DAY THREE - Tuesday, July 26


I’m happy to report less fog this morning than usual.

I join Rick at first light at the high Alum pullout. He has wolves in view to the north – he thinks they crossed the road a little while ago at the Mary Mountain Trail in the dark.

With his help, I find them in the flats. I see a collared black with a slight limp (alpha male 1270M), a second black and a gray. There are three more wolves behind these leaders, traveling towards the rally rock area.

We move to Grizzly Hill and find them again quickly. This time I have seven, 4 black and 3 gray. Two of the blacks meet up with an additional black coming from the south, then an additional gray pops up from the sage in the same area. Two of the grays veer off from the group towards the west, playfully romping with each other. Eventually, these two rejoin the others who are still travelling south.

I pan left to the rally rock area and see a fourth gray moving up the sage slope. Perhaps this gray was the actual leader of the group? As the adults near the rock, three puppies appear.

I notice that each of the adults takes a slightly different route back to the rock. Several disappear behind gullies or thick sage but in the end they all arrive in the same place they were yesterday, between the rock and the power pole.

And now, as they greet each other again, I get a count of 9 adults, five black and four gray. With three pups, I now have an even dozen! One of the grays is 1203F, the current alpha female. I remember seeing this wolf in March of 2021 from the Big Ski lot pullout, when she and several pups fed on a bison carcass there.

Laurie & Dan arrive, happy to have wolves in view. And Steve's charming son Jonas comes up with a blanket wrapped around him. Jeremy and Taylor are on the hills, too, giving me a chance to talk with them and get a little news. They are traveling into Lamar on occasion and say the Junctions have mostly been staying out of sight at the back of Jasper Bench.

I enjoy watching 1203F play with the pups. She seems to be a properly attentive mother. The pups also engage in a bit of romping by themselves in the deep sage left of the power pole. Some of the adults walk up a hill and bed down for a while.

A visitor finds a fox way in the area above the wolves. Hmm, probably hoping for left over scraps!

Then Kathie arrives! Wow, it really feels like “normal” times again. She rented an ebike and rode into the Park from Silver Gate. She said she liked it so much she did it again the next day!

Laurie says Big John (who is manning the Northeast Gate) says more than 60 people a day have been entering on foot or on bikes since they opened the short section a week ago.

Another black arrives from the north, getting mobbed by the pups and a few adults. One of the pups carries a piece of meat up the hill and sits to eat it.

The alpha female pind a black adult but I miss what she may have done to deserve it!

As the day warms, we start to see wolves moving off to find shade. The number of visible wolves diminishes until we are left with none.

Ah well, that was a very nice morning.

We start to talk about heading back to Bozeman. Laurie & Dan go north to check out of their room while I turn west towards Norris and West.

It’s a pleasant but uneventful drive back this time, full of beautiful vistas. It’s been a great visit full of wolves and friends, just like it should be!

Today I saw: bison, sandhill cranes, elk (including calves), a gray squirrel, 12 Wapiti wolves (including alpha 1203F and alpha 1270M, three more grays, four more blacks and 3 black pups) and the spirits of Allison, Richard and Jeff.

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