Outsiders: Bruce Bowler

Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007

Age: 61.

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Occupation: state employee (and participant in SEADOGS search and rescue organization).

Favorite outdoor activities: camping, hiking, kayaking, climbing, exploring the wonderful world that God gave us!

Favorite outdoor sport: kayaking with my wife on a sunny day.

Favorite outdoor spot: Sheep Camp on the Chilkoot Trail.

Best outdoor experience: bringing Bruce Weyhrauch home to his family alive.

Outdoor memory: celebrating my 60th birthday on the Mendenhall Glacier with Juneau Mountain Rescue.

Close encounter: SEADOGS was asked to (help) search for an overdue employee outside of Wrangell. At 4,000 feet, my search dog Sheba stopped me and Dave Rack on a mountain ledge - blocked our way. When the fog moved away, we saw the biggest, steamiest, brown bear prints Dave and I have ever seen, just feet in front us. He had stopped to look at us, and Sheba stopped us from walking right into him in the fog.

Close encounter II: SEADOGS was called to help search for a lost hunter on Mount Troy. I was downclimbing, and the ledge collapsed, dropping me 150 feet down a talus slope. I still have a lightning-bolt scar above my left eye.

•Outsiders is a weekly profile in the Juneau Empire's Outdoors section.

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