There is an axiom here in Alaska, you see it on public service signs everywhere: Wherever there is salmon there are bears. It is meant as a warning; of course, we took it as an invitation. The Russian River Falls is a spawning stream for salmon, and a few weeks earlier after a delightful 2.5 mile hike, we enjoyed wooden observation decks overlooking the fish laden waters, and a couple of bears salmon fishing. It was perfect.
We talked up the hike, the salmon, and the potential bears to our Grandson Chase. We also went through all the bear wise instructions. It is completely safe, and as a precaution, we carry bear spray. Much to our surprise (it is always a surprise when sketchy things happen) we were 5 minutes into the hike, and a bear popped out right next to us, literally 5 feet away. The bear stood, looked directly at us, came down on all 4 legs, and then scampered across the road. Oh, and the bear spray was left in the truck.
Regrouped, bear spray in our pocket, we took the hike. The day was just as lovely, and we saw lots of salmon leaping into the falls, and a brown bear.
Later that night, we were back on the lower part of the river, having been told they come out late in the evening. Surely, the nighttime would provide for more opportunities. The fisher people all said there had been some earlier and they come out nearly every night; but we were skunked. Only mosquitos.