Starting in his hometown of Bellingham, Washington, Chris heads north through the spectacular Inside Passage with his motorcycle hoisted aboard a friend's fishing boat. A dramatic road trip and a floatplane later and he is in a corner of Alaska that Chris calls his favorite place on earth. Here, he camps among dozens of thousand-pound brown bears that have gathered for the annual salmon run. The prehistoric environment provides the perfect opportunity for him to ponder the adventure to lesser-known places that lie ahead. A jolt to our perception of bear country quickly finds us in Borneo tracking the world's most elusive bear among orangutans, elephants and rhinos with a young scientist who has committed his life to saving the sun bear. Peru then draws Chris to the Andes, Machu Picchu, and to ancient beliefs that bears connect humans to forest spirits, and where modern day mountain villages have adopted unique methods of bear conservation.
Our adventure quickly turns to the far north of Alaska and Canada, the high Arctic home of the polar bear where Chris helps capture bear cubs by helicopter to assess the impacts of climate change, and where local Inuit elders tell stories from the past. As Chris explores these distant regions that are home to the bear species highlighted in the film, he reflects emotionally on the hope that is alive for the protection of the remaining populations of these species, and on the wild places and warm people he has experienced along the way. His long journey home to Washington State brings us full circle, energized by optimism for a world that is healthy enough for both bears and people to prosper.