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A.T.T.A.C.K.: Big Bad Wolves – The Finale
By Duane Miles
Having been forced to press his backside tightly against the thick bark of a second fir tree, Chris Morgenroth again faced those two aggressive, persistent wolves. Tossing an array of stones, he once again made them retreat out of range.
With this separation, Chris prepared for another retreat of his own.
After fully catching his breath, he rushed toward the hope of escape. Standing on the rail provided the best means to this end, for the Humes Ranch was directly ahead.
Glancing back as he approached a trail descent, Chris was relieved that those two wolves where not gaining on him.
Upon reaching the slope, Chris ignored the switchbacks there and shot straight to the flat below. Another backward glance revealed that he was still being pursued. But they were over a hundred yards behind.
A Humes Ranch fence loomed ahead.
Chris conquered its five-feet height in stride, landing on a stump beyond.
Somewhat exhausted, he decided to take another stand here.
So, upon planting his feet, he whirled with those three previously acquired weapons still in his hands. As he prepared for the arrival of those killers, Chris placed a large rock and a long stick at his feet. He then readied the weapon set in his hand, a stout club of baseball bat-size.
Now ready for come-what-may, he was immediately disappointed.
The wolves were no longer in sight. (“Disappointed?” you might ask. Well that’s how his journal reads.)
The Humes Ranch was about a quarter-mile away. He hoped both his co-worker Lee Elliott and Mr. Pearson – a friend of Grant Humes – would be there.
But upon his arrival, Chris found only Pearson at the cabin.
Before Chris could say anything, he was asked, “Did you see any wolves?”
Not giving Chris a chance for a reply, he went on to state that residents at nearby Olympic Hot Springs had repeatedly seen wolves over the last few days. In fact, a hunting dog had been killed.
Chris then related his hair-raising experience, asking him not to say anything to Elliott about this.
Soon after, Elliott showed up with a rifle in hand as Chris hid in another room.
Upon inquiry from Pearson, Elliott stated he had not seen any wolves, but had heard what might have been someone yelling.
But he had soon dispelled that thought for surely no one else was around these parts. With that thought he had merely heard the sound of two trees rubbing together in the wind.
As Elliott finished his tale, Chris appeared.
Soon he was again sharing his harrowing story to a surprised partner. After the telling, Chris went on to say that perhaps packing a firearm might be a good idea.
Well, after Chris and Elliott (and Pearson) departed, the threat of further human confrontation with that huge alpha wolf was eliminated. For that winter it was reported that Grant Humes had trapped a large wolf with a missing canine tooth and a healed-over facial scar revealing a permanent half-snarl. (We can all rest easy again).
Now for a few more words about my book again.
In 1923, my grandfather Northup rode horseback to Forks with brother-in-law Nansen Anderson.
They were determined to make a few bucks floating streamside stranded spruce logs to a dock on the Quillayute River. This dock was owned by the Washington Pulp Company of Port Angeles. Beside Nansen, my grandpa also worked alongside Forks resident Bert Fletcher.
Some other names mentioned in grandpa’s diary were: Pete Willoughby, John Smith, Clarence Smith, Oscar Wahlgren, Charley Schnieder and Joe Leyendecker.
This short story will be in a chapter under a section entitled “Pioneer Life.”
Also in that section will be a map showing the approximate location of three largely extinct homesteader trails between the Hoh and Clearwater rivers.
Next week, I’ll be camping at Lake Ozette. Be sure to join me for that tale.
May light for your feet guide you on the path of life until we meet again.
(Ed. - Due to a backlog of paperwork on the Forum desk Miles’ “Big Bad Wolves” series was printed out of order, jumping ahead in the story and bouncing backwards. While the Forum considered claiming the mis-sequenced chapters as a literary device, such is not the case. This episode is the leap forward to the end of Morgenroth’s wolf encounter.)