DAY ONE - Tuesday, September 21


For the last two days I have been happily entertaining a long-time friend of mine (M) and her husband (C ) in Bozeman. This morning they left for their three-day visit to Yellowstone, to be followed by 2 days in the Tetons.

The plan is for me to join them tomorrow morning in Lamar Valley where I hope to find wolves for them. They are accomplished travelers and day-hikers, so they will spend today discovering the Park on their own.

I leave Bozeman at 12:45. It’s a nice day so far, 57 and clear. The smoke and haze has, thankfully, been much lessened over the last few days.

In the week since I was last here, Paradise Valley has been transformed. The sun reveals the gorgeous mountains, crowned with a fresh topping of snow, sporting lots of gold and orange aspen on the lower slopes. The river is lined with lovely fall color, too.

I have my visit with Allison and ask her to send the Junctions someplace where it will be easy for me to show my friends. I would just love to show them wolves.

A chipmunk dashes across the road at Lava Creek.

The fall color through the Blacktail is so pretty! There is a bear jam at Junction Butte for a single bear. He’s sleeping at the base of a tree, though, so I don’t stop long.

I am surprised to find only a few bison in Lamar. There are almost none in Soda Butte Valley either.

I get to Laurie’s and unload my stuff. I hear from my friends, updating our plans to include dinner at the Log Cabin in Silver Gate. I had hoped they would be up for some evening wolf watching but they wore themselves out hiking around Trout Lake! They want to eat and go to bed early. I can relate to that!

I visit with Laurie & Maureen a while, then they go off for more wolf watching.

My friends treat me to a delicious trout dinner at the Log Cabin Restaurant. They are having a wonderful time, they love the Park, and are amazed by it’s beauty and variety. I am just grateful they are having such good weather.

I bid them goodnight with many thanks. They say they’ll be ready to go tomorrow morning at 6:15.

I wait up for Laurie and Maureen to return so I can have the latest wolf intel. And it’s very encouraging. They saw the Junctions north of Picnic this evening. Laurie says she is pretty certain they wanted to cross to the south but couldn’t do so because of all the people. Which means there is a very good chance they cross after dark and be in the rendezvous tomorrow.

Today I saw: 1 black bear, bison, a chipmunk, mule deer, elk, pronghorn, and the spirits of Allison and Richard.

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