Widow Makers- continued...
It was on the return trip from here that I had experienced perhaps my most dangerous moment ever in Yellowstone. It had been just a few years since the Great Fires of 1988. Given enough time, standing charred trees start to rot to the point that strong high winds could blow them over and that is just what began to happen. A weather front moved in and caught me by surprise. If there had been a rainstorm associated with the front, I could have started back sooner to make it back to the unburned forest on the caldera rim. But on this occasion the wind picked up to speeds about 35-45 mph or more. I found myself bounded in by widow makers. Every few seconds one of them would crash down near me. On this day, I had my tape recorder with me- an interest of mine is recording the sounds of Yellowstone on a high quality mono tape recorder. When I got to an open clearing free of a having a tree fall on me, I pulled out the recorder to begin taping trees crash down one after another.
...one for every 10 or 20 seconds! Almost as abrupt as the storm started, the wind subsided to the point I could safely hike back to the trailhead making it there just before dark. I have hiked around and grizzlies, through bison herds and mad tourists but never before have I been this scared. This day Witch Creek became the Black Witch Creek!