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September 29, 2016 - Today's adventure brought us to the Southern Mojave Desert to visit the Wolf Mountain Sanctuary in Lucerne Valley, CA.  The Wolf Mountain Sanctuary is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and protecting the wolf in the wild and in captivity.  Tonya Littlewolf, aka "Mama Wolf," is half Apache and is the founder of the sanctuary.  On their web page, Tonya has written:  "The wolves are my family.  They are part of me and I am part of them.  We are one.  My mother said that I carry the spirit of the wolf.  This is a gift to me from the Great Spirit when I was a child.  I was the "Chosen One" to be the carrier of the wolf spirit, so that I can do for them what they cannot do for themselves.  The wolves need to be understood and that is why I give lectures at schools and different organizations, to protect the wolf and educate people."  She founded the sanctuary in 1976 and her determination to help the wolves has never diminished.

Over the years she has seen many of her rescued babies live out their natural life here at her sanctuary.

When we arrived we came with the general perception that wolves are dangerous creatures but, it didn't take very long to realize how wrong we were.  They are extremely gentle, curious and loving to Tonya, her staff and the visitors.  This is Tonya with a wolf that was just rescued yesterday.

The wolf will look directly into your eyes and study your face.  Once comfortable, the face licking begins!

There are eleven wolves here now and Tonya is only permitted to have fifteen at any one time.

Leftover wolf food is thrown over the fence at night for the coyotes in the neighborhood.

Hanging out with a pack of wolves is not anything Judy or I thought that we'd ever do.  We were there for two and a half hours and we able to interact with all of wolves except one.  It was an incredible experience and Tonya was a pleasure to meet.  There was a mutual feeling of closeness between the three of us and we look forward to seeing her again.

Before going to the sanctuary we stopped for breakfast at the Cafe 247 in Lucerne Valley.  The selection was enormous and the food was excellent!

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