DAY EIGHT – Friday, June 20

After a chilly night I am pleased to find it not too foggy in Hayden this AM.

I set up on the west side of the double pullout and listen for wolves, scoping the tree-line and various other logical spots. I find two bears; one is a big grizzly just at skyline, above the snow patches. He moves quickly to the south and over the top.

Then I find another bear that turns out to be a black bear. This one skirts the edge of the tree line, going in and out of the forest.

Some other people pull in and we watch this bear together. He stays visible a long while but we never see it catch anything.

There is an elk herd here, grazing comfortably (which makes me believe there are no wolves nearby). I count 24 cows and 6 calves. That’s a pretty good ratio for an area with wolves and bears.

At one point we all think we have a wolf to the south, but it’s a coyote.

A great blue heron flaps overhead and lands in Alum Creek.

I run into Calvin & Lynette. They are looking for Canyon’s too. I share my sightings with them and we wish each other luck.

They head off towards Norris and I decide to take a tour of the waterfalls. My sister and her husband are coming next spring so I want to remind myself which views are the best and which can be skipped.

After that I head back to Lamar and see a lot of elk on my way over Dunraven.

I drive leisurely through a very quiet (but always beautiful) Lamar and up to Cooke to check in at the Elkhorn. Just in time for a nap!

This is Laurie’s last evening – she’s flying tomorrow. So I pick her up and we drive to the Blacktail together. It’s so nice to have her along.

A light rain begins to fall. We see a moose and calf at Floating Island Lake. We scope from the S Curves with some others, but the wolves elude us.

On our way back we have a black bear at Phantom Lake and then as I approach the big Ski Lot, I have to slam on the brakes for a mule deer buck and fawn that step onto the road suddenly. Laurie saves her laptop but everything else goes flying.

Catastrophe averted, however.

Today I saw: 2 black bears, 1 grizzly, bison, coyote, mule deer (including a fawn), elk (including 6 calves), a great blue heron, two moose (including a calf) and the spirit of Allison.

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