Alaska Up Close

“Sasquatch was here, playing hopscotch,” I say as I take a look at the immense footprints stomped into the mossy turf in a Sitka spruce grove in a small bay on Alaska’s Admiralty Island.

Megan Addison, an expedition guide for UnCruise Adventures, chuckles at my theory. “Good guess. But it’s just a coastal brown bear. We call this a ‘hot stomp.’” Addison explains that bears come by and basically tromp in the same spots numerous times, leaving their scent and footprints as a territorial marker. “So, not Sasquatch, but it’s pretty unusual,” Addison says.

While I’m envisioning Mr. Brown Bear stomping back and forth, it occurs to me that this is a perfect analogy for the entire trip that brings me Alaska’s famed Inside Passage. It’s early June, a season of wildflowers, whales and newly wakened bears, and I’m in the midst of a journey into great and exotic wonders in a majestic landscape.