I just returned home, Orlando Fla., from a wonderful month in the Great Land. Although this post is a little dated I thought I might share some of the lessons I learned from the float trip my 12 year old grandson and I made on July 14 down Moose Creek. Before jumping to conclusions about some of my errors please acknowledge the spirit in which I write this. "After months of planning and many check lists we departed on July 14 for our long awaited adventure. Our shuttle service, Ron of Ron's Riverboat Service, was right on time and he dropped us at the Petersville bridge. It started raining the moment he left. That was o.k. as we had decent rain gear. It took us a couple of hours to reassemble our newly aquired Fishcat 13. I am sure Ron had a good laugh when he saw all the gear we had brought along. I need to work on shortening the list! Six rods and reels was probably a little excessive. Not sure the folding chairs, two extra propane bottles, 5 gal. water, two cases of Gator Aide, enough food for six weeks, ect. was not necessary either. Although we were well within the wieght limit of 750# we simply had too much stuff and will lighten the load considerably on future trips...and we will add sleeping bags to the list. Unbelieveable how I could have forgetten them, but I did! I did load the sleeping pads and an extra small tarp which served as our blanket. It continued to rain as we finally shoved off and after floating only a half a mile or so it became obvious our load was not very well balanced. We stopped and did some rearranging which seemed to help, also after noticing all the bear tracks on the sandbar decided the guns needed to be loaded and made ready! Our targeted fish was to be rainbows on the upper end and maybe some salmon on the lower end of the float. We stopped at a few likely looking places and did o.k. when we could get past the all the Kings that were in the river. We had allowed for seven days with the thought of having lots of time for fishing particularly the first fourty miles and set up our camp after floating only six miles. It continued to rain and the river appeared to be rising. Set up a decent camp and grilled our steaks over the fire to celebrate our first night on the river. Caught a few fish and turned in early as it had been a long day. Woke up after an hour or so, cold, so we put on our extra clothes (No Sleeping Bag) and it continued to rain but we stayed dry as I had put a large tarp 12x16 over our tent area. Left the food fifty feet away from the tent and the raft fifty feet in the opposite direction. Woke up again at 03:30 to the sounds of the camp stove and pots falling off the cooler. Large male brown bear decided to check out the contents of the cooler, I gabbed the '06 yelled and fired a couple of noise makers into the air and he spooked into the bush. No damage done but a little unnerving. It was still raining and the river continued to rise and the wind did blow. We wasted little time breaking camp and hit the river again. Came around a sharp bend and were greeted by the biggest moose in all of Alaska standing in the middle of the river. A magnificent animal! We yelled and he ran. Be ready to put the brakes on at all times was the lesson I learned, as this guy was close! Floated a few more miles, rounded another bend and there was a tree that had fallen all the way across the river, the first of several to come. Had brought a good sharp hand axe and cut away a few branches to enable us to pull the raft over the tree. Fishing had become difficult as the water became clouded and high. That was o.k. we were still having a lot of fun. Lots of beavers, and of course beaver dams. Eagles, mergansers, ravens entertained us untill we came around another bend and two rather large brown heads with black eyes and pointey ears appeared at about a hundred feet away. I searched intently as I knew the sow had to be close. Jacked a live one into the chamber just for peace of mind. All of the sudden she stood up beside the cubs, I thought she saw us but the next thing I know she is in the middle of the river chasing fish. I bailed from the raft to stop its forward movement, we were already inside of the "safety zone". I yelled, she stood up looked our way, woofed and then took off with the cubs...we were thrilled with the experience and grateful she opted to leave. Set up camp for night two a couple more miles down the river on a nice sandbar with no bear tracks on it, just wolfe tracks. Woke up a little later next morning made a big breakfast, did a little fishing, repacked and hit the river again. It had finally quit raining and the sun would appear once in while, nice! The river continued to rise and became very clouded, to the point of not fishable. We decided to float on out as opposed to wasting our days waiting for the river to clear up. Still had a long way to go but thoroughly enjoying the wildlife and the river. About two or three o'clock that afternoon the sun came out and stayed. We had just come around a sharp bend and ther was a long sand and grass covered bank beside us, my grandson yelled "look Pop, there is a dead animal laying there pointing at it. Suddenly the "dead animal" jummped to its feet, and another, and another, and another wolf pup no more than 20 feet from us dashed for the bush. Then the adult wolves woke up, sat up, and stared at us with those gold colored eyes. We were in awe of the experience. All totaled we counted twelve wolves. With the exception of the pups fleeing for cover, they just sat and watched us float by! If only my camera had been ready! I look back at this moment as "making" the whole trip. I will not touch the politics of the wolf issues as I am an outsider but for us, all I can say is we considered ourselves "privlaged to see this". Continued to float another few miles before encountering the first black bear of the trip. He too was apparently laying in the grass beside the river sleeping as we startled him at close range before he hissed at us and went up the nearest tree. Made camp late that night and had a cold dinner before turning in. Got up late with only fifteen or twenty miles to go. Stopped at the wier and talked with the guys there, silvers in the river! Continued to float and accidentally ran into Ron who was on a fish finding mission. He offered to load us up and return to the Susitna Landing which we did. Wonderful float, great time,lots of wildlife, tremendous experience for a sixty year old fat guy and his twelve year old grandson. Will do it again next year, hoping for a little better fishing and less rain.