I always sleep well in Laurieís bear den in Silver Gate!
Itís 35 degrees this morning at 6:35. Itís also quite windy. I stop at Round Prairie and listen for howling. But then Rick drives past me so it probably means no Lamar Signals. Oh well.
First light arrives at 7:15.
Next top is at Slough. Laurie & I walk out to Bobís Knob while Dan stays in the car. We see bison, swans and a great blue heron as well as numerous ducks. But no wolves. While we are out here, a pleasant-looking young man comes out to talk with Laurie. He is Nate, a reporter from Texas. He wants to write a book about The 06 and the people who followed her. Laurie is understandably hesitant about sharing the wealth of information she has, but she is cordial to him.
Nate is gracious and respectful of her concerns and I get a very good impression of him. I like that he's come out here to get his info, rather than trying to gather info via email or phone. He certainly gets a much better idea of 06's world this way. Apparently he is going to try to drive over to meet the man who shot her - somewhere in Wyoming between here and Cody.
Itís really windy out here but the temps are fairly warm so we can tolerate it.
Eventually we walk back to the cars and head west. As I drive I notice heavy clouds ahead. It looks like some serious snow. I learn that the snow level in SG Is 42 feet; by contrast, the ďbig snowĒ year was 51 feet.
We spend an hour or two scoping from various spots, Elk Creek, Big Ski Lot looking for elusive wolves. The snow arrives, flurries at first, then steady and thick. From the Ski Lot we are looking back into the Petrified Tree area, with intense wind in our faces and blowing snow. We go back to Elk Creek then east to Boulder. Nothing. The snow falls heavier.
It ends up being a frustrating day. Doug found 2 elk bedded right where the wolf signals were; not a good sign!
There were some Bighorn at Wrecker and someone somewhere got a glimpse of 778M but I never found out where. Eventually I stayed a Boulder scoping alone with the wind at my back. L & D and Marlene join me here a little later. It snows more heavily and I decide to head to the Confluence. Visibility comes and goes as I drive.
There are bison on Exclosure Hill and two moose at the Confluence. Even though they are quite close we can barely see them through the snow. We decide to head home since visibility is so bad. Snow falls even more thickly. In fact, itís coming down so heavily it covers Laurieís tracks even though they are less than 5 minutes ahead of me!
Rick catches up to me at Trout Lake and I ask if I can follow him the rest of the way. I finally realize I am in a blizzard. Itís very windy and icy snow accumulates on my windshield faster than my wipers can remove it!
Just before we reach Silver Gate it lets up a bit. Looks like an inch or two has already fallen here. We end up staying in the rest of the day talking about Nate and the book and what Laurie should do. It never stops snowing. The plow comes by around 5 but visibility is still bad. We watch The Good Wife and I learn my office was without internet most of the day.
TODAY I SAW: bison, elk, 1 coyote, 1 great blue heron, 2 moose, bighorn sheep, swans, and the spirit of Allison.