DAY SEVEN - Thursday, September 14


My last morning begins with fog. It wafts across the road at Baronette and again at Round Prairie. Once I reach Soda Butte Valley, it shrouds the upper half of Specimen Ridge.

When I reach Dorothy’s I am disappointed to see Jasper Bench is a long, low cloud, too.

I stop anyway and greet the other early risers. So far, it’s been very quiet. We hear no howling, not even the honking of ever-present geese.

Missy’s bear might be strolling around the “bell”, but we’d never know it since it’s all fog there.

At least the valley is clear, and there are bison, sandhills and pronghorn to watch. Someone finds a coyote, and then a second one.

Around 8:30 the fog appears to be lifting, so several people head up Cardiac Hill. I learn later that they did eventually see a few wolves, including 907F, the pup, one gray and one black.

But down here in the pullout I have no wolves to watch, so I head slowly back east to pack up and clean. Somewhere around Trout Lake the sun finally breaks through the overcast, making the still-rising fog glisten.

I see Celia and stop to say goodbye until the spring. We comment to each other about how gorgeous everything looks.

Around 1PM, I head back west and find the clouds have lifted.

As I make my way through Lamar Canyon, I find the rain has caused the as-yet-unpaved road to be quite muddy in spots. I’m glad I only have to pass through this once!

At the west end of the Canyon, some bright red fall color has just emerged. Nice!

I have a nice visit with Allison below Kite Hill and see a few bighorn over on McMinn.

My drive back to Bozeman is beautiful as always.

Today I saw: bison, 2 coyotes, sandhill cranes, mule deer, a bald eagle, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and the spirits of Allison, Richard and Jeff.

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