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Un oso busca algo de comer en un campo enlodado

For those with a naturalist streak, few places on earth compare with the wonders of Southwest Alaska. Brown bears amble along the hills and plains, and more than 240 bird species inhabit Alaska’s Southwest region. The region’s terrain ranges from a landscape of volcanoes in Katmai National Park created by the 1912 eruption of the Novarupta volcano, to the windswept Aleutian Islands that make a 1,000-mile sweep toward Asia.

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Hi-- Three ol' geezers(65+) left Sea-Tac airport on Alaska Airlines in mid - summer enroute Ketchikan. We used one person's frequent miles to book all three seats with modest compensation to the provider. Booking the frequent flyer seats was easy and we received and retained seat assignments for going and return. Upon arrival we found Rich's watertaxi per suggestion who took us to the dock where our float plane was located. We dumped our baggage on the dock (no theft concerns, just like the old days!!) and hoofed it to Safeway about 1/2 mile away to buy $300 worth of food and supplies for the 6 days we would be in the backcountry. Fishing licences were also bought here. Our pilot's ground crew came into Safeway, helped us pack it out, and off we went to the plane. A short 20 minute flight to Patching Lake and the small U.S. Forest Service cabin was exciting and uneventful. The cabin was a 12x14 panabode with bunks, table , woodstove and protected porch. A well stocked woodshed, wood splitting tools,  2-14ft. boats and a clean outhouse rounded out the  setting. Our pilot/outfitter provided us a very economical "cabin package" including a 6hp outboard and gas. Be sure and check to see they give you a good camp mattress......old bones need more than the average apparently. The cabin package included all the dishes, utentsils, stove/latern and propane. We also had them leave an inflatable raft, which we ended up not using. We had a wonderful week fishing for the elusive 25" trophy cut-throat. Caught some 18-20" ones plus enumerable smaller one. No keeper trophy fish. The lake is about 3-1/4 miles long and bordered by old growth. Beavers, red-throated loons, gulls, kingfishers and the occasional deer were seen. One set of black bear tracks, but no bear. The weather was cloudy, misty but with comfortable temps and virtually no bugs....a real surprise. We cooked on the outside fire ring on several of the nights. All of use had backgrounds in the professional wildlife arena and one had spent (mis-spent actually) his youth growing up on Kodiak Island, and participating in fur seal research, with a couple of summers as a stream guard. Another had 3 years in central Alaska in the mid-60's plus a couple of experiences as "camp mule" in a friend's moose camp near Talkeetna. The reservation system for the over 100 cabins and shelters available in the Tongass National Forest worked perfectly as did our outfitter support thru RDM Outfitters(Carlin Air). We spent 6 wonderful days without another boat, light or airplane and only 20 minutes from the 8-10,000 cruise ship passengers who come to Alaska for a different sort of experience. We spent 1-1/2 days doing Ketchikan, staying at a hostel......highly recommended at only $25/nite/person,  enjoying some great Alaska meals, and maybe a beer or two at the Sourdough and Arctic bars. Anyone who whould like some specifics feel free to contact Rich at We did the whole trip on-the-cheap and not counting the airfare for one who came from South Carolina, for well under $1000 each.

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