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In Katmai National Park, Alaska, up close with bears pursuing salmon
In Katmai National Park, Alaska, up close with bears pursuing salmon

In the Alaska of my mind, it is always summer. A bear stands hip-deep in glacial runoff, swatting salmon and swallowing them whole. Eagles wheel overhead. Moose meander in the bush. The theme from "Northern Exposure" echoes across the tundra. The real Alaska falls short of this. It has four seasons, high prices, treacherous weather, nasty arguments over mineral extraction and a finite number of places where a human can safely peek over a bear's shoulder. But those places do exist. Katmai National Park is one. When a rare overnight opening popped up, I jumped. Four months later, in mid-July, Times photographer Mark Boster and I headed to Katmai's Brooks Camp to see...

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