which I told you about previously. I then spent three days at Hallo Bay on the Pacific coast side
of Katmai National Park. Hallo Bay is a place many people go to watch bears. Bears go to
Hallo Bay to feed on sedges, a highly nutritious plant. The sedges grow in these huge, vast
meadows. One bush pilot I know who flies people to Hallo Bay says he calls the bears there
“scary cows” because they resemble cattle or even bison grazing on the plains. Hallo Bay is a
beautiful place. Besides the vast green sedge meadows, the bay is surrounded by tall snow capped mountains. A few glaciers, including Hallo Glacier, meander down through the
mountains into creeks and rivers that flow out through the bay. We camped along Hallo Creek
which is full of glacial sediment from the glacier that feeds it at the west side of the bay. The
bears at Hallo Bay are similar to the bears I know at Brooks Camp because they are used to
seeing people watch them. I got a little bit too close to some of the bears at Hallo Bay. One
evening, we were sitting on a log watching a sow with a yearling cub feed on sedges. A large
male bear came up behind us and began making a huffing noise at the sow. The sow was
clearly agitated that the male was trying to take over her grazing spot. The little yearling was
very stressed too. He started to make a groaning noise. Both the sow and the large male spent
several minutes huffing at one another and popping their jaws. These are both behaviors that
bears show when they are stressed or uncomfortable. The sow did not totally give up her spot
to the male, though. She just moved a little bit. It was very interesting to watch the bears’
interactions with one another.
We also saw a couple of fights between male bears. Some of them were just playing rather
than fighting. Two males, though, got into a pretty good fight. One of them was a huge, and the
other one was rather small. I thought for sure the larger male would have the advantage and
win, but this small male was very strong. He used his strength to get onto his hind legs and just
push himself against the larger bear. This was enough to make the larger male fall back. They
eventually called it quits, and I do not think any blood was spilled. However, I was watching
from very far away.
Hallo Bay is also where Timothy Treadwell spent much of his time. He is the man who spent at
least 14 summers on the coast of Katmai National Park studying and filming brown bears. Two
films were made about him, Grizzly Diaries and Grizzly Man. He was killed by a bear at Kaflia
Bay in Katmai in October of 2003, and his ashes are spread at Hallo Bay. He called Hallo Bay
the Grizzly Sanctuary. Now that I’ve been there, I need to re-watch the films about him.
We had no problems with bears disturbing our campsite. One evening around midnight, one of
the guys I was camping with did start shouting. I got up and looked out of my tent and saw two
bears grazing on grass right next to our electric fence. I did not sleep very well that night, but I
think it was because I had to use the bathroom and didn’t want to get out of my warm tent.
Hallo Bay was a great place to spend three days. Our park pilot was unable to fly over the
mountains to pick us up the day we were supposed to leave, so we had to spend an extra night.
None of us were upset about it. We had plenty of extra food and water in case that happened.
On the flight home to Brooks Camp, I saw several beautiful rivers and waterfalls. We also flew
over Kaguyak Crater, one of many volcanic craters on the Alaska Peninsula. The crater had a
lake inside with a nice little island in the middle.
Well I hope you enjoyed this. Goodbye for now.