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Wolf bait

Apparently a wolf followed me much of the distance from West thumb to Old Faithful on the 24th. I had heard him and his pack howling behind me hours before I arrived in Old Faithful. At one point I Heard one distinct wolf howl Close enough behind me that when I turned around I expected to see sparkling eyes.

Apparently the snow coaches and snowmobiles saw this wolf following me about 2 miles back. Several of the people in the groups pressed their guides and or drivers to turn around and warn me about it.

All of the guides told them that once the wolf saw it was a human it would turn and run. Or at least say forget it. But you never know. 🙂

It was a big enough hit that the ranger at west thumb told me the story.

It was odd because coming back to west thumb today I saw wolf tracks all along the road over the passes. At least that one wolf traveled a long way.

I even saw several sent markings along the road and I thought it was for other animals and wolves.

Apparently those markings were to match my markings. However I wasn’t making them properly.

I do know how to do it correctly now though.

My bigger concern where the grizzly tracks us all along the side. There were many places where there’re obvious tracks just like over at Old Faithful. After seeing very fresh tracks at Old Faithful while I was skiing I decided to turn around.

Best not to be converted to lunch.

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Forging on

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I spent the entire day at West Thumb recouping and looking around. Fingers are quite bloody from the cracks which is no fun. That is defintely one thing I got to solve otherwise I’m Gonna be toast.

I’m forging onto Old Faithful tomorrow. Apparently there’s a couple who walks to Old Faithful on snowshoes every year. Their goal is to walk to Old Faithful on snow shoes from every entrance in the park. After crossing the park on snowshoes I have to say that’s a pretty steep challenge. But they catch a ride back so it’s not like they have to round trip it.

It was cold last night minus 20 again but not too shabby know the warming hut.

I’m getting in Alpine start so I need to go to bed since it’s 8 PM. Hopefully I will be a will to make it over Craig pass without too much trouble.

To be 38 years old in the winter.

In west thumb

Having a good and educational time in Yellowstone. Had my first equipment loss – the precious cereal bowl.

It seconded as the scoop for making water. I didn’t pack the bowl in its usual place in a bag. Sure enough, I must have dropped it when digging through the gear bag.

My efficiency is low for gear handling on this trip. That needs some serious work prior to any larger expeditions.

Need the lexan cup. It is smaller than a cereal bowl and won’t shatter at minus 20 deg.

Tonite finds me at west thumb. Last nite was -20 deg. Brr. It was the classic cold after a storm clears out.

Having serious cracks in my fingers to the point of bleeding. Never had this before. It makes touching anything painful. Maybe the opposite of Midas?

My route has been completely changed due to the lack of snow in Haydon valley. In order to reach Indian Creek, I have to go via Old Faithful and over a miserably steep pass.

The toughest part of this trip has been my speed. I am only making about 50% of what I was doing last year. I should have been at West thumb last night or early this morning. Instead I arrived this evening at 8 PM. Carrying 50% more load as a direct correlation to the time involved with the travel.

Having it snow all day yesterday made travel also extremely slow due to the drag. Since my permit requires me to go to Old Faithful but I do not want to go over the continental divide twice that is extremely difficult. And I wouldn’t have to make the double jump on the way back as well.

As with all trips I am at that point where I have to decide what to do. I am concerned that the severe cracks in my fingers are going to lead to potential infection but not only that it makes it extremely difficult to handle anything.

What I wouldn’t give for some paint on second skin right now. That would at least seal up the wound and stop the bleeding.

Tomorrow is evaluation day.

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