DAY SIX - Saturday, October 29

HELLROARING AND WRECKER

I find a bit of frost on the car today. I have an appointment in Bozeman tomorrow, so itís my last day for a bit. Iíll come back on Tuesday, when the new road finally opens.

Faye is our champion again this morning, finding the Junctions from Hellroaring, chasing elk so far unsuccessfully.

By the time Laurie & Dan and I get there, most of the Pack has already travelled across the middle of Hellroaring slope and are nearing the Little Buffalo Drainage.

I count 12, moving fast. I see a number of elk bunched on cliff above them. Several wolves head up the side of that cliff, and the elk take off. The chase is on!

Unfortunately, this happens in thick trees and I soon lose track of them. Laurie & Dan and I head to Lower but unfortunately do not find them from here.

We continue to Elk Creek, hoping to pick them up again. Kathie joins us and we end up staying here a while, chatting. After a while, Kara radios that she has wolves on Vader Hill.

I join her at Tower and see several from here, still chasing elk. Quinn calls from Wrecker. He has the same wolves, or perhaps others from the pack, on the back side of Vader Hill.

We re-assemble at Wrecker and I get another good view of them. This time I count 25 (13 black, 12 gray) my highest yet!

A group of adults travels down the meadow towards the river corridor but stops on a knoll, letting the pup group catch up. We are treated to various greeting rituals. The alpha female gets up and heads toward the river, going out of sight. The others follow but then some of them come back up. They seem to have a conference of sorts, resulting in the majority of wolves setting off towards the river once more.

I stick around a while but they do not come back up.

Itís time for me to head back to Silver Gate to pack up.

Once Iím ready to go, I have an enjoyable but mostly uneventful drive west.

I stop in Mammoth to take a look at the new road. It looks great to me and looks completely paved and ready. I sure wish I could take the short way back!

I turn and head south towards Norris and then Madison Junction, quite surprised at the light traffic.

Back in Bozeman, the majority of trees have finally shed the snow but most are still in leaf, including many green ones.

Iím home before 5.

Today I saw: bison, elk, a gray squirrel, 25 Junction wolves and the spirits of Allison, Richard and Jeff.

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