The hardest part about having nice weather in Cordova is having to be inside the office all day. However, the awesome part about working in Alaska is getting trained to learn about all the cool things you’d get to do in the summer like aviation and boat passenger safety, radio communications and bear spray practice, among other things.
With the field season beginning soon, training week began May 18. By far my favorite was learning about bear safety (a close second was getting to practice using a bear safety).
So far, this is the only bear I’ve seen in Alaska.
My coworker told us this great story about a ranger who was incredibly afraid of encountering a bear. This guy was out working with another ranger when they spotted a bear about 100 yards away. Now at that distance, one shouldn’t be so alarmed at the presence of bear. The bear hadn’t spotted them, so it would’ve been safe to just slowly back away from it. However, this guy, who was so deathly afraid of a bear, decided it would be safer to climb up a tree and convinced the other ranger to do the same. As they began climbing a tree, they noticed the bear on the ground noticing them and starting to approach them. The two rangers climbed higher and suddenly the bear rushed at the tree and began roaring and climbing up towards them. They heard some noise above them and when they looked up they saw a bear cub peering down at them. They had unwittingly climbed right up to the mother bear’s cub and her protective instincts were kicked into high gear. Soon, they were able to make it onto a lateral branch and got to escape from harm.
If I do come across a bear, I don’t think I’ll take the opportunity to do any tree climbing. Coming up on this week of training: paddle boats!