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Outdoors blog

Motorist has photos of wolf that chased Sandpoint cyclist

WILDLIFE -- The photos show the wolf that chased the Sandpoint bicyclist in the Yukon last weekend as reported in my outdoors column.

The photos (click "continue reading" below to see them all) were snapped by Pennock, Minn., resident Becky Woltjer, who was in the RV that stopped to rescue William "Mac" Hollan from the wolf that had become obsessed with his bike, nipping and tearing at his rear bike packs even after Hollan dropped the bike and took refuge in the RV.

Alberta resident Melanie Klassen helped chase the wolf away by beaning it in the head with water bottle.

The photos also show Hollan saluting the RVers after the wolf had left and he resumed his Point to Bay bicycle tour from Idaho to Prudhoe Bay with his two cycling companions.

Read on for Woltjer's Facebook account of the incident, and why she felt compelled to give a stranger from Idaho a big hug:

  • "Well, if you haven't seen it yet, Paul and I got to be heroes of sorts this last weekend. We were cruising along the ALCAN highway, about an hour out of Watson Lake, when we came across a curious scene. There were two bicyclists stopped in our lane of the road picking up some tent poles. We slowed down and went around them wondering to ourselves what that was all about. Another five or so miles up the road Paul says to me "hey Becky, check this out, there's a dog running down the side of the highway and its big". I whipped off my lens and starting shooting. As we came around the bend, we see another bicyclist that looked like he was peddling for his life. My first thought was 'why would someone bring their dog on a bike ride through the yukon?' That's when it hit me that it was a wolf. The guy kept turning around and looking at us. He was screaming and Paul put two and two together and slammed on the brakes. I jumped out of the passenger seat so he could get into it. I forgot to unlock the door. I saw him heading for the back door on the RV, so quick tried to get that unlocked. I didn't move fast enough so he went back to the front and was trying to launch in through the window. Paul finally got the door open and we got the guy in. His name is Mac Hollan and he is on a ride from Idaho to Alaska. He was shaking and swearing like a sailor. I grabbed my camera and ran to the back of the RV and started shooting from the back window. Two vehicles pulled up behind us and Paul yelled out to them what was going on. That wolf would not leave that bike for anything. A woman jumped out from the vehicle behind us and threw a water bottle in the direction of the wolf, causing it to back up a couple of feet. A man jumped from another vehicle and starting throwing rocks, sending it down into the ditch, and finally nailing it in the head. Mac stayed with us for another ten minutes or so and by then his buddies had caught up. We chatted and made sure he was okay. I handed Rohn to Paul to give Mac a hug. If ever I saw the need to give a strange man a huge hug, this was the time. We traded info, and we loaded back up. We waited for them to get going again before we followed. I waved and shot a couple more pics as we passed. It was so intense. I wasn't able to get online until a few days later, and then was able to read his post about the incident. Thought it was time now for my side of the story. Mac is still plugging along on his journey, as are we. Here are a few pictures."

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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