Social Distancing: Fat Bear Week Finals

Plus, More Gems Hidden In Popular Places


Monday morning I shared some video from my go at a socially distanced trip to Maplewood State Park. This morning, a viewer is showing us some beautiful things down at Maplewood that I missed.

Nate Larson sent in some pics. He went on Saturday afternoon. He agreed that it was busy there, but he avoided the popular spots and hit some of the trails.

Prairie Maplewood

Here, he found this lovely view of the prairie in front of some nice fall colors. People head there for the orange and golden trees, but don’t forget, the prairie lands can be quite stunning as well.

Swans Maplewood

And he shared this cool wildlife photo from Cataract Lake. Check out those beautiful swans hanging out among the dead tree stumps sticking out of the water. It kinda gives off a Halloween vibe to me. Thanks for sharing, Nate!

Then, we told you last week about a way you can help stay connected with nature. Today is the final day for the Fat Bear Week competition.

12 bears of exceptional size competed in the annual competition this year at Katmai National Park in Alaska.
They spent all summer fattening up on salmon ahead of their long winter hibernation, and we get to enjoy the portly spoils of their efforts.
I’ve voted in each and every match-up so far. Here’s how the bracket has broken down. Last year’s champion, Holly, lost out in her first battle this year, so we’re going to have a new chubby champion.

Fat Bear Week Graphic

And here are your finalists.
Your challenger on the left is Chunk.
Look at how he’s grown this year.
He’s one of the biggest males at Katmai, but he’s surprisingly accepting of other bears, and won’t use his size to push them out of the way for food.
He doesn’t need to fight much for food, it seems. Look at that gut.

The Challenger on the right is 747. He’s almost as wide as one.
He’s so big most other bears won’t even challenge him for the best fishing spots.
It’s good to be king.
But who will be kind of Fat Bear Week?
You can vote at
Plus, they’re doing a livestream Q&A at the Park Tuesday at 4 p.m. Central Time.

Who do you think should win Fat Bear Week? Do they get a trophy made out of salmon? Tell us what you think on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Morning – In The Studio