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Back in our camper after working for a couple of months in the
Netherlands. Immediately we went northbound to Yellowstone National Park,
because we were already late in the season. But winter had been long and
there was still a lot of snow. On June 11th fresh 12 inches of fresh snow
fell on the mountain passes and we were stuck for two days in the park between Canyon
and Fishing Bridge!
4th of July we celebrated with our relatives in West-Yellowstone. A
couple of days we played on Lake Hebgen and made action shots of the kids.
Because it was too early in the season to go to Alaska, we traveled
westbound and plashed around in hot springs in Idaho and Oregon.
1 - 15 August: In Hyder, Alaska we always made pictures of fishing grizzly
bears in Fish Creek. The salmon count this year was record low, but there
were also lots of other things to do in this area. One day we went with
some friends to an ice cave in the Salmon glacier. The hike down was
strenuous, but worth all the effort. Afterwards we spend the night on a
mountain top with view on the glacier.
16 - 23
August: With two other couples we drove from Fairbanks, Alaska, 300
miles north to photograph the migrating caribous and herds of musk ox on
the Artic tundra. The fall colors were just gorgeous. It was a very weird
sensation to focus on a bull caribou while a bow hunter aimed his arrow
at the same animal! Fortunately he missed. The musk ox are protected and
for us easier to shoot, this animal is the survivor of the Ice age with long
24 - 31 August:
It is easier
to see a a grizzly bear in Denali National Park than to see Mount
McKinley (the highest mountain of North America), which is covered in
clouds 80% of the year. We were lucky and saw both! But we were here
especially to see the bull moose, which we saw a lot. The fall colors in
Denali were eye-catching.
1 – 9 September: We were still traveling with two other couples. After
more than two weeks in Denali we were heading for Fairbanks. In Denali
you cannot drive your vehicle, you have to be transported by old green
– sometimes nine hours trips – weren’t successful, but we were in good
company and had a lot of fun. We enjoyed the first 10 miles of the park
better, when you can drive yourself and where we saw a lot of moose.
picture taken by Frank Hooghiemstra
10 – 13 September: We took a detour of 150 miles from the Alaska Highway
for a visit to Haines. Along the Chilkoot River we saw 12 different
grizzly bears within 24 hours. They hung around the weir Fish & game had
built to count the sock-eye salmon. Although it was a lousy fish year
here too, they had counted almost 33.000 sock-eyes. We witnessed a scary
moment when a Husky dog was threatening a grizzly bear on the beach! It
ended all well for grizzly and dog.
14 - 16 September: We followed the Alaska Highway south to Dawson Creek.
The trees were in fall colors. Along the road we saw wood bison and
caribou. We dipped into the hot river of Liard Hot Springs. It was just as
idyllic as eight years ago.
17 - 27 September: Through exiting and rough roads in British Columbia
we looked for grizzly bears and found them too. The mushrooms were popping
up, the berries were ripe and the leaves started to fall. It was
definitely autumn now.
28 - 30 September: We were watching some fishing bears from the road,
when we heared behind us: "Hmmmpf" and a grizzly bear stepped out of the
bush! PJ grabbed his pepper spray in one hand and his tripod and camera in
the other and we started to back up. Unfortunately he had put his full
coffee mug on the ground and it was too late for me to go and get it. The
bear walked towards the cup and spontaneously started rolling on the ground.
Do you think the bear disliked instant coffee?
4 -6 October: For a couple of days we were staying in front of Charlotte
and Bob’s house in the centre of Kamloops. We have met this couple last
year in Mexico. Overnight the temperature had dropped to 32 F and it was
a very foggy morning. While I am having a shower in their house, PJ is
working on the laptop in the camper. He looked out of the window and saw
a black bear walking the pavement!! This was very confusing for a moment.
We were now accused for bringing the cold weather AND the bears to Kamloops… ;-)
In July we were also parked in their street
Black bear in front of a house (very foggy)
7 October: Since Hyder people teased me when I was wearing my new
camouflage pants which I had bought in an Army dump store, so they are
official army camouflage pants! I can imagine that they are laughing,
because the pants are spotted in orange, yellow, brown and black. “Where
are you hiding for?”, is a frequented asked question. Until we arrived
high north in Alaska on the tundra, the comments are silenced. Nobody
could see me!
8 – 12 October: Looking for warmer weather brought us more and more
south, but even in Northern California we had freezing nights. We crossed
through Washington state and Oregon and were amazed by the snow capped
volcanoes that were popping up out of the flat country.
13 – 18 October: We finally found hot days (90 F) and warm nights in
Death Valley, California. We drove 40 miles dirt road, which
took us 3 ½ hours. First a pas of almost 2300 meter and then only down
down down. We ended up at Saline Valley Hot Springs, an oases in the
desert. A pity that this area is also the low flying practice range of
the US Air force. Sometimes the jets are flying so low that we are
afraid that the windows of the camper will break.
19 October: We had a quiet and peaceful night at the Bonneville salt
flats (Utah). Of course we did not try out the Speedway, where in summer
speed records over land are being held. Once we had been stuck for two
days on the salt flats of Uyuni in Bolivia, the largest salt flats in
the world. We don’t want to have that experience again.
Bonneville Salt flats (Utah)
Salt flats of Uyuni (Bolivia)
On Monday October 20th three million Brits opened their newspaper and were
seeing our bear pictures! Thanks to Doug, our English friend who works at Metro
newspaper in London.
October 2008 USA and Netherlands
We flew home to Holland for a quick visit of 18
days. It is always a pleasure to hang out with our family and friends,
although it was just short.
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