My wife and I lived in AZ for a little bit….one of the deciding factors to move a little more North was to be closer to the mountains and certainly, the constant cooler weather.
On our many trips to Montana or anywhere North of Utah, Denali and I always make a pass through beautiful Wyoming and Idaho.
I’m not sure what really draws us there. Maybe it’s the contrast from the beautiful Idaho rolling hills to The Tetons and the vast country. It’s a little like Navajoland. Huge. Open. Wild. (For now…..)
Of course, we have great friends along the path. From gallery owners to fence posts.
We make constant stops to stretch our legs, camp, cook and overall, just have a great time while outside.
On one particular trip, we were away from the house for a few days past the usual. We continued to hike and followed a wonderful pack of wolves. I’d known this pack for a few years and understood that some wolves may stay with the pack, and others may decide to take off on another journey.
Wolves have been a very controversial animal to the West. In fact, in the 1960’s, less than 300 wolves were roaming the lower 48 States. Again, like the bison, wolves were nearly exterminated.
The Grey Wolves were then protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1974. Then in the mid-90’s wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone and Idaho.
Such a daring move and a very bold one!
Being Native American, wolves have always played a crucial role in the ecosystem, in spiritual realms and other various meanings.
The beautiful thing about wolves is they truly have played a “vital?” role in Yellowstone. Though Yellowstone it is not Indian land (anymore), seeing what these wolves have done has been interesting.
Or better yet, amazing.
You have to check out this four and a half minute video below. You’ll here this one powerful line: “But here’s where it get’s really interesting. The wolves changed the behaviors of the rivers….”
JUST recently, it is speculated that a grey wolf may have been spotted on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon!!! Do a search for it. The news of it all is only a few days old.
The beauty of growing up in Northern Arizona is I can see the Kaibab Forest, the Tower at the South Rim and even Bryce Canyon. From from the “backyard” I can see the forest that leads into the North Rim.
(The greatest backyard any kid would want to have…. 30 or so square miles!)
So for this black and white challenge, I wanted to bring back some images of THE TRIP! Having Denali with me on these epic adventures since he was 4 months old has been wonderful! The trips are always awesome.
(Denali near a fence line in Montana.)
(Denali playing soccer in Butte, I think.)
Denali chilling with his buddy Buster….I’m not sure how Buster has survived the bathtub, dirt, kicks to the gut, body slams, going down a few flight of stairs….Shout out to Buster for “hanging in there” with Denali…..
The following photograph is the one I took with Denali. (The only thing that kept me from going into Canada was forgetting Denali’s passport.)
Image Title: Grand Farewell
It will be printed in the darkroom. I’m only thinking of a silver gelatin measuring at least 40″. This is image number 4 in the #blackandwhitechallenge
I hope we can take the challenge in life to capture the real essence behind each image. This wolf had had a few fights with the pack. Long story short, he packed up and left. The wolf didn’t take much but wisdom and all those things he learned all those years.
While Denali and I were perched on a hill overlooking a very long valley, we saw him go. It was beautiful. Though I sat with Denali, it made me cringe a little knowing one day, he’s going to pack up and go as well. It was a real sweet father and son moment for me.
The image of the wolf looking back ‘one last time’ was the one I decided I have to take into the darkroom.
It was the “Grand Farewell” from his pack, but not from the planet.
Long live the wolves (and Buster),