Ever since I got back from my Return To Fairyland hike (well, ever since my broken elbow healed) I have been talking to my hiking companions, Gary and Laurie Novak and Mark and Lori Nixon about where to go next. We discussed returning to Coffee Pot since there was still much to explore there, and made a vague plan to do so in the fall of 2008. We talked about various dates and various times and finally made it simpler by choosing a different target - Lone Star to the Bechler, a trip which my four companions had taken a few years back and thoroughly enjoyed.

So we made a plan that was ambitious but do-able, that included time to explore Shoshone Geyser Basin and to partake of the various hot-potting areas in Bechler Canyon. Gary created our itinerary and sent off for reservations. We got most of the sites we wanted but then Mark developed a problem with his ankle which knocked him out of the trip.

Nevertheless, the three of us wanted to continue and we set about to planning. I must admit that the planning for the hike is nearly as enjoyable as the hiking and this time was no exception.

Until a few days before I arrived in Bozeman, the weather report looked awful. Nevertheless, I flew to Montana as planned and spent a day and a half putting the final touches on my lists and arrangements.

How the hike went, and what happened after, I leave for you to read....


I am not a wolf or wildlife expert, but an enthusiast, and if you find anything in this report to be wrong or or misleading, feel free to bring it to my attention by e-mailing me at

Due to my heavy workload, I am publishing this report three months late, but I do so in hopes that anyone planning a trip to the Park at this time of year will find things of value to learn from it.

Thanks, as always, to John Uhler for starting it all, and to my wonderful friends and hiking companions. Gary and Laurie Novak.

And finally, a note about Allison and her spirit. Allison was a shining-light of a woman, my friend and the Queen of the Loons. She passed away suddenly in December of 2003. In June of 2004, her loving family arranged for her ashes to be scattered on Kite Hill in Mammoth Hot Springs, where she had worked in her youth. Many of us were in attendance at that ceremony. Thus, each time I visit the Park I feel her presence, and I hope always to share my trips with her.


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me (in visor) with Allison at the 2001 Loonion