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Best day ever…

June 21, 2017

“Best. Day. Ever.” This phrase has been uttered every day since the start of this trip and today was no different! We started with yet another 4:45am wake up call and headed out to hike Trout Lake. After the uphill climb we were met with a gorgeous glass top lake beautifully reflecting a backdrop of mountains and wildflowers. The lake was full of cutthroat trout, which is a native fish species in Yellowstone. Cutthroat trout populations have been decreasing in numbers since the introduction of non-native species years ago. We were lucky enough to find a healthy and thriving population of these beautiful red and yellow-spotted cutthroat in Trout Lake.

After another hearty meal (or 2) and some time to reflect about all we’ve experienced so far this week, we headed out to the valley to search for wildlife. Just a few miles down the road, we spotted a fox and her 4 kits playing about in the woods near an old building. The kits frolicked and wrestled and gave us a chuckle while we observed them. After leaving the foxes, we spotted two black bears in the tree line behind the river and spent some time watching them forage and roam through the tall grass. After they managed to wander out of sight we headed on down the road, spotting bison, mule deer and pronghorns along the way.

Finally, we picked a spot to pull off and enjoy the sunset and have our nightly team meeting. Just as we were starting our meeting we were interrupted by the sounds of a wolf pack howling right in the valley in front of us! Two wolves were on one ridge and were answered back by at least one other on an adjacent ridge. This sound is one that you will never forget. We only spotted them for a moment before they disappeared back into the trees but we were beyond thrilled to have been able to listen to them for several minutes. This was truly a magical and exciting moment for us all! This was the best day ever.

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