You don't have to look too hard for bears on the Alaska peninsula—they will find you. Click the Play button below to hear this week's episode about the trek Larre, Tuck and Jack made in search of a "nice" brown bear.

flying into Port Moller, Alaska

flying into Port Moller, Alaska

 

From Anchorage, the guys flew to Cold Bay, Alaska. The town of 50-some people is 634 air miles from Anchorage, at a longitude that’s farther west than Hawaii.

It's a handy location for a few things. For one, the airport can handle large passenger jets that need to divert for emergency landings. In January this year, 200 passengers on a Tokyo to Portland flight got to spend several hours sightseeing in beautiful, downtown Cold Bay.

Cold Bay has the distinction of being the cloudiest place in the US, with 304 overcast days per year. It's rugged, windswept and cold. According to news reports, the diverted airline passengers got to enjoy a "nice day" of weather on their visit, which I assume means it wasn't too rainy or too windy.

accommodations in the grounded barge

accommodations in the grounded barge

the beach at Port Moller

the beach at Port Moller

A puddle-jumper flight took the trio from Cold Bay out to the site of a fish cannery at Port Moller. They stayed a few days in the "guest lodging," a beached barge with a nearly-enclosed room on top. 

Beach combing doesn't turn up a trove of seashells, but there are some fascinating finds. In addition to the glass floats formerly used in fishing nets, a beached whale carcass leaves some unmistakable relics.

whale vertebra

whale vertebra

A recommended hunting spot was 10 miles farther down the bay, with no way to get there but to hike. The three intrepid hunters loaded their gear into a folding canoe, then took turns pulling and steering the watercraft as they hiked the rocky shoreline. 

packing the canoe to hike the beach

packing the canoe to hike the beach

down the peninsula

down the peninsula

farther down the bay

farther down the bay

One night a bear raided their food supply that they thought they'd tied up high out of reach. One day they left their glassing perch, then looked back to see a bear walking where they had recently been sitting. A couple days later, a bear was waiting below them as they descended from that same spot. I think the stalkers were being stalked.

campsite in the brush

campsite in the brush

9 feet 2 inches

9 feet 2 inches

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