July 17-20th- Each day at Hallo Bay, we would go out with the guide, in search of the bears. After checking the tidal flats out in front of the camp, we would walk down the beach a ways, then cut across the peninsula to the opposite tidal flats via Nancy’s Trail, or by another wonderful trail known as the ‘Adventure Trail’.
Nancy’s Trail, which was named for a bear, and with good reason….. these trails were just the usual paths that the bears took through the woods…… was the longer trail, but a nice walk on a fairly dry trail through a pretty section of woods.
Our guide would point out the various plants as we walked and talked about the herbal or medicinal uses of each. This walk took about 45 minutes to reach the tidal flats on the other side.
The other, more frequently traveled path was the cut through trail, otherwise known as the ‘Adventure Trail’.
This trail took about 30 minutes, but it crossed 4 sections of boggy, marshy areas with mud……
MUD! Ankle deep……We would step…and sink….and pull our feet out…and step again.
And standing water……. We were told that this trail had been dry until several weeks before, when it had rained for 2 weeks straight. Now, we hiked through troughs of water.
We slogged……stepping into hidden mud holes that sunk me calf deep. I had to watch each step to avoid stepping in over my boots.
After my first walk on this trail, I thought, “OK, I made it…..surely we won’t do that again”. But we did! We hiked it out and back again that evening, and twice a day the next two days. I kind-of got used to it, but my leg muscles were sore from pulling my feet out of the mud.
Our purpose was to hike out to find where the bears were feeding. Usually, the tidal flats at low tide…..then the meadow in the afternoon and again in the evening. The salmon had not started running in the nearby creek. They were due any time, now, but were just beginning to show up in the waters off the beach area. Once the salmon arrive, the bears would feed only on the rich, fatty salmon, foregoing the tidal flats and meadow altogether.
Our second morning at Hallo Bay, we walked around the beach area in the opposite direction than the meadow, towards the creek, to see if there was any activity there.
It was quiet, the salmon were not yet running, though there was a lot of footprint evidence of bears, and a wolf, strolling along the banks.
We hiked up creek quite a ways……..It didn’t really matter that we did not find the bear or the wolf that belonged to the prints. It was enough to just sit and soak up the glory of the day.