SUMMER ADVENTURES: Brooks Camp and Bears, Bears, Bears

Part 5 (This series started with the July 22 post.) A little background: Brooks Camp, in the Katmai National Park, boasts the largest concentration of brown bears in the world. Kodiak Island is just offshore. Grizzlies and brown bears belong to the same species, but Alaska’s coastal brown bears are bigger than their inland kin because of their protein-rich diet…

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SUMMER ADVENTURES: Our First Close Encounter with a Bear and Very Expensive Pizza

After returning to the airport in Gustavus, we flew to King Salmon, the last stop before Brooks Camp. It was another beautiful flight, executed flawlessly by Ron, our pilot. There was one complication after we landed, however. We were greeted by a bear on the runway. We quickly retreated back to the plane and closed the door to wait for…

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SUMMER ADVENTURES: Glacier Bay and the Kahsteen

We left the Gustavus Inn to join Captain Mike Nigro on the Kahsteen, his 42-foot charter boat, for a two-day excursion in the Glacier Bay Wildlife Preserve. Captain Mike named the Kahsteen after a Tlingit woman who sacrificed herself to save her clan after a young girl foolishly called down the glacier. Someone had to stay behind when the glacier…

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SUMMER ADVENTURES: Alaska and the Gustavus Inn

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Our friends, Ron and Pat, invited Dean and me to accompany them on a trip to Alaska and Canada in their private jet. How could we possibly pass up such an opportunity? The Eclipse jet attracted a lot of attention. Most of the staff at the airports had never seen one. The day after we returned from California, Ron called…

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SUMMER ADVENTURES: Southern California and Dr. St. Amand

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I’ve been traveling for the past three weeks. I will blog my way through my notes about the interesting things I encountered, food-related and otherwise. The first leg of our travels took us to Southern California for a family trip touring the theme parks and tourist attractions with my daughter, Glenda, and her family. My son, Nathan, who lives in…

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LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULEZ; More Good Times in New Orleans and Coconut Ice Cream

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Laissez les Bon Temps Roulez, Let the Good Times Roll, is the attitude that earned New Orleans “The Big Easy” moniker. Good times defines the soul of a city that called its residents home in spite of the hardships they would face to rebuild from a disaster that none of us thought could ever happen in America. The easy choice…

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MORE N’AWLINS FOOD: CREOLE GUMBO

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GUMBO, (c) 2008, JUDY BARNES BAKER Gumbo is the perfect metaphor for New Orleans: a rich, steamy, spicy, mélange of diverse ingredients that combine into an experience that is unique to this place. A place that feels distinctly foreign, while at the same time epitomizing the melting pot that is America. French, Italian, Native American, Creole, Cajun, and African—all share…

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NEW ORLEANS BARBECUED SHRIMP

(c) 2008, JUDY BARNES BAKER (c) 2008, JUDY BARNES BAKER My sister treated me to a taste of the real New Orleans, the places preferred by the locals; many were just blocks from her apartment. (She lives in the neighborhood that hosts the annual Jazz Festival, which, unfortunately, I missed by just a few days). You would never suspect that…

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NATURAL FRUIT

Here is a picture from a trip we took a few years ago to Brassempouy, the famous excavation site from the Upper Palaeolithic in Aquitaine, France. One of the oldest known human artifacts, a tiny female head carved out of ivory called la dame de Brassem-pouy, was found here. It is dated to 22,000 years ago. . A young archeologist…

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N’AWLINS FOOD, PRALINES AND RED BEANS, AND GOOD NEWS ABOUT SUGAR SUBSTITUTES

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So much to blog about, so little time! I got back from New Orleans late Monday, full of enthusiasm and eager to get started on all the projects that the trip inspired. On Tuesday I was off looking for fresh, raw, head-on shrimp to try to duplicate the fabulous New Orleans BBQ shrimp that I had at Jacques-imos. Much to…

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