Glacier Bay Day

I seem to be running out of adjectives, but today was nothing short of magnificent (besides the fact that my little cold has turned into something of an all consuming ameba). We spent the day in Glacier Bay National Park, our first visit to Marble Island to view the ridiculous amount of sea lions, and occasional chance to see puffins and sea otters as well. A little over cast it was it impossible to know what was in store for us. The sun came out and didn’t disappear all day. It was easily the most gorgeous day of the season thus far.


After breakfast we were able to view a small black bear close to shore, but I was truly hoping to see a brown bear. There is something indescribably awesome about their size, coats, and the way the move carrying so much weight.

Thankfully though it wasn’t long until lunch time, since meal service is always a hot time for wildlife to show up. On the shore hunting for an intertidal snack were two large brown bears. We were able to get the boat pretty close to shore to view them until they started taking off running. Much faster than you would imagine for such a large meaty animal, it was amazing to watch them take off and run for hundreds of yards. Unfortunately for them, it takes a lot less energy to move the boat a couple hundred yards, so that’s what we did. Drove by them as they raced along the shore till they decided it was safe enough to slow down and rummage around a bit. This only lasted for a few moments until they decided that had enough of us and took off running again. This time we let their jiggly bodies fade into the distance.

There were a couple of opportunities throughout the day for our usual mountain goat spotting, and glacier watching. I slept through most of this. Apparently though, the Margerie glacier had a wonderful clap inspiring calve.

I did happen to wake up in time for what I feel was the best sigthing of the day. A mother black bear and her cub walking along in the brush along the edge of the snow. Oh wait, make that a mum and her two cubs. Oh wait, I believe one of those cubs is a glacier bear… yep, definitely a glacier bear. It was amazing enough to watch the mother and her two cubs climb up onto and walk across the snow. For one of the cubs to climb a tree while the other two bears paid no mind. To be able to tell the mother would have stopped letting us watch her much early, but with a look of annoyed patience, was waiting for her cubs to scurry along. Yes, that was all amazing enough, but to know that one of those cute, curious cubs was a glacier bear, was out of this world more amazing then I could have asked to see, and I am grateful.

its hard to tell, but the fur color of the cub in the middle is not due to the lighting. the little cub actually has hints of blue and grey in his coat.

To give you an idea, two of our naturalist have been doing this kind of work for over 20 years and have thoroughly explored the back country, and this was their second sighting, ever.

    • Daddyo
    • May 25th, 2012

    Wow! Very cool.

    • mum
    • May 25th, 2012

    Never heard of a glacier bear!

    • lulu
    • May 26th, 2012

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing…..Love and miss you!

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