Russia's Land of Ice and Fire

If you hike through Kamchatka in Russia's Far East, you will probably come across more brown bears along the trail than of foreign tourists. The first bear we encountered, a ragged eight-footer, ignored us as it lumbered squarely in our path while foraging for blueberries. Our guide fired his rifle into the air to no avail. After an hour's wait in cold drizzle, we crept past the munching behemoth, which glanced at us indifferently. A kilometer or so later, a mother with two cubs charged at us from the far side of a stream but lost interest as we scurried away....

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