By David Horst firstname.lastname@example.org
Twenty-two people ride a darkened school bus down back country roads in search of what all of their childhood fairy tales warned them against.
Up front is Cindy Mueller, a naturalist at High Cliff State Park and various other area nature centers. The evening's activity is a typical fall Saturday night for Mueller. She's a wolf howler.
Normally a more solitary activity, Mueller has agreed to take a group from the Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society to her assigned howling grounds. She had to clear it with the top biologists in the state wolf recovery effort.
We have agreed to a series of strict rules, including wearing no fragrance, exiting the bus in total silence, no coughing or throat clearing, and should you be inclined otherwise, no urinating outside of the bus.
We also agreed not to disclose where we were, so it must suffice to say we were within a three-hour drive of the Fox Cities.
The plan is to make several stops, where we are to climb down from the bus by the light of the moon and stand silently as Mueller lets loose with her well-practiced wolf howls. At an orientation at Fallen Timbers Environmental Center near Black Creek, she offered no guarantee that we would hear wolves, and all but assured we would not see them.