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In the wilderness lies the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau

Day 13 – July 22, 2017 – Swimming with the Grizzly

After 12 hours on the Snake River and 60 kilometers downstream we arrive in a tight river valley. What a day! But these facts are the least important when one learns what the expedition team experienced today. It begins by paddling away from Milky Creek. The media team, which, after the last animal views can’t wait for new pictures, is at the front. Behind them, the rest of the group. Not even 10 kilometers later there is an excited silence in the rafts as they go around a bend int he river. Robert discovers his first grizzly across the water on the opposite sand bank! This bear is standing in the water only about 10 meters away from the rafts. As we float by, he skeptically watches the first raft, turns around and then charges at us! A stealth attack! A few meters away from us he turns around and runs back to the bank. The two-year-old bear keeps an eye on the other two rafts and approaches a few times. While Johannes, Ronny and Robert direct the raft so that we can perfectly capture the wild scene on video, Tobi has some problem keeping his nervous paddler under control, so that they don’t float straight into the bear. All in all: breathtakingly exciting! We arrive at our destination in good time and we try to recapitulate all we saw during this day. But we are unable to really do that, because all of these experiences were just too perfect for us. And as the fog obscures the sun on the horizon behind the mountains, the team falls asleep, happy. 2008 Conservation Expedition

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