Wolves in Wonderland




I've said this before, and I'll say it again...we are so lucky to have Yellowstone National Park in our backyard. Every visit there quenches a thirst for a deeper connection to the natural world. Last weekend, we ventured into Wonderland for a 'wake up to wildlife' tour in the Lamar Valley, where the wolves are. Of course we hoped to see our first wolves, but I didn't want to get 7 year old's hopes up, since they can be elusive and it's all about timing. She brought along her stuffed wolfie for good luck.

We saw snow covered bison, a bighorn sheep with the biggest horns of any I've ever seen, and elk. It was a beautiful, snowy morning. As we neared our turnaround point, we saw a group of people on the side of the road with quite a few scopes. These wolf watchers had been at it since before the sun came up. We, on the other hand, timed our arrival perfectly - they had just spotted a wolf pair. There were plenty of scopes so that everyone could get a chance to see them, some of us twice. The Park ranger lifted 7 year old up to look in one that had the pair in its sights. Suddenly, someone put a hand up to shush our excited chatter - the wolves were howling. I got chills up and down my spine. I remained quiet to listen, but what I really felt like doing was jumping for joy. What an unforgettable moment for all of us, first wolf sighting or one of many.

That evening we spent the night at the B Bar Ranch in Paradise Valley, where we hold our fall Yoga & Yellowstone retreats. We woke to fresh snow and a sunny day for cross-country skiing. In the winter, B Bar offers some amazing trails for only $10 a day - as husband said, the "best $10 you can spend on a winter weekend". As we started our loop, we came across the mama moose and baby that have been frequent visitors to the ranch lately. Wolves and moose in one weekend?? Yep.

This visit also sparked my interest in the history of the wolf controversy. It's a fascinating tale. The Sanskrit blessing Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu - may all beings everywhere be happy and free - sums up my position. Namaste.

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