This is the lead story in the Anchorage Daily News today: http://www.adn.com/2010/05/09/1270587/traffic-takes-unusual-toll-on.html Part of me really likes living in a place where a story like this can be above the fold in the State’s largest newspaper.
Wolves are everywhere in Alaska. Sometimes I can hear them howling in the woods around my house. There was a black one that locals named Romeo who inhabited the mud flats below the Mendenhall Glacier for years. He liked to “play” with people’s dogs and it is alleged that he ate one or two. He hasn’t been seen in a year or two. He wasn’t young, so he may not be with us anymore, but then, again, he might have found a new love and moved in somewhere else. Nobody knows; it’s just the way things work.
My best wolf story is from a trip to Prudhoe Bay many years ago. I was coming down Atigun Pass (those of you who watch Ice Road Truckers know about Atigun) and nature called. There wasn’t anyone within a hundred miles in any direction as far as I knew but habits are habits so I stepped over to the brush along the road; there’s nothing taller than about two feet at this latitude, but … Anyway, I’m doing what I came to do and I see two yellow eyes reflecting the lights of my truck. I know better than to do anything quick or stupid so I just finish what I’m doing and walk back to my truck with a keen eye on my companion. As I get in my truck I see about 125 pounds of gray wolf go over and hike his leg and “erase” me from his territory. This place can make you feel small.