November 4, 2014

11/4/2014. On the east side of Fremont, Ohio in a motel. Hoped to cover a few more miles but the rain just wouldn’t let up so I stopped a couple hours early.

On Sunday I saw a place with a sign, “Danger: Wild Animals” and large fully enclosed pens. It was a wild animal rescue operation. I had to investigate. One pen said, “Tiger.” I never saw a tiger though. What I saw in the next pen was a wolf, a big beautiful wolf. I just stood and watched him while he paced back and forth, occasionally looked at me, through me, sometimes past me, and maybe, into me.

Not too long before I left on this walk, somewhere near Vero Beach, Florida, (I’ll never tell where) I had a most beautiful encounter. Walking and daydreaming, on my way across a meadow toward a canal where I had been tracking a little gator, about two feet long, using a method of tracking I learned from an Ojibwa elder, he calls, “tracking and untracking,” I just happened to look up and loping along just in front of me was one of the most beautiful things I ever seen. It glanced over at me and knowing it was a safe 200 feet away from me, it never increased its speed, it just kept glancing at me periodically as it headed for the woods and safety. It was too large for a coyote, and smaller than a gray wolf. It was reddish in color. Its ears were larger than a wolf but smaller than a coyotes. I’ve seen hundreds of coyotes and a few wolf, in my travels. I couldn’t possibly be looking at a red wolf could I? There are less than 200 and in only two places in the world. A very well monitored preserve in South Carolina and an island in the Gulf too far off the western coast of Florida for them to ever make it ashore. They once roamed Florida and much of the South. The Seminole, the Cherokee, and the Shawnee, spoke of them. A week later, as I was looking across a small stream at the little gator I had been watching, I looked up and about 100 yards away from me was my red wolf at the edge of the woods just staring at me. We actually stared at each other for about a full minute. My red wolf started acting nervous so I stepped to the right a few feet to be hidden by a tree line, the red wolf stepped back too. After but a few seconds I stepped back out from the tree line. And so did my wolf!! It was awesome! One of the most beautiful incidents in my life ever! We just looked at each other for a few seconds and then my red wolf very slowly turned and walked into the woods. I never saw the hauntingly beautiful creature again. I saw scat and tracks for a while, but never again any fresh ones. My wolf was gone. On line I found a story, “Woman in Florida takes picture of red wolf in back yard.” The picture could have easily been my red wolf! The sighting was about 13 months before mine. The lady lived outside Ft Pierce, Florida, probably about 20 miles from my sighting. I had been struggling with the decision to walk again. For some reason, my red wolf was the sign I needed. I started preparing for my walk.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this story. This story is very close to my heart and very important to me. LOVE LIFE and ALWAYS follow your heart my dear friends