Kelly and I left our cabin at dawn. Destination the old ruins of a pre 1900's poachers cabin. On our way we passed through Lamar Valley. A pair of sand-hill cranes flew above us near Hitching Post. An immature eagle perched just passed the Old Lamar Picnic Area. An osprey chick sat in the Lamar Canyon East nest. We met Dave Covey a last minute addition to our little party at Roosevelt Junction. He jumped in our car and we continued on to Black-tail drive. A couple miles down the one way gravel road we parked in a wide spot, loaded up our packs and started off across the sage.
Coyotes howled to our left and ahead of us. It took us fifteen to twenty minutes to climb a steep slope and enter the timber. Because I usually don't approach the old ruins from this direction, it took some time to get my bearings, but finally we spotted the rock chimney tucked discretely down in a hollow. Except for a couple of charred timbers the chimney is really all that remains of the cabin. It was originally 7' by 9' with a glass window in the only door. The lava rocks that make up the 7' chimney are supported by buggy axels stamped with a Concord insignia. The cabin burned in the 88 fire. Dave and I explored the surrounding area while Kelly perched herself atop a rock and began a watercolor. Looking around I was reminded of how I stumbled across this spot some twenty years ago. I did not know what I had discovered until I found reference to it in "The Yellowstone Story" by Haines pages 24-25.
When Kelly finished her painting we headed southwest to a vast overlook. Dropping down into the valley we found elk bones scattered everywhere, even two elk skulls with antlers still attached. Shed antlers were also lying about (we counted fifteen.) In a narrow canyon to the east we found remnants of six or seven kills. Possibly by mountain lions. Climbing out of the canyon we found ourselves crossing dry open hillsides. Pieces of broken geodes, quartz and chunks of jasper sparkled in the sun. Coyote dens recent and old were here and there. We passed by deer and buffalo. A coyote pup trotted across a distant slope. Bluebirds and warblers called from the forest edges.
When we got back to the car it was close to noon. As we drove pass the road to Petrified Tree we spotted a black bear feeding on rose hips. It