If you come in berry season, you won't go hungry! Salmon-Berries, Cranberries, Strawberries, and Crowberries, all ripen in late summer. Don't neglect our tundra wildflowers: Yellow Monkey Flowers, Rusty Cottongrass, Nutica Lupine, River Beauty (Dwarf Fireweed), and spectacular Monk's Hood (Poisonous!) make this an attractive place to hike. Heart...more
Cold Bay is so rich in wildlife, and it offers no physical challanges, the terrain being faily level, that this is an excellent place to spend some time, hike a bit, make camp, and see the animals. The birds are attracted by the eelgrass, the predators are attracted by the birds, and the carribou come by in the fall after calving, bringing along...more
When one is traveling off the beaten path, one learns to make do.
Many a day I've been stuck in Cold Bay waiting for the weather to clear in Dutch Harbor (Unalaska). PenAir would fly as far as Cold Bay and then stay there and wait to see if the weather improved. Sometimes it did and sometimes you climbed back on the plane and flew the 2 1/2 hours back to Anchorage to try again the next day.
The PenAir waiting room has coffee and, well just coffee. So here is the insider tip. Walk across the street to the bearfoot inn and Grocery Store and walk in to their walk in freezer and take your pick from a wide variety of frozen entrees. Microwaving is free :)
Cold Bay has a long runway, and is a diversion landing strip for the Space Shuttle, though this is not the cheapest way to get to Cold Bay, and the shuttle has not landed there yet! (haha). A Japanese flight was diverted there a few years ago, and quite a surprise to the 300+ visitors on board! The village will make you welcome to the best of their...more
Before arriving in Cold Bay, the naturalist held a lottery for spots on the Fish and Wildlife service bus to go to Izembek Lagoon. My name was chosen, though my friends, Peggy and Diane, were not.We had to travel 11 miles each way to the lagoon over old army roads, and our stay was only an hour and a half! That meant no time for lollygagging! Get...more
For those of you not lucky enough to win the lottery and trip to Izembek Lagoon, find a local guide. My friends found "Joe" a teenager who may, or may not, have had a driver's license, and his daddy's truck, who drove them out to the dump. Dumps are a popular attraction in rural Alaska, and you are sure to see bears.
The stories from those on this tour, had to do with the questioning of Joe's driving skills, though, none of them would have passed up this tour. A splendid time is guarenteed for all.
Be Bear Aware: Cook away from your campsite, and store your food in air tight containers. If you are fishing and a bear approaches, cut your line. Don't run, bears are fast. Speak to the bear in a calm authoritative voice. "Hi there, Mr Bear, You don't want to eat me, I am covered with nasty tasting nylon skins, and will not taste good. Why don't you try the fish, or some berries. Now go on now, just skeedaddle, and we won't have any trouble."
Luggage and bags:
A Backpack or rucksack is best. This is a remote location, and supplies are hard to come by, so be prepared.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Sturdy hiking boots, and rubber boots are a must, with plenty of foul weather gear.
Weather here is wet and cool, with average wind speeds of 20 mph, and frequent gusts of 50+. Temperatures rarely top 70F (19C)
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Always pack Toilet paper, and sealable bags to carry out your trash. Keep your gear in plastic garbage bags to keep them dry. Hand wash is a good idea.
Photo Equipment: Macro Lens for the flora, and Telephoto for wildlife. Lots of film.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: A three season tent, and sleeping bag are recommended as it can get cold, plus your cook gear, and foodstuffs.
Be Bear Aware! Cook away from your campsite, and store your food in air tight containers.
Miscellaneous: Sunglasses, binoculars, and a walking stick are good ideas, and if you can stand the weight, bring some plaster to cast the bear prints!
Bear watching, fishing and enjoying the peacefulness of solitude and the beautiful landscape.
Fondest memory: Getting of the plane and meeting Alan Ellis our contact who was providing transportation for our stay. Alan wanted to know if we brought any guns with us? He then stated if we wanted to use his riot shotgun while visiting, he would be more than happy to let us use it during our stay. We inquired why we would need a shotgun? He answered 'to fight of the bears of course, really BIG One's here in Cold Bay'. We proceeded to laugh for the next 4 hours.
Our group had a wonderful time and met many interesting people, Alan Ellis thanks for the laughs.