January 27, 2016
Today we decided to take a drive to Pebble Creek in search of wildlife. We were told by locals that there was lots of wildlife in the Lamar Valley area.
We met a friendly local named Ted at one of the road stops and he gave us some tips of where to look as he is a part-time photographer – he works at the Mammoth Springs Hotel. We found out quickly there are some very serious photographers here and intense wolf chasers. I guess there are also some groups doing research work on the wolves. We had seen on the white board sightings of the Lamar Valley Pack and that was what we were hoping to see. They say this is the Serengeti of North America and I am a believer – I can’t believe how much wildlife we saw in 1 day in under 30km.
In the first part of the drive we were stopped 3 times due to buffalo on the road which we are sort of becoming used to – we saw a few elk, deer and big horn sheep and then I spotted a coyote eating something down by the creek, so we stopped and watched him for a while – there was another coyote a little further out that seemed to be pacing around.
We drove a little further and noticed a few cars stopped at one of the parking areas and noticed the serious photographers were there – not hard to spot them with their large equipment and scopes. Ted was also there, so we stopped and he pointed out the alpha of the Lamar pack and 2 of the pups from the pack -1 black and 1 grey – they seemed to be closing in on one of the buffalo that appeared to be injured - we watched them for what must have been at least an hour . They just seemed to be circling the buffalo and moving back and forth – I noticed the alpha didn’t move much – when he did decide to leave the area one of the pups quickly followed. The howling that went on after that was unbelievable – it was just so still and quiet and with the echo of the mountains it was just an incredible experience.
Most of the cars left at this point to try to follow the 2 wolves, but we decided to hang back with Ted and see if the grey one would eventually follow the alpha, we were both enjoying the howling and sure enough the grey pup headed our way and we were able to grab a few photos of him also.
Bill and I decided that this point we should move ahead with our plan to skin up Specimen’s Ridge and try to get a few little turns in – it was starting to get late in the day at this point. We both enjoyed our little ski. We encountered several buffalo off in what I call the comfortable distance, but there was one big guy near the top that kept giving us the eye as we took our skins off to ski down the mountain.
What an amazing day!!