Today is a very special Bear Friday. Reader Jeffrey Crofts recently went on a trip to Alaska to hang out with bears. Knowing how much we love bears, Jeffrey sent along the following note:

If you love bears, you should get your ass to Katmai National Park in Alaska. You can go to the world-famous Brooks Falls to watch a bunch of grizzlies chow down on a salmon buffet. However, because of its popularity, you should be prepared to be sumo wrestle every other dipshit tourist in order to get the perfect view. You can also strike out on your own in the Katmai's vast backcountry like the half-wit Grizzly Man, Timothy Treadwell. However, if you are like Treadwell and break every rule, both written and unwritten, about safety in bear country, you should be prepared to eventually become a buffet yourself.

Or you could do what my wife and I did. Take a small flight from the funky little town of Homer to Katmai's Hallo Bay in mid-summer where you can walk amongst the mild-mannered coastal brown bears for a few hours. In this quiet, peaceful meadow you can watch as old bears nap, young bears wrestle, hungry bears graze, and mama bears guide their cubs away from you while giving you the stinkeye. Unlike Brooks Falls, you'll be part of a small group in an unconfined area, so you'll feel much less like a dipshit tourist. Unlike Treadwell, you'll be taking all the necessary precautions so you'll feel completely safe. And you'll be able to snap pictures, lots of pictures.

He also sent along a plethora of amazing pictures from his trip. We won't delay you any longer, go look at those bears!

All photos by Jeffrey Crofts.