After some breakfast (we've stopped worrying about how much we're eating), we went for a short walk around the park. It was still cool but no rain. After that, Kjetil gave us a short briefing on "wolf rules of engagement". It really boiled down to: sit on the ground, no sudden movements, and no matter what, keep calm. If they knock you over, stay calm. If they take your camera and crush it, stay calm. If they get into a fight next to you, stay calm. Five adolescent wolves, all 100+ lbs, keep calm. Got it! Kjetil and another caretaker, Ramona, let Amy borrow a set of sturdy boots and coveralls since it was messy outside. All prepared, we entered the enclosure. We walked (slowly and calmly) into the entrance and let the wolves make first introduction. They initially jumped up on us (on our shoulders) and bumped us around a bit before settling. As briefed, we knelt on the ground and waited for the wolves to choose how to engage. The wolves were shedding so they appreciated us scratching their backs and pulling out dead fur. There was much face licking, pawing, and belly scratches. After a few minutes, the
wolves got attracted by a group of visiting school kids so that gave us a chance to move to a different spot. We found higher ground and the pack came back to see what we were up to. There was a bit of friendly sparring between the males and lots of pictures. Near the end of the visit, Kjetil and Romona began to howl quietly and that got the pack all fired up. They howled, whined, played, and then they began to tire out. After almost an hour, that was our cue to say our goodbyes. A couple more scratches and licks and we were back on the outside. Brian was sad to go, as you can imagine. We packed up the car, took a few more pics, and said farewell to our wonderful hosts. A fantastic, unique, once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list experience that we'll never forget. We headed south, stopped at a recommended hamburger joint, and checked into our new landing pad for the night. The whole experience and bright nights with little sleep caught up with us and we crashed for a short nap in our room by the fjord. We had wine-thirty with the precious Prosecco that we worked
so hard for and then caught up on our blog posts. Before we knew it, it was 10 pm but still looked like the afternoon. The days get away from you here and we have to make ourselves turn off and turn in for the night. Tomorrow, we catch a flight to southern Norway. Stay tuned..
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