Homer - Skilak lake - Anchorage - Alaska - USA

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We end our vacation in the place where we started. Today we drive from Homer to Anchorage. After breakfast in our B&B we say goodbye to the owners. We drive down the gravel road and leave Homer. In our car we decide, if we ever go back to Alaska, to skip Homer. Pretty soon we're on the highway and drive north. We planned on hiking somewhere for a little bit. So at milepost 58 we drive towards the Skilak lookout trail. The road is gravel, but in good condition, so we keep going. Along the way we stop to enjoy the view. Our hike is somewhat further on, so we have to keep driving. There are some signs of bear sightings, but that's the case in all of Alaska. Still we hope that today we are going to see a bear and we decide for once to make little noise when hiking. Then at least we won't scare of any bears if they're there. We park our car and walk into the forest. The trail winds through the forest and then through open terrain. A good opportunity to encounter a bear. Only, there has been a forest fire here a couple of years ago, and those burnt stumps of trees are starting to look like bears. But the one over on the right is fluffy and rising... It's a bear!!! The black bear is slightly startled when he sees us, but uhmmmm. So are we. The bear quickly heads up the mountain to see what we're doing and we're looking at what the bear's doing. After he has had enough he walks off into the bushes. We decide to continue the hike for a bit, because we're only halfway and we would like to see the viewpoint. But after a couple of minutes we encounter the bear again when he's looking from the bushes. Apparently we're heading the same direction as the bear. According to the books, that's the moment to turn around and head back to your car. Once at the car we check our pictures and conclude that the bear was too close for comfort. We wanted a recognizable bear on a picture. And we have to say that we certainly succeeded at that.
We drive down the gravel road and stop at the ranger station to report our bear sighting. Afterwards we drive to Anchorage and the B&B.

So if you want to see bears in Alaska you have to make little noise during hiking. It's wise to assess per hike if there are enough ways to get out of the bears way if you encounter one. Also, a bit of knowledge of bear behavior is a must and we advise anybody to read a book about he behavior of bears.

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