Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I almost got killed by a bear on the way home from writer's conference...

Well, sort of.

I saw a lot of wildlife in Homer. A lot. For example, there was this obnoxious cackling bird that was really grating me as I walked into my first workshop. It reminded me of that dang raven (which really is just a euphemism for obnoxious crow) who hangs out in my driveway and wakes me up every morning, except this bird was, (and yes it is possible,) even louder. I didn't know seabirds could be this loud, as a matter of fact, so I looked up to find this remarkable loud-mouthed gull, and saw instead an American Bald Eagle hacking it's lungs out like there was some salmon entrail stuck in it's throat. And then I thought,
"What an amazing bird!" Perspective.

(This was not the actual eagle. I didn't have my camera at that moment. This eagle was captured on film on the boat cruise. This one's prettier, though. Ever seen an eagle trying to clear phlegm? Not cute. Or pretty. Or magestic, or grand, or patriotic, or any of those other words we use to describe our national fowl.)

Later that first night, in my amazing hotel room at the end of the Spit, I looked out my window as I laid in my bed and what did I see? The cutest little beach otter swimming by me. He hung out by my beach a lot. This photo is of the hotel where I stayed, just to prove that we really were at "Lands End". I stayed in one of the little condos on the far left of the page. But back to the otter. We became good friends throughout the week. I even took a video of him. He was a little far out there and really hard to see on this tiny little video format, but I thought he was super cute. I've never really seen an otter "motor" like this before. BTW, this was shot at 10:58 pm, no joke. There's a reason it's called the land of the midnight sun. Setting


The cruise was a mecca of wildlife, also. We did not go out far enough to see whales, but we did see a myriad of one point I counted 45 otters, not counting babies, in one raft. We passed several rafts of them, and all the mamas and babies together reminded me to love one an otter, and it was about at this point that one of my new friends and authors, Kirby Larson, as well as several other out-of-state writer and editor types begged me to email pictures since I had the most impressive camera. I knew there was a reason I lug that thing around! Networking.

And of course, the puffins. I must admit, I'm the most proud of these, photography wise, but I'm going to restrain myself to one, considering I'm sort of getting away from the subject. (I'll put a photo box in a future posting...) So...wait for it, wait for it... here is my symbolic taking off in my writing career. I had to say it. Bold.

But I didn't see a single moose, and I didn't see a single bear.

It was time to go home, and so I left, along the way I encountered the biggest beast of all:I didn't have the courage to "inquire inside" to find out her price. The Business of Writing

I continued on my merry way, and then I noticed a problem. There were several cars at a complete standstill in the middle of the 2 lane highway, half a mile to the Kenai/Russian River Ferry pullout. I braked, I stopped. I heard a horn honk. I saw a man exit a red truck. I was concerned he was having car trouble. A car waited for a break in traffic and swerved around him. I thought, "How insensitive can you be?" Then I moved forward and looked to my right and there was the bear. I would have taken a picture, but I've already been run over once this year, so I didn't find it appropriate to get out of my car and further hold up traffic to take pictures of what, frankly, is one of the uglier bears I've seen in this state. See my header for a better specimen. There are no original ideas. The writing just needs to be good enough.

So I signaled left. I craned my neck not toward the bear, but out my window to try and make sure I wasn't going to get plowed head-on. I was just easing out when the mini-van maniac mom driver whipped around me, nearly taking my head off. I wonder if she ever learned to take turns in kindergarten. More likely she just learned how to drive in Alaska. But then, what I really wonder is, did she see the bear? Process

But I did see my first true-blue Alaskan Bear Road block. Life is good.

(If I was from Virginia I probably would have been run over. Because I would have been photographing that light-colored, matted, molting ugly specimen of a brown bear. But I didn't.) Because in the end, all I want to do is Write On.


Sarah said...

Right on!

That reminds me, I otter go swimming.

Sarah said...

Ha, ha... I crack myself up.

Linsie said...

you crack me up, too! That is hi-larious. I otter write that joke down, punny girl. Some things never change...