and those posts can be found here:

The Uncle I Never Knew
The Uncle I Never Knew–In Remembrance of Uncle Jimmy

Generic Family TreeFourth, to the long list of ancestors on both mom and dad’s side of the family tree, who served in a long list of Military Service and Military Conflicts.  From Grandpa Burdick to my 6th Great Grandfather, Peter, a Lieutenant in the Rhode Island Militia.  There were many of my ancestors who served.

The salute of a Vet     American Flag, POW-MIA Flag

And finally, to friends, acquaintances, and to the millions of other American men and women who have served in the military of the United States of America.  The famous phrase, "all gave some; some gave all" should have deep meaning to us all, I know it does to me.  Thank you to all of our Vets, living and dead…and especially to those who came back wounded, and those who gave their all.

Arlington National Cemetery from the net

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Summer of Bears

Mama Bear protecting Cubs, Cassiar Highway

This past summer on our trip up to Alaska and back, we saw 27 bears, of which we got pictures of 26 of them.  The picture above is, by far, the best bear picture(s) we have ever taken.  When this mother stood up to the oncoming vehicle…well, the only way it could be better is if “we” were the oncoming vehicle, but we give bears more space than that whenever possible.  With so many bears, and even though all 26 have been featured in the blog as we saw them, I thought it might be nice to post a blog posting showing all 26 bears.  In doing so, I have tried to post pictures which were not posted previously.

Bear # 1 – Tetons, May 5th

Bear at Tetons near Jenny Lake
This bear was seen near Jenny Lake in the Tetons.  I had gotten out of the car, which was parked in the Jenny Lake Parking lot, as I wanted to get a picture of the river and lake.  Shortly as I walked away from the front of the car a lady says to me, “There is a bear down there…”  Sure enough, the bear was down there, and it was going to cross the small river stream, and head right for me.  I got this picture through an opening in the trees…the opening that the bear came through a short minute later.  Of course, I was not there any more as I had moved away.


 Bear # 2 – Yellowstone near Old Faithful, May 7th

Bear at Yellowstone near Old Faithful

As we pulled off the Grand Loop Road headed east at the Old Faithful exit, there is a very large grassy field off to the right before the road takes you to the left over the Grand Loop Road headed to Old Faithful.  Out in the middle of this field we see this large Grizzly Bear.  We are in the HHR, so it was easy to pull off and get pictures of this huge bear with no other cars around.  Marcia must have taken around twenty pictures, lots to choose from, and when we pulled away, it was still out there on the grass moving slowly toward the tree line.

Bear # 3 – Yellowstone Grand Junction, May 8th

Bear at Yellowstone Canyon Junction

This grizzly was digging into the dirt, probably for grubs and other bugs.  It never would let us see its face.  A small crowd had gathered alongside the road, and it was probably its way of ignoring everyone.

Bear # 4 - Yellowstone Blacktail Pond, May 9th

Bear at Yellowstone Blacktail Pond

This Grizzly was getting its fill of Buffalo.  We were driving from West Yellowstone to Lamar Valley via the upper loop.  There were twenty or more cars parked along the narrow road, lots of folks outside of their car, getting pictures of this bear.  We also got a picture of a Bald Eagle which was waiting for its chance to get some of the Buffalo too.  On our way back from the Lamar Valley, the bear was still there working on the Buffalo.  I talked to a lady who had been there all day and she said that it took about a 90 minute break from eating, laying near the carcass, but far enough away that the birds were able to get their share.

Bear # 5 - Kootenay National Park, May 15th

Bear at Kootenay National Park
 This was our first Canadian Bear which we saw in the Kootenay National Park on our way to Banff.  They have no parking signs in this area, and we were driving the motorhome with the HHR in tow, so I did not dare stop…although I slowed to a crawl.  Marcia did a good job getting this picture as I drove on.

Bear # 6 - Kootenay National Park, May 19th

Bear at Kootenay National Park

When we first drove through Kootenay National Park, we were in the motorhome, so we decided to come back and visit with the car.  As we got close to the Mt. Sinclair area on the way to Radium Hot Springs, we see this bear near the concrete barrier running along the roadway.  Found a place to turn around, and Marcia got a few picture of him as I again “crawled along” the road keeping within the spirit of the “no stopping signs” along the roadway.

Bears # 7 & # 8 – Banff and Yoho NP border, May 20th

Bear at Banff-Yoho border   Bear at Banff-Yoho border

These two bears were walking the tracks north of the Trans Canadian Highway at the border of Alberta and British Columbia, which is also near the border of where Banff National Park and Yoho National Park is located.  They were a few hundred yards away from the roadway, and this is the best pictures I got of both of them.

Bears # 9, #10 and #11 – Yoho NP, Emerald Lake, May 20th

Bear at Yoho, Emerald Lake with cubs

While visiting Emerald Lake in Yoho NP, I was looking for bears along the side of the mountains on the other side of the lake when I see this Black Bear.  I point it out to a few others who have cameras which can zoom in, and having my shots, I find Marcia and we start to leave…I give it one more look through the lens and see a baby bear come out.  We turn back and as I get more pictures, the second baby bear comes out of hiding.  Above is a picture of it coming down the slope to mama.

