Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Around the Horn

      It was a long day, maybe the longest of days. It was the day we had waited for. This was the day we would get our Colorado River and Snake River cutthroats. By nightfall, we would be halfway to our Cutt-Slams. It started slow – really slow, and got slower. We started on the water we thought would be a slam dunk. It wasn’t. We fished all morning and didn't have much to show for it, even with the “little black fly”. We flogged the water all morning. Finally, we broke for lunch. I like lunch. And usually, lunch likes me. But not this day. That’s when things started to go south.
Long Rifle
       Right around lunch time, I started experiencing every symptom listed on a Pepto-Bismol bottle. It was hot. I was sick. And we were on 65 miles of the bumpiest road I have ever been on. After some time on the road, I spotted a honey hole filled with fish. In seconds, I pulled in a beautiful Snake River cutthroat. Unfortunately for my nephews, his trout friends had bugged out. We decided to do the same. We fished every bit of pocket water we could find all afternoon. The boys fished. I hurled. They fished some more. I expelled pretty much everything I’d ever eaten. Then we drove again. And again. And again. Finally, we stopped on this gorgeous bend in the river where it drops a few feet and pools over in a corner. The water was deep enough and held two trophy fish, just made for Apprentice and Ranger. Good fishing and great country makes for a beautiful day (most of the time). Less so when your stomach is trying to escape your body for some reason. In Alpine, I had a hot bowl of soup and prayed I could keep it down.
The Ranger

      Grandpa and Uncle Mark decided that rugged road was just not worth it for our return trip. We pulled out a map and lo and behold there was another road that would get us back to camp. It promised pavement and stomach relief. We collaboratively decided to go the “new and better” way, but Lady Luck had other plans. It was after dinner when we started and late when we left the pavement, but it was the “new and better” road, so we were hopeful. At the stroke of 10 PM, just a few miles from camp, our headlights hit a giant snow slide that had buried the road. Just four miles to go, but no way to get there. The great debate began: Do we walk to camp or turn back? I was just praying that Montezuma’s Revenge would cease. It was late in the night and we had been traveling for hours. The smaller folks in the group were tired and hungry. Ultimately, we decide to backtrack 130+ miles all the way back up the worst road on the national forest system to camp. Luckily, the little guys slept while poor Uncle Mark drove most of the way and Grandpa and I attempted to keep
The Apprentice
the driver awake. Blessedly, we slept in the next day and some Immodium AD whipped whatever Ebola-like virus attacking my system.
   Unexpected situations will arise. Sometimes it's a sickness. Other times it's a snowdrift. Oftentimes it requires several miles of weathered roads. You may be lucky, like us, and get the trifecta. The best we can do is to take it in stride and look for the positives. On to the next adventure. I