Back to Yellowstone

I’ve been moving. Six years in this house and an accumulation of items that makes it seem more like 100 years.  I’ve been buried and that is my excuse for taking so long to write more about my glorious trip to Yellowstone.

Two weeks ago today I was in the park, driving around by myself as my Wolves of the Rockies friends had just left. I took a spin up the Lamar road, drove a bit down the road toward Norris, where Rhonda and KC and I had been the day before. That was fun. We’d decided we needed to check out a little geyser action and Old Faithful was too far. So we went to the Norris Geyser Basin and took a look around. Some very hot stuff there, but not nearly as exciting as looking for wolves.

Rhonda Lanier and KC York at Norris Geyser Basin

Rhonda, Marc Cooke, Lorenza Cook, KC

It was lonely after everyone left. I’d said goodbye to Marc, Lorenza, KC and Rhonda at the post office at Mammoth. This was after we enjoyed a visit with Dan Stahler, wolf biologist for the park. Dan was generous with his time and he shared with us the name of the new pack, the Junction Buttes. This was nice to hear. We’d been watching these wolves daily and were getting a little tired of calling them the new pack.

Two other members of our party, Kim Bean and Kristy Lloyd, had been in the same building a few days before to visit another wolf biologist, Doug Smith. In fact, this meeting with Doug Smith was something we heard a whole lot about from Kim and Kristy while in Yellowstone. One individual in particular needed to be gently pulled back to earth as her head was in the clouds for days.

Kim and Doug

When we weren’t fraternizing with famous wolf biologists  we were on the ground looking for wolves. We rose early in the morning (I made it except for one day, pretty good for me) and ate a hearty breakfast prepared by Marc and Lorenza. Then we hit the ground, entering the park before the sun had.

Kristy and Kim

KC, Rhonda, Kim, Marc, Lorenza, Norm, Kristy

Marc Cooke

I was so impressed with the purposeful and dedicated action of the folks I was with. They were there to see wolves and to talk wolves and that was the focus. And that was the glue that bound us together, despite the fact that some of us had never met until that weekend. But we also had an extremely good time. One night in particular, Saturday I believe, the guys went to bed early and the rest of us sat around the table at that cabin in Gardiner and talked and laughed and made memories that won’t be forgotten any time soon.

The phrase was coined, “What happens in Yellowstone, stays in Yellowstone.” KC, Rhonda, Kim, Lorenza, and Kristy

Thank you my friends, for sharing with me your passion for wolves, your dedication to saving them,  and for gifting me with your knowledge of Yellowstone. I can’t wait until we meet there again.

A cute coyote KC and I watched along the Lamar road. We drove all the way to Wyoming!

Pronghorn by Roosevelt Arch

Mule deer. In my next life, I’d like to be a photographer.

13 thoughts on “Back to Yellowstone

  1. Hi Beckie,

    I was in Yellowstone the same time period that you were and met with some of the same wolf people. Particularly I remember Kim and Kristy, but there were several others. I enjoyed reading about your time there. The wolves were amazing! And all the other wildlife we viewed and photographed. I hope to get some images posted on my blog soon.

    Kathy Mendes


  2. Hi Beckie, I’ve been out of the frame a while, (though have been writing a lot and have just booked a screen writing course in London for Jan 2013) though I’ve been keeping in touch a little with the ‘wolf-world’ and visiting Yellowstone must be wonderful, you guys surely do live in ‘Gods Country’.
    Any views on how things will pan out for wolves with Obamas second term?


      • And your point would be what, Tayon? That you think you ratted me out to a friend of mine…in real life, not just on Facebook. You are quite the super sleuth, aren’t you?


  3. Hello! And thanks for the comments. Kathy, I think I met you but it’s hard to tell. Everyone looked so different bundled up in layers of clothes! Les, Good to have you back! As far as Obama, I believe Salazar is the key to how things may change regarding wolves. Salazar and Obama go back a long way and I imagine that this relationship has prejudiced Obama’s views on wolves. We’ll see what happens, maybe Salazar won’t hold his position for long. We can hope.


  4. Beckie, first of all I can totally identify with all the challenges of moving. I “moved” October 1st, but still find myself unpacking boxes, and trying to figure out where to put everything. However, my big challenge (not to mention expense) has been to “secure” by back yard so that my 18 year-old cat Milton cannot escape!

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post on our trip to Yellowstone. I have been “home” almost two weeks and still find myself longing to be in the park again, sharing the incredible experience of looking at wolves in the wild through a spotting scope; sharing the days experiences at night back at our beautiful cabin; and just enjoying the company and camaraderie of people who just love wolves; and love people who love wolves!

    Can’t wait for our return trip in the spring. Hugs to you and hope your move goes smoother and faster than mine!!


  5. Beckie……I apologize for not leaving a comment prior to now. Was side tracked with another issue that directly effects Yellowstone wolves.

    Stepping into Yellowstone to watch wolves and wildlife with friends is a soul saver for me. Your article catches all the beauty that is willingly shared amongst friends young and old!

    We are already planning our next trip to YS. It is Lorenza’s and my hope you and anyone else interested in recharging their spirit will come with us…….and see first hand why we fight so long, so hard, so vigilant, and at “No” financial gain to protect wolves and other predators.

    As always thanks for shinning a light on wolves and thanks for all you do! Marc


    • Wonderful words, Marc!!! I agree! Don’t go to Yellowstone in February, I won’t be able to go then. I”ll be in Key Largo 😉


  6. Oh, Beckie, what can I say, you rock! Don’t know how I missed these latest wonderful writings of yours and the much needed reminiscing of our fantastic trip, but much has been happening in the trapping world, too, and sadly, not good. As always, thanks for bringing a big smile to my face and an added warmth to my spirit. KC


  7. Hi outstanding blog! Does running a blog such as this take a massive amount work?
    I have virtually no expertise in computer programming but I
    was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, if you have any
    ideas or tips for new blog owners please share.
    I know this is off topic nevertheless I just wanted to ask.



  8. In response to the above comment (sorry, I don’t have a name), yes, blogging is a lot of work but it’s worth it. I’ve had this blog for over a year now and try to post weekly or biweekly. Each entry takes between 2 and 6 hours, I’d say, although I don’t really keep track of the time.
    I enjoy every minute of it and learn so very much from doing this. And blogging has introduced me to so many wonderful people, including the ones I hung out with in Yellowstone.
    Thanks for you compliment on my blog. It mean so much to hear things like that.
    Hope you embark on your own blog. Let me know if you do!


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