Wednesday, October 31, 2007
4:55 pm

   We watch a young elk cow standing in the Lamar River waiting out two wolves on either side of her. One wolf is gray and the other black, the gray on the north side of the river, the black on the south. A coyote paces in the meadow impatiently as the sun begins its descent on the horizon. Even with insulated pants and a brilliant sunny day it's bitterly cold.
   Laurie pulled me aside this morning and told me they killed the alpha male too. The rest of the Hayden pack has not been seen. Last night coyotes woke me with wild, high pitched barks. The first thing I thought of was the Haydens. I didn't think the Mollies would kill just one. Hayden Valley will never be the same, or the Mollies. Here we have this beautiful day, and this sadness. And now this death watch.
8:33 pm
   We hiked into Indian Creek campground this morning. It is a frosted forest, with tall pine branches weighted with snow and sporadic patches of ice intricately patterned like glass windows. Lots of rabbit prints led us through campsites where picnic tables were draped with snow. Tim discovered large grizzly tracks marching straight down the trail. The prints were perfectly molded pads, distinctly marked, moving straight forward. And very large. This is a big bear. We followed what we thought was a service road along the creek which connected to the Indian Creek Loop and the bear tracks, leading through marshy, snow-covered meadows and new growth. We never saw the bear.

Author - Christine Baleshta
Photography - Tim Springer

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Yellowstone Experiences 2007