As though to remind me that I cannot escape civilization—if that is what it is—I had no more than gotten myself comfortably snuggled in for the night when the unmistakable “BLAM – BLAM” of gun shots rang through the evening air. What in the world could anyone be shooting at? And why would anyone be shooting at this time of night? And where were the distant shooters? It is all a mystery to me. At least I console myself that there were only those two random shots. I had feared a night of drunken man-revelry.
The next sounds I heard, several hours later, were the soft, throaty “whoooot whot whot whot” of an owl in a tree very nearby. An answer came from somewhere on the other side of the car. The conversation continued for a while. The owl nearest me suddenly whooshed from its perch and flew over the car to land somewhere nearer its companion. A muted conversation continued till I drifted off to sleep again.
A brilliant moon sent the stars into the fathomless background. I woke refreshed and eager to meet fellow hikers for an exploration of Big Wood River riparian habitat. During our relaxed hike beside the surging spring water we saw—and examined—moose and wolf scat. But we saw neither hide nor hair of either animal. The meanders were peppered with active beaver activity,but we saw none of those either.