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Summer 2021: Adventures in Katmai National Park and Preserve

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Season’s End

Season’s End

I have been putting off writing this final blog entry because… I don’t want the story to end.

Where shall we begin?

Where shall we begin?

I’m back from Katmai! Since I wasn’t able to keep up the blog over the summer, I will be retroactively posting my writings over the coming weeks.

Backcountry Bush Flight

Backcountry Bush Flight

Taking a backcountry bush flight to Nonvianuk, and reflecting on the beauty and intrigue of Katmai as autumn sweeps over the landscape.

Late Summer in Katmai

Late Summer in Katmai

Stories and wandering reflections from my late summer days working in Katmai. The days grow shorter, the bears grow fatter, and time marches on.

Fure’s Cabin

Fure’s Cabin

Adventures on a spontaneous overnight trip with my favorite gal pal to Fure’s Cabin in Katmai’s backcountry.

Sharing Happiness

Sharing Happiness

Reflecting on how my experiences in Alaska have changed over the years, and what it means now to get to share the experience with my partner.

Riding the Chignik Earthquake

Riding the Chignik Earthquake

I just felt my first earthquake! Turns out, it was the largest in the US in 50 years, and the 7th largest in US history.

Night Bear Meditations

Night Bear Meditations

In which I discover that overnight bear monitoring data collection turns out to be a surprisingly meditative experience.

Hordes of July

Hordes of July

The struggles of managing record visitation at Katmai with a skeleton crew, leading my first Valley Tour, and remembering why I love being a ranger.

My first bear encounters

My first bear encounters

I finally ran into my first bears (yes, bears, plural) on the Valley Road on my walk home from work. Six bears, friends. SIX. Holy murder-cow.

June Days

June Days

June has been pretty chill so far, but things are ramping up for the tourist season to start in July.

Amazing Wildlife Moments

Amazing Wildlife Moments

An amazing 24 hours of watching playful spring cubs and river otters in Katmai! I still can’t believe I work here.

Bears in Camp: Just Katmai Things

Bears in Camp: Just Katmai Things

I’m starting to get a taste of what this summer is going to be like: more visitors arriving, bears freakin’ everywhere, and mosquitoes starting!

Park Rangering: Week 1

Park Rangering: Week 1

Made it through my first week park rangering at Katmai! The takeaway: Watching bears and people together in the river is nerve-wracking.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire

Out of the frying pan and into the fire

Seasonal training wrapped up on Friday, and next week, the park opens to visitors. Out of the frying pan and into the fire! I still don’t feel ready…

Getting to know Brooks Camp

Getting to know Brooks Camp

Some short reflections on my first few days in Brooks Camp, and my first brown bear encounter.

Arrival in King Salmon

Arrival in King Salmon

Hello from King Salmon, AK! It has been an absolute whirlwind to get here, but I've finished my first week of training and finally have a moment to sit down and reflect in the quiet of this windy, grey Saturday morning. I'm staying here temporarily for the first...