DAY THREE - Wednesday, October 26


I’m up and out at 6AM, surprised to find no snow on the car, given the snow that was falling last evening. I guess it blew away.

I stop for a minute or two at Round Prairie to listen for howling. Nope. I stop again at Trash Can. Still nothing.

At Boulder I learn from Stacy that nothing has been seen yet. We spread out from Elk Creek to Slough. Maureen and Rick and I start at the Ski Lot. Laurie & Dan join us later, in time to see a pair of swans flying east.

Around 8:15, Stacy calls from Boulder. He’s heard howling from behind Junction Butte.

By the time we arrive the Junctions are filing into the Buffalo Ford.

They first ones I see mill around in the ford while more and more arrive from the left, travelling through the sage. I get a high count of 24, including both alphas, 907, 1048, 1229, 1276 and 1341.

The day’s viewing includes a healthy amount of puppy play. Today features pups balancing on a log, followed by precarious log-walking.

One gray pup accelerates the play in the flats by grabbing a stick and dashing off with it. Other pups follow and a game of keep away ensues. There are numerous comical pile ups, as one pup or another grabs the stick and heads off, only to be tackled and relived of the prize by another.

We see elk on the distant hills, and a few bison herds, including the group with the orange calf.

After two hours of very pleasant viewing, the wolves begin to seek bedding spots on the hills above the ford. One by one they disappear or blend in with their surroundings.

A hike to Trout Lake has been planned by Kathie, Dale & Faye. I decide to join in.

It’s a good hike, even though Maureen and I have to stop more often than the others. Rick gallantly stays with us.

The area is as gorgeous as always. The water is clear and still when we arrive but later a wind comes up, making gentle ripples. I learn that the plentiful white berries all over the hills here are called “snow berries” and that bears love them.

After we inspect the inlet stream, the group splits, so the younger (more fit) group can continue to Buck Lake.

I remain with Maureen & Rick, Dale & Faye taking the trail around the Lake. It grows quite muddy and we have to stop to scrape the thick stuff off our boots four different times!

We look for otters but don’t see any. We do see a female green-winged teal, and two golden eyes.

Coming back down to the road we look across to the creek and see just how much damage the rampaging creek did to the far bank.

On my way back to Silver Gate, I note the giant trucks parked at lower Baronette are now gone. It looks like the crew is done and are now removing their equipment.

A gray squirrel dashes across the road

I get back to Silver Gate around 2:30 and decide to stay in tonight.

Stacy emails Laurie around 7PM, reporting that the Junctions were still near Boulder when he left; that he found their previously undetected carcass at the bottom of Junction Butte and that several Junctions crossed south in the afternoon but then came back.

Today I saw: a black bear in a den, bison, elk, two golden eyes, a gray squirrel, a green-winged teal, 24 Junction wolves (including those listed above) and the spirits of Allison, Richard and Jeff.

Next Chapter

Previous Chapter

Back to Main Page

Printer Friendly Index