Kristin and I are volunteering this weekend, helping our friend Erik Quissell lead a group of students in Yellowstone National Park. Erik is the sponsor of the TREE Club at Boise High School. TREE stands for Teens Restoring Earth’s Environment, and the club participates in ecological restoration projects around the Treasure Valley. It also makes a trip every other year to Yellowstone, which is how I find myself in Gardiner, Montana on this beautiful winter day.
We got here by school bus, taking a loop through Pocatello/Idaho Falls/Dillon/Bozeman. In Dillon, not coincidentally, there was a huge sale at the Patagonia Outlet store, which we took advantage of. For our first day here in the Park, we visited hot springs around the the Mammoth Lodge and watched a slideshow put on the Rangers. This morning, we arose early and went searching for wildlife. A pair of dedicated wolf watchers generously shared their scopes with us, and we were able to spot (and hear) a lone female wolf howling for her pack. It was a pretty special experience. The students crowded in lines to take a look at the wolf, listening intently to the many stories of the wolf watchers.
Later today we’ll be going snowshoeing and ice skating. The group of students are a lot of fun to be around and I am really glad Kristin and I were able to come on this trip. Also, it has been really nice because Erik has totally taken the lead on handling things, making it super easy for us to come along.