Friday, September 6, 2013

silver salmon creek lodge

Towards the middle-end of our time in Alaska, our plan was to go with Mark from Air Madura to Brooks Falls for some famous bear-watching. When Mark picked us up, he told us it'd be better worth our time to go to a smaller space where the professional photographers in-the-know were going, so we trusted him and headed off. We left Anchorage for Lake Clark National Park in Cook Inlet to the Silver Salmon Creek Lodge.


We arrived and landed gracefully in a lake of lily pads, the way I hope to arrive on all of my future vacations.


After already being awed by our surrounding, we were whisked off  immediately by a guide in an ATV to view our first bears!

We trudged through the tall grass, following each move our guide made, holding our breaths out of fear. Is he really going even closer to that massive animal? Do I have to follow him and also go this close?! We closed our eyes and followed, and thank goodness we did. We were immersed in this close behavior for two days, feeling close to nature and having even more of an adrenaline rush than the time T and I tried sky-diving.

We took a break from the viewing to have some delicious as-local-as-you-can-get salmon with the best biscuits in the whole world before being visited by a 3-year old bear in camp and heading out for even more bear-viewing.

We headed back to camp and by 11:30pm the sun was pretending to set, so a bonfire was started while a midnight game of basketball and soccer went on. We tucked in late and woke up nice and early to get some last bear-viewing in before we sadly had to head off.

Sadly, our time had come to a close, and we had to say our goodbyes. I was hoping to be left behind, as I could actually live there forever, as could T, but we were found and dragged back to the plane. We headed out to find one of the bajillion (an almost-factual statistic) lakes and ponds in the area to land wherever we wanted and do some fishing before heading back to the real-world in Anchorage.

We continue to talk about how the highlight of the entire trip to Alaska was the couple of days we spent with Mark from Air Madura, and everyone at Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, from the owners David and Joanne, and David's son Oliver to the beyond-interesting chef and all of the staff. We immediately felt like we had been visiting for every year for our entire lives. Such warmth and happiness was felt on every inch of the area and it was contagious. I cannot recommend enough a trip out to see them, and the bears, or even just for some remote relaxation. Of note, don't be alarmed if you are the only non-professional photographer there. We sat with many highly-respected photographers that were surprised to hear that we were not there for our profession, and were very curious as to how we even had found Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, but remained some of the nicest and modest people I have met.
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