Yeah, you heard me right. Larry Czonka, who is apparently and avid fisherman and has a cable TV show, has a film crew in camp right now to tape him and his guides fishing Brooks River. I was working the corner when he and his crew tried to cross the bridge today, but of course a bear was in the area and decided to graze right next to the bridge. So I got to hold them at the corner, and stand next to the fullback of the 71 Dolphins' undefeated season. Let me tell you that ring is huge (as is the finger it's attached to). I don't know what I was more afraid of, getting eaten by the bear or getting eaten by him. In any case when Larry pops that cork this winter, he has me to thank that he is still around to do it and was not eaten by some bear.
It was actually a pretty eventful day all in all, we saw a couple more bears plus a sow with three cubs. The cubs were almost the size of their mother, so we are guessing they are 2 and a half year olds. This is somewhat unique because by this age many cubs have already been kicked out by their moms.
As you can tell we are getting into the full swing of things here at Brooks Camp. We currently have a good number of hardcore fly fisherman (including some non-Super Bowl winners) out here for the opening of rainbow season on the river. And we are even starting to get some day visitors now, though they are often disappointed if they are expecting bears. Although the ones today saw plenty of action, and 4 of them we lucky enough to attend my first cultural walk (I am sure I'll get into that later). I never got to write an entry about the opening of camp, so here goes:
Brooks Camp officially opened to the public on June 1st, much to the delight of women everywhere who could not wait to see me in uniform. My first duty was to staff the lower platform, a bear-viewing platform that overlooks Brooks River as it feeds into Naknek Lake. I got out there at 8 o'clock to find a calm and sunny morning, with no sign of the hellacious east wind that had swept us for the previous week. Since the bears (and people) have not yet arrived in full force, platform duty is largely a formality at this point in the summer, so I spent two pleasant hours with nothing but a multitude of birds and a sunset to keep me company. I can think of much worse ways to start my day.
I hiked up Dumpling again with ElderHostel, a lifelong learning group that was in camp for the week. This is a much better picture of the view I tried to show you before, with Naknek Lake, Mt. Katolinat (above-right of me), and the mouth of Brooks River where our camp is in the lower left.
My dad has been bugging me about putting up some pictures of my living arrangements and such, so here it is:
They call this a tent-frame "cabin", which is a nice name for a wood frame of 2x4s and plywood covered with a canvas top. Here is the inside of my hovel, check out my loft up top:
One last thing: if you leave comments, don't forget to check back at the page of that particular entry because I usually answer them. Later folks.