All photos by
Tim Springer
Christine Baleshta

    Today we saw the Geode wolves for the first time. It was early in the morning, around 7:30 a.m. when we first reached Boulder in Little America. The wolves were high up on a rocky mountainside and a large herd of elk was on top of the ridge. Rick thought they might be getting ready for a chase. I was able to see only two, a black and a grey, walking to the northeast, past the elk and over to the ridge. Rick thought they were traveling a familiar path to Mum's Ridge, so we drove to Dave's Hill and waited for them there. We finally saw them walking through a rocky crevice while one grey stood sentry on an outcrop. There were several trotting quickly through the crevice in a very determined manner. I can't say how many I saw. Five to Seven, I think, all grey. Emily got a count of 13! After that they disappeared and a grey reappeared high on another mountain top, far away and very tiny. Today we hiked Swan Lake Flats to Snow Pass and climbed up to the plateau. A bison blocked our path early in the hike and we walked around him. A big old guy. We also saw two bluebirds who I thought would be gone by now. I love the plateau. Big, open, surrounded by pine trees. The weather was cold this morning. It must have been in the 20s, but it warmed to the 50s I think. Cloudy and overcast most of the day, but the sun came out on top of the plateau. On the way back, Tim found a wolf track on top of one of his footprints. At the jeep we looked up to see two golden eagles flying near Bunson Peak in what seemed to be some sort of combat. We took our time heading back and drove the road through Blacktail Deer Plateau. About two-thirds of the way through we saw a black bear sow and two coy. The cubs were so tiny next to Mom. Mom kept looking back wanting the cubs to follow while they kept going down the hillside. A couple of times she started towards them, making her way down the hill as if to say, "These kids! They never listen to me." In the Lamar we stopped to glass at several places and look for owls at Pebble Creek campground. The bison stopped us a couple of times. We stopped and rolled down the car windows to listen to them snort and watched a couple lock horns. Near Round Prairie we saw our first moose, a bull, grazing in a prairie. I was wondering where they all were.

Author - Christine Baleshta
Photography - Tim Springer

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Yellowstone Experiences 2004