The rushing water to my left cascades over polished stones along the creek bottom, brook trout rise in the wake of a large boulder near the center of the creek while the sound of clear rushing waters soothes my soul. I lie on my back watching puffy clouds moving toward the east as a hawk glides in lazy circles on a high thermal. My quest for adventure has been answered in this trip, I large grizzly in heavy timber definitely got my attention yesterday when he started toward me with low growls and popping teeth. Luckily he retreated after a few moments and left me contemplating my position as a fellow predator. My horses seem content to be eating the lush spring grasses at the creeks edge. I raise my tired body from the ground and survey the wild Wyoming landscape. Deep snow still blocks access to the high country. And the new spring wildflowers still remain locked in winters embrace. The once colorful aspens stand stark and naked after a long cold winter, but the new grass and budding leaves announce a splendor not long in coming. I have been up here looking for elk shed antlers, the wintering bulls stayed in this high valley and my quest has been fruitful. I have found several sheds, and am heading back toward civilization today. My old warhorse Tiger nuzzles me from behind and looks me in the eyes, I understand , after years of traveling these mountains together we have a communication that goes beyond the norm. I re-saddle my mount and packhorse, and load my newfound treasures.
Near the summit I suddenly encounter three bull elk, they are haggard looking beasts with ragged winter coats being replaced by their sleek summer fur and short new growth of antler growing from their heads. I say a prayer to the creator for their survival, and continued success here in their world. Yes the circle is never ending, and I am proud to be here to witness nature at it’s finest. The old bulls ghost into the timberline, leaving only muddy tracks upon the remaining snow to announce they were even there. Tiger jerks the reigns and once again we are homebound, spring taunts me from every angle while winter stares down from on high reminding me of the harshness of this beautiful place. Cloud shadows race across the landscape ahead of the horses, I love this time of year, being in the high lands before other humans have the opportunity to defile the natural order of things. Clean, quiet, and wild … just the way I like it… Hawk