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Grizzly bear picnic

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We met the Yukon’s most formidable forces this spring. The annual breakup of the Yukon River ice, which will not go until it is ready and will not stop for anyone, the world’s fastest bird and a family of grizzly bears, Mum and two grown cubs.

Grizzly cubs stay with their mother for up to 3 years and nothing, not even the largest, grizzliest of male bears will tangle with the combined power of this fluffy, little family unit, happily picnicking across the river from us.


The cubs are almost the same size as their mother now and loll around on the bank digging at roots or voles. One is honey amber and the other a shimmering blond, almost polar bear white. I’ve read that males usually have dark fur so maybe they are both teenage girls? They lay on their bellies with their paws stuffed into holes in the sand. Probably looking at their phones.


Mum is slightly larger and paces along the beach. Even she is endearingly plump and cuddly. Grizzlies are the teddy bears of the ursine family, rou…

The wildest time

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This is our wildest time. Until the river is clear of ice, no one can get in, we can’t get out and we are totally alone in thousands of square miles of wilderness. 


Some days we marvel at just how remote and wild it is here. If we walked due north, we would go over the pole and into Russia before we met anyone. And what a trip that would be. Neil even speaks a bit of Russian-
“Privyet. Mi iz Kanadey. U vas yest maslo?”(Hello we are from Canada. Do you have any butter?)
“Nyet.”
“Nu ladno.” (Oh well.)

If we don’t follow the river, we could go in almost any direction and die before we meet another person or get any shopping. Yesterday we met a grizzly bear and life felt even wilder.


We’ve had a few visitors- the grizzly, wolves, two eagles and one very aggressive squirrel. 

Homer had a scare with the wolves. He was being the proverbial “dog in the manger”, so perhaps it served him right. We put his old moose bones out on the river for our neighbours. Homer had long since lost interest in t…