A.T.T.A.C.K. Big Bad Wolves V

By Duane Miles

By 1916, very few wolves still existed on the Olympic Peninsula.


Those which remained had evaded the continuous effort by settlers to protect their livestock. Wolves had either been shot – most after first being trapped – or poisoned, primarily during a period some 10 to 25 years earlier.


Obviously a pair of wolves were living in the upper Elwha valley when Forest Service employee Chris Morgenroth was working there in June of 1916.


Before we return to Chris’ account, there is one more reference to the presence of wolves on the peninsula worth mentioning.


In the book, “Beyond the Trails” by Francis Caldwell, Herb Crisler claims to have seen wolf tracks one day in the Olympics in the early 1930s. Those tracks were at the 4,500-feet level on the edge of the Baily Range.


Let’s now return to the precise location where we left Chris pinned against a big fir tree last week.

The larger of a pair of fierce wolves had not stopped a charge at 50 feet as his mate had.


To Chris, it looked as if he didn’t intend to break off this attack.


Chris reached down and grabbed a handful of marble-sized rocks at his feet and was preparing to pelt this animal just as he put on the brakes at 20 feet.


Obviously, the wolf was keenly aware that Chris was not entirely helpless, because he no doubt still felt some pain from being beaned between the eyes with that egg-sized rock earlier.


Chris immediately pelted him with his handful of pebbles.


Realizing he was too close to Chris, this huge creature quickly withdrew the 30 feet to where his mate stood.


Here they both stood staring at Chris with their lips curled, exposing those threatening fangs. The occasional rumbling of snarls could be heard.


“Am I ever going to get free of these fearsome killers?” Chris thought.


By now, Chris is used to relying on his own devices, so he probably won’t notice if we abandon him again.


So, let’s again examine more details which will appear in my upcoming book, “Thus Far,” (a title chosen at my mother’s insistence).


In a journal account written in 1923, my grandmother – Myrtle Northup – took a vacation to Yellowstone National Park with seven others.


This party was away from home for more than four weeks.


They traveled through parts of four states besides Washington.


In my book, find out the names of those who accompanied my grandmother, who owned the two cars used and an educated guess to the cost of this trip for each member.


To make this guess, I’ll use information contained in the book about Herb Crisler which I mentioned earlier. (Herb and his first wife, Muriel, took a 1923 vacation lasting three months, and the cost of that trip is mentioned in that book.)


May light for your feet guide you on the path of life until we meet again.
To be continued ...
We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 20
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates