November 21, 2012

Black Wolf Meadows elicit old story and trigger imagination

English: A wolf nurses her pups outside their den.
 A wolf nurses her pups outside their den

Wolves are making a lot of news lately. From wolf hunting in the upper Midwest to the expansion of the habitat, including into Oregon, wolves are a hot topic.. The latest news of wolves jarred loose the memory of a hike taken several years back into the area of High Rock atop the Clackamas River drainage.

After a week of helping to keep America the leading economy in the world, I sped Friday afternoon toward Rock Lakes Basin. As I turned into the Frazier camp access road, I realized it was a little too early in the year to get beyond all the snow left on the road.

English: Wolves chasing an elk
Wolves chasing an elk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Plan B suddenly became the Anvil Lake trail, a short drive from where I turned around. The trail starts out in a second growth forest and then meanders through an opening in the trees called Black Wolf Meadows before getting to shallow and pond-like Anvil Lake. Whenever I walk into one of these areas with a curious name, I wonder how they received that name. In this particular instance, I wondered whether someone had seen a black wolf in or near the meadow. Probably.

While sitting at the edge of the meadow, imagining a black wolf appearing from the dark forest surrounding the meadow, I recalled a story a fellow worker once told me about seeing a wolf many years earlier in Oregon’s Cascade Range.

Español: Lobo en el zoo de Kolmården (Suecia).

Chris and his brother had hiked into some lakes in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness area and had split up to fish two different lakes. At some point, Chris looked across a large meadow bordering the lake and saw movement across the meadow. Focusing on the movement, he watched as what he saw was two animals run across the meadow toward him. As they moved closer, he recognized the two as some kind of dog. His first thought was that someone in the area had let their dogs run loose, allowing them to release some pent up energy. However, when then approached Chris, the only description he could come up with for the dogs was one resembling wolves. He swears they were not house pets or foxes or coyotes, but wolves.

He said he was so sure the two dogs were wolves that he quickly reeled in his fishing line and ran in the direction of where his brother was fishing. This occurred at a time when no wolves were believed to be living in Oregon.

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