You southerners might be even more impressed if you saw a brown bear in the fall. A well-fed bear ready for hibernation has its belly dragging on the ground. The bear in the video - its belly was VERY high and the shoulders, back, and sides were all looking VERY lean. Not that it changes the proper strategy - which Erin and Hig demonstrate wonderfully in that video, but that was one hungry bear!
"Staying in WA" is exactly what they didn't do - 4,000 entirely human-powered miles from WA along the BC and AK coastlines to the Aleutian Islands. I do that same route many times a year, but at 31,000 feet. At ground level, I only do a few score of miles at a time.