'Embearrassing' incident at Chilkoot


August 30, 2018

For the last four years, I have lived here and I have had frequent visitors to this beautiful area we call home. One of our favorite spots to visit is the Chilkoot State Park, in hopes of getting a glimpse of a bear. After all, that is probably the #1 thing I think people want to see when visiting Alaska. The visit to Chilkoot usually happens right after the ferry pickup or right before the ferry drop-off. This past week was the first time I have run into the little old ladies from the Chilkoot Bear Foundation...one jumped in front of my moving vehicle and slapped the top of my hood and yelled for me not to move forward and stop. Then two of them teamed up and both started yelling at me and my guests, informing us there was a bear up ahead and that we are not allowed to move. They were guarding this invisible bear buffer zone like soldiers on the DMZ at the Korean Border. Between the two nasty ladies scolding us I was “bear-ly” able to get in a few words. I told them I was sorry and that I like taking pictures of bears. I showed her the picture of a bear I shot last hunting season that was on my phone. She slapped my hand and stormed off. These “watchers of the bears” truly need to dial down their rage. It’s embarrassing. We all need to remember that we can get more bees with honey than with vinegar. Let’s keep the deplorable potholes on the road the only embarrassment at the Chilkoot Lake Corridor.

Nathanael Motes


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