Our first attempt to go see the polar bears during Labor Day weekend ended with the trip being cancelled due to dense fog in Kaktovik. In Alaska charter planes must have one mile of visibility to land. We got to the small plane airport at 7 am on Sunday morning, Sept. 6th, and sat and waited for weather updates until noon. The fog still had not lifted then, so we were able to reschedule for the next day. We returned on Monday morning, September 7th, to the small plane airport and sat until noon again. Alas, the fog would not lift that morning either. After returning home to Anchorage, we decided to give it one more shot. Luckily, we were able to get in on September 20th, which is right at the end of the viewing season. There is only about a six week time frame where you can fly up to see the bears. The bears come in near the village for these few weeks and then go out when the pack ice freezes. After flying back to Fairbanks on Saturday, we arrived back bright and early at the small plane airport Sunday morning. We both had a good feeling about the day and there were no glitches in our plans as the plane took off around 8 am. The first portion of the flight is a two and a half hour flight to Deadhorse. On the way up, we flew over the Brooks Range and millions of acres of Alaskan wilderness.
The bears looked quite healthy, white, shaggy, and beautiful.