The long weekend of October 5, 2007, Tracy and I headed up for the last hoorah of the season at Yellowstone before they close all the roads. We planned to backpack to Shoshone Geyser Basin on Sunday night, but it ended up snowing more than forecast on Saturday, and it never did warm up on Sunday or Monday as forecast, so we opted to day hike instead. On Saturday we hiked around the Upper Geyser Basin. It was nice to hike around there, because the crowds were all gone, so we got to see all the thermal features that we had missed. On Sunday we hiked in the snow up to Grizzly Lake, and that was nice. We then drove out to the Lamar Valley and hiked several miles back through the valley looking for wildlife. We didn’t see any. Oh well. We then stayed in Cooke City (again) that night, and drove back into the park on Monday. We got up early and headed into Lamar Valley. We saw a couple of moose, and, of course, bison and elk, and as we were driving through, we saw a few people pulled over looking into the valley. Tracy looked and said she thought she saw wolves. I pulled over, and luckily I had brought a big scope with us. I looked, and we could see 13 wolves over a mile away in the valley. That was cool. They were just lounging around playing. About half of them were gray, and the other half were black. I assume it was the Druid Peak pack. But while were were watching them, I heard wolf howls behind us. I turned around and looked, and I found one gray and one black wolf on the ridge about half a mile behind us. That was cool. They were howling a lot. We had 13 wolves in the valley on one side, and two on the ridge on the other side of us. Fifteen wolves were definitely the most we had ever seen, and the two behind us were the closest we had ever seen. We watched them for about 45 minutes, until we got too cold, and then we went down to Fishing Bridge and Norris Geyser Basin and hiked around a little. We headed back in the afternoon. This was a really nice trip because of the wolves. We had wanted to backpack, but the weather just didn’t cooperate. I think it might officially be winter, and time to head south for a few months.
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