Bear # 12 – Jasper National Park, May 22nd

Bear at Jasper

When we drove to Jasper with motorhome towing HHR, it was snowing at the summit.  As we got close to Jasper it was a light rain, and we see this guy taking picture.  Yes, bear in there, but hard to see, look at the end of the arrow.

Bear # 13 & # 14 – Fort Nelson, May 26th

Bear at Fort Nelson     Bear at Fort Nelson

After driving 280 miles from Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson, taking over six hours at our slow pace, we set up camp, went out to eat dinner, and on the way back I decided we needed to do a side road to get a picture of the Muskwa River.  On the way back we spotted these two bears, about 1/4 mile apart from each other, alongside the roadway.  The one on the left was along the driver’s side so I took that picture, the one on the right was on Marcia’s side of the road, and she got it…getting a few fairly close as we gently drove by it.

Bear # 15 – North of Muncho Lake, May 27th

Bear North of Muncho Lake
This bear was a few hundred yards away from us heading for the tree line.  By the time we got up to where it was, it had vanished into the woods.  Along the Alaska Highway, there is nice buffer between the road and the tree line through much of the way.  One has to constantly be looking straight, and to the right and left for the signs of wildlife…bears are easy to see.

Bear # 16 – South of Watson Lake, May 27th

Bear South of Watson Lake This bear was also along Marcia’s side of the road, but the tree line was closer to the roadway, and this bear walked along the tree line for a good 1/10th of a mile.  As with many of our Alaska Highway sightings, we stop the motorhome, and no one else stops because there are no other cars on the road near us.  Sometimes car will come along, but many just keep on going, I guess they get used to see bears along the road.

Bear # 17 - 17 – South of Tutshi Lake, June 2nd

Bear South of Tutshi Lake

On our way back to the Alaska Highway coming out of Skagway we saw this Cinnamon Black Bear along the side of the road.  It was not there very long, and we were lucky to get a few shots before it shot off into the woods.  The Cinnamon Bear is a subspecies of the American Black Bear, native to the North West US, and Alberta, and British Columbia.

Bear # 18, # 19 and # 20 – Near Haines, July 26th

Mama Bear with Cubs at Haynes

We thought we were going to “Strike Out” seeing any bears in Alaska.  As we got close to the Haines Border Crossing, we saw these three Grizzly Bears, a mama and her two cubs, running along the Klehini River which is a typical glacier river with lots of rocks along the banks for when the river swells during the spring or heavy rains.  The width of this rocky area is at least 250 yards wide, and the bears had a long way to go to get to the safety of the trees.  I first saw the mother bear, then one cub close behind.  Suddenly the mother stops and looks back and the third cub is spotted, sniffing around.  She must have given it a growl, because it starts running, and took 20-30 seconds to catch up to momma and its sibling.  I only got three or four pictures of all three bears together, and this one is one I had not shown before.

Bear # 21, # 22 and # 23 – Cassiar Highway, July 29th

Mama Bear protecting Cubs, Cassiar Highway

This is the same set of bears as the opening picture in this blog…it by far was our most interesting, fascinating, longest sighting, and most cherished bear moment of our trip.  Driving the Cassiar Highway about 50-75 miles north of Meziadin Junction on our way to Hyder, I spot a black dot way ahead along the highway.  I slow down and quickly we see it is a bear.  We creep to under 100 yards away and stop…no traffic coming or going…and we enjoy a 15 minute encounter with what ends up being a mama bear with two cubs.  And when this blue car coming toward them, the mama bear gets up on her hind legs until the car stops.  We still had another 3-4 minutes with them before she takes them safely into the woods again.  15 minutes of our life which we will cherish forever.

Bear # 24 – Meziadin Junction, July 29th
Bear at Meziadin Junction

After our earlier encounter with the mama and two cubs, this bear alongside the road at the junction of the Cassiar Highway and the Highway to Stewart/Hyder.  It pretty much just sat there as traffic went slowly by…as the traffic going slowly by looked at it.

Bear # 25 – Near Stewart, July 29th

Bear near Stewart

This big bear was just walking along the road as we were about 4 miles out of Stewart, BC.   When we slowed to a stop, it stops and looks back at us…but for the most part it was ignoring anything that drove by.  As we drove by I tried to get an even closer shot of it, but that did not work out…and I wasn’t about to stop right next to it and roll down the window, that’s for sure.

Bear # 26 – Near Stewart, August 1st

Bear near Stewart

This was, by far, our saddest bear experience.  This little bear looked so thin, its fur was in bad shape, and we could only hope that it was going to make it through the winter.  It was located about the same location as the bear we saw on the way to Stewart/Hyder a few days earlier.  It was the last bear we saw on our trip.

I have seen bears out in the wild since I was a young child.  Camping up at Lake Tahoe or at Yosemite…seeing a bear walk through the campground was not an uncommon sight.  However, seeing this many bear during our trip to Alaska and back was surely a special treat for us.