Alex and I hit the AWCC (http://www.alaskawildlife.org/) with our friend Sonia and her two kids yesterday. It was pouring rain, it was cold, it was packed with tourists. We braved the elements and the tourist migration of 2007 and had a great time.
We came about 15 feet from brown bears, musk ox, elk, black bears, wood bison, porcupine, caribou and moose. Thank goodness for fences. I got some great pics that I'll post once my batteries are charged! They managed to die half way through the park.
Tourists are funny. They ARE in Alaska, they should expect to have to deal with the weather, right? Nope, not these tourists. They stayed in the buses, pointing at the animals through the window, even though the bus drivers stopped to let those out that chose to get out. There Alex and I were in our rain jackets, in the pouring rain, in the mud, walking around the park, dodging cars and buses. It was wonderful! Sonia and the kids opted to take their vehicle around the park. I hope they got to see as much as we did. When we first went by the brown bear habitat, they were hiding. They came out to say hello to us, all three of the bears, after we'd been standing there for about 5 minutes or so.
I'm looking forward to taking Julie, Daniel and Katelynn on Thursday when they are visiting. The weather report says it'll be clear for that day, but I've learned not to base anything on weather reports. This is Alaska, after all. The only way to tell what the weather is going to be at any given moment is to look out the window, and then look out the window five minutes later (it's more than likely the weather has changed between checks). Come rain, snow, sleet or hail, nothing will deter us from our appointed activities for the week.
I'll post the pics from the park I took yesterday as soon as I'm able!