Addie told you a little bit about the bears and included many pictures of some of the bears we saw. I will tell you a bit about the details of the bear viewing trip.
Harvey Flying Service of Kodiak was chosen partially based on a recommendation of friends of Joyce and mostly, I confess, because I wanted to fly in Steve Harvey’s beautiful 1943 Grumman Widgeon airplane.
Another major factor in choosing Harvey was that his bear guide, Jo Murphy, is reputed to be the best. Even though I had high expectations for Jo, her knowledge and competence exceeded them by any measure. That was appreciated when walking around in the bear’s environment, often quite close to bears, even mama grizzlies with cubs.
The flights to and from Katmai National Park and Preserve were a treat in themselves. Though I had flown in float planes a few times, flying in the old Widgeon was my first flight in an amphibian. The scenery was beautiful and Jo was able to provide a lot of interesting details about what we were viewing.
Once we arrived at Katmai, we got out of the plane in knee-deep water and waded ashore. We kept on hip boots for the duration of the excursion, as we waded across small rivers numerous times. After leaving the beach, we hiked into a meadow valley surrounded by mountains. The meadow, mountains and several visible glaciers were gorgeous.
On the return flight, we had a blond co-pilot that made me more nervous than the bears (see picture).