The next morning I woke up to five inches of fresh snow and sleet, which was still falling from low clouds that restricted my view.
Home sweet home for a few days.
After walking several miles the day before with vast views and no caribou in sight, I didn't think getting out of the tent with no view was likely to do me much good.
This foggy view didn't give me much reason to leave the tent on a cold morning.
So I read from Shadows on the Koyukuk
for several hours.
Late in the day the weather cleared enough for a view down into the valley, so I walked over to the rim, where a small group of other hunters -- camped down by the river since the day before I got there -- were watching a big grizzly bear across the river, nearly two miles away and just above the camp of the other hunters I met in the parking lot. I later learned that a small group of caribou had come down the river valley in the morning, and those guys had been in the right place at the right time. They later took the bear, too.
That dark thing in the circle is a large grizzly bear almost two miles away.
I watched the bear for a while, then took a walk up the rim of the river valley about 3/4 mile. I spooked ptarmigan and ground squirrels, but saw no caribou nor fresh tracks in the snow. There just was no activity near my tent, and I wasn't keen on leaving my dry-ground tent and vestibule set-up to hike another day into the mountains and set up camp on the snow.