If you’d asked the 10-year old me for the top three on my ‘things to do before I die’ list (OK, just ‘things to do’ – the notion of ever dying is so remote to a 10 year that it doesn’t enter the equation), I’d probably have gone for playing for Leeds United, getting Jacques Cousteau’s autograph, and seeing a wolf in the wild.
Goal #1 soon had to be re-categorised as ‘never gonna happen pal, not in a million years’ as reality kicked in; getting picked last for every friendly kickabout on the local rec then being told to go in goal so as not to get in the way soon put paid to any illusions I may have had in that direction. Goal #2 was actually ticked off soon after thanks to a chance encounter on a family holiday in France. And Goal #3 gradually slipped off the radar as adolescent ‘things to do before I’m the only one who still hasn’t done them’ began to take precedence.
However, in the forty-odd years since, this fascination with Canis lupus has simmered away beneath the surface. And when the planets aligned to make a winter trip to Yellowstone a possibility, my wife Carole and I agreed that we should make it happen (the trip that is, there was of course no guarantee that the wolves would make an appearance).
This area of the blog takes the form of a journal covering our 10-day trip to realise a childhood ambition.