Most people travel to know places and interesting people. I wanted to travel to have and encounter with a bear.
“Why don’t you go to Alaska?” My mother suggested.
And that’s exactly what I did, I bought a plane ticket as I reached my summer vacation and traveled to Juneau, Alaska’s capital, where my best friend lived.
She and I were inseparable during our college days. Then she married and moved to “the last frontier,” as they call Alaska. Now she’s enjoying the great beauty of these landscapes and knows every corner of the city.
“What luck!” I thought. “What I just needed to have an encounter with a grizzly bear.”
These giant omnivores, who also live between 25 and 30 years, are the most widespread species of bear in the world and the characteristic inhabitants of the forests of Alaska.
Juneau is surrounded by mountains and glaciers. During the summer it enjoys a maritime climate of around 18 ° C, and is reputed to have one of the largest concentrations of brown bears in the world.
In summer, the forests of Alaska become a huge green carpet that exudes calm and pine trees stand like soldiers at the foot of the battle to protect us from the enemy. In the distance high mountains with snow frosty evoke monumental figures as the Colossus of Rhodes.
Every day, my friend and I took long walks in the forest. As we talked walked many paths, one at the glacier Mendenhall, whose thick ice mass flow seems a petrified river.
“What should we do if a bear appears?” I asked my friend.
“If he approaches the first thing is to stay calm. Try to look as tall as possible. Then try to slowly withdraw without giving him your back and do not look directly into his eyes.”
I do not know if her answer scared me, but we stopped to drink fresh water from a stream. There was no sign of bears; however, we could glimpse a pair of bald eagles, emblematic of the region, waiting to feed on fish.
The days passed peacefully and one night I saw lights in the sky forming bright yellow waves. It was the aurora borealis! Thick brush strokes drawn on an endless dark canvas, compared only with the Starry Night of Van Gogh.
How easy you can get used to beauty. But as any trip lasts forever, the next day I had to go home.
“And could you see a bear?” My mother asked.
“ I liked the trip so much that I forgot all about it!”