My day starts in the dark with a starry sky. Its 28 degrees.
My first stop is at Round Prairie because the Junctions are here! I only get brief glimpses of their bodies (one gray and two blacks) passing through trees behind the berm.
When they are no longer in sight, we move west and everyone spreads out. I scope at Soda Butte East with two antelope hunters from Hawaii. They are fascinated by the wolves and ask lots of questions. We are looking high and I find elk & sheep up there which they are happy to see.
Doug spots the wolves briefly from SB Mid Point. They are about 2 levels up, still moving through the forest, so hard to see. I drive further west and stop at SB mid-point. Kirsty & Alan are here, and thanks to them I get another brief glimpse as the pack crosses a small opening. I see a total of six. Itís a cool sighting, seeing them move past the trunks of trees.
I drive further west and stop at Footbridge. Kim & Joyce are here, so I set up near them. We see one more black from this vantage point. Then I move again down to Hitching Post. We are all a little nervous about the Lamar Pack, since this is their territory and they are outnumbered two to one by this pack, but Laurie reminds me that these packs know each other well and the Lamars are usually able to stay out of the way.
Then I hear that Rick is also getting Mollie signals in the neighborhood. Hmmm. Laurie and Pauline and I gather at Confluence, scoping from here while Rick and Kathie climb up Confluence hill. Thatís too steep for me, even though Iíd love to have the view.
They see several wolves heading out towards Cache. I assume those are the Lamars but it was Junctions.
And as I later learn, the Mollies were somewhere on Specimen, but no one ever saw them.
Rick confirms that the Lamars are behind us, in their traditional den area. Good. They should be safe there.
It seems to me a change in the weather is coming. Itís gotten very windy and weíve had several short squalls of wet snow throughout the morning.
Well, this has been an exciting morning, but alas, itís time for me to say goodbye.
I bid farewell to all my wolfer friends and head west. By the time I get to Mammoth, there is a nice, steady rain. There are many calm elk here, a nice thing to watch while I say my goodbye to Alison.
Today I saw: bison, elk, coyote, pronghorn, 6 of the 8 Junction wolves and the spirits of Alison and Richard.