DAY THREE - Thursday, June 22

CONFERENCE HEAVYWEIGHTS

Itís 33 degrees this morning at 4:30 as I leave Gardiner, heading to the Blacktail.

Itís very quiet. First light is just beginning in the east, and Venus shines brightly.

There is a mist rising from the Blacktail Ponds.

At Nature Trail I set up next to Doug, just like yesterday.

I have more luck today. My first wolf is a black, far to the east of the rendezvous area, traveling even further east. Then a second black appears in that narrow meadow. I watch it approach a dead tree, and it beds near the trunk. The wolf adjusts its position a few times, then settle down for a nap.

A third black shows up further to the right, passing the gaps in the trees as it heads west. The bedded wolf gets up and sets off to the east in the direction the first wolf was going.

As I follow this wolf, a gray and yet another black appear, following the route to the east. Itís possible this black is the same one I saw before so I am only claiming four.

All the wolves seem to be on a trail heading east. They seem to know where theyíre going, perhaps to visit a carcass. All too soon, I lose them in a gully. I pan back to the narrow meadow, hoping to see a pup or two but they remain hidden.

Jeremy joins us and we have a nice catch up. He says the plane has seen two pups with the Junctions in their hidey-hole behind Jasper Bench. I am glad to have this confirmed, since none of us can see them where they are.

At 7:30 I bid them both adieu and head to Gardiner.

This morning, Dan Stahler is the first speaker. I see a few more wolf-watchers today, Becky B plus Ray and Kathy. There is a longish break at lunch, so I head to my room for a nap.

I return to enjoy the afternoon & evening speakers, especially Bob Lís video and Carter Nís story of the Sawtooth pack. Jeremy and Taylor arrive, guests of Doug S. We all sit together.

Doug gives an animated talk which is very well-received. Rick M is the final speaker and Iím not at all surprised when he manages to bring the audience to tears.

Today I saw: bison, elk, pronghorn, 4 wolves (all Rescue Creek; three blacks and a gray) and the spirits of Allison, Richard and Jeff.

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