One of the bears the Eberharts saw during their two-month visit to Alaska.
Photo by Chuck Eberhart.
Chuck and Barbara Eberhart recently returned from a two-month summer tour of Alaska, the Yukon Territories, and Northwest Territories. Their trip was a repeat of their 1991 grand tour of Alaska.
Traveling in a pickup truck with camper, the couple left from Seattle and drove 1,000 miles to Prince Rupert. They then ferried to Juneau-Skagway.
"The principle objective of the trip was photography of wildlife--that is, bears, bears, bears," Chuck Eberhart said.
The Eberharts had a permit that is issued to just 25 persons per day to visit the Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary on Admiralty Inlet, west of Juneau.
The bears are at Pack Creek each summer to feed on the salmon. The peak period to see the bears is from July 10 to Aug. 25. The Eberharts' dates were July 10-11, and not only was there rain on those dates, but it was the very beginning of the fish run.
They saw only one bear in a 40-minute period in the two days. Fortunately, they did see more bears later on the trip.
"We saw numerous grizzly bears from the tour bus at Denali National Park, as well as at the Fish Creek Bear Sanctuary at Hyder," Eberhart said.
Both Denali and the sanctuary are within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service, which works to protect the bears from overly-agressive visitors.
During the trip, the Eberharts also made a thorough tour of Juneau and enjoyed the sight of hundreds of thousands of chum salmon heading up Sheep Creek to the hatchery, one of the largest in Alaska.
"Twenty miles out at Eagle Beach, dozens of eagles congregated to hunt for fish in the inlets that course the area," Eberhart said.
The remaining part of the trip included a visit to the Great Northern Native Art Festival in Inuvik, located in the Northwest Territories.
"The festival attracts artists from Canada, the U.S. mainland, and Alaska," he said. "Artists use the hide and hair of animals, birds, fish, whales ... which is woven into gloves and other items," Eberhart explained.
The couple returned from their trip with 721 photos which they would be happy to share. Call the Eberharts at 788-1940 if you would like to learn more about traveling in Alaska.