The whole time we were in Alaska Ryan's parents kept calling me the animal whisperer because all kinds of wild life came out when I was around. We got to see bald eagles soaring, Alaskan salmon swimming up stream, cute Puffins (relatives of the Penguin), common muirs ("the penguin of the North"), sea otters, seals, sea lions, mosquitoes the size of sparrows, a pod of porpoise, a pod of orca (killer whales), and a humpback whale (the porpoises and whales all came right up to our boat on the glacier cruise). We of course saw moose everywhere. They are like wild dogs in South America; okay maybe not that bad, but there are a lot. And the most exciting animal encounter of them all was when Ryan and I got charged by a mama grizzly bear. True fact, not lying. We were on a canoe trip with two of Ryan's brothers. Ryan and I had gotten a little ahead of his brothers and we were paddling quietly, enjoying the scenery. We came around a bend in the river and suddenly we hear a loud growl/roar. We look over to find a mama grizzly bear 10-15 feet away charging into the shallow water after us. Oh my gosh, we had not paddled faster the entire trip. We flew down that river like a power boat. I guess she was just trying to protect her two cubs who were on the shore because after we took off the scampered into the woods, but boy did that stop our hearts for a few seconds. Lesson learned, never sneak up on a grizzly bear. Oh and we also saw a dead black bear in the back of someones' pick up.