Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Unusual Encounter on the Road

I was a bit late getting off duty last night, as I was in a conference call (Mush with P.R.I.D.E. board meeting) that ran a little late. Needing an early start today, I wasn't sparing the horse power as I headed my little motorized roller skate toward the house.

At around mile 33 or 34 on the Elliott Highway, I can around a corner and then tested the brakes on that wee Toyota to avoid hitting a wolf.

Although I've seen a couple of wolves around Pump Station 7 over the years and a good number of others while traveling around the back country, this is the first time I've ever seen one actually on the road, and the first I've ever heard of coming so close to being struck by traffic.

I think the wolf was as surprised as I. S/he spun around twice before choose a route and dashing off into the woods. I'd love to report that s/he was sleek and glossy and beautiful, but - well, that would be an overstatement. The poor beast is apparently blowing coat as s/he grows her winter fur, so she looked a lot like my dog Chinook at the height of shedding, huge clumps of fur sticking out all over.

This wolf wasn't particularly large - maybe 80# or so. Looked reasonably well fed but when blowing coat one never knows how many ribs can be counted beneath, and neither of us was real interested in the "hands on" approach to health assessment.

I gotta go. An airplane awaits in just a few hours.


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