On Saturday, after searching for a fresh trail along a roadless ridgeline with amazing views of Mount Stuart without success (though we did discover sign of a mountain lion that had been on a similar mission), we finally picked up the trail of a large herd of elk moving through a meadow system further east and trailed them all afternoon through a maze of feeding sign and bedding areas. A few of us were distracted by the fresh trail of a black bear we discovered in a light dusting of snow.
On Sunday we picked up the tracks of a heard of elk and followed them for several miles through shrub-steppe and open pine forests in the sunshine. On the long hike back to our vehicles at the end of the day, I think we were all impressed at both the terrain the herd had covered as well as the fact that we had followed them through all of it.
|Brian cutting for elk tracks along a ridge in the eastern Cascades|