Strange Tales from Bear Guide Bjorn
Bjorn Dihle intimidated me when I first moved to Alaska.
I met him at a party where he fed a crowd with wild food he had gathered. He had seen plenty of kids like me come to his hometown. For me, just moving to Alaska was an adventure, but he had a reputation for disappearing on long rugged wilderness trips and fascinating bear stories.
Lucky for us, Bjorn is also writer. You can read about his Pack Creek adventures in Alaska Magazine. In his first book, Haunted Inside Passage, Bjorn follows the threads of Southeast Alaska’s stranger stories. Though the cover may suggest a collection of lurid ghost tales, this book is full of captivating, unsolved mysteries at the back of remote coves that most of us have never seen. I enjoyed reading this book written from the perspective of a young Alaskan. He is aware of the mythology and tropes of Alaskan writing, but drives ahead with the authority of his authenticity.
The depth of Bjorn’s wildlife and wilderness experience is mind-bending to most Alaskans, myself included.
Despite his long resume of adventures, he is a humble guy. Paired with his knowledge and experience, this makes Bjorn an ideal guide in bear country. I always enjoy getting out into the field with him, comfortable that he will always be more comfortable in the wilderness than I will. Chatting to him in the grocery store after one of his epic, multi-week traverses of the Arctic, he noticed I was buying some cheap tooth floss. He said, “Wow, waxed thread, that’s hardcore. I can only do the plastic tape.” That made me feel kind of cool.
Bjorn’s next book “Never Cry Halibut: And Other Alaskan Hunting and Fishing Tales,” is due to be released April 3, 2018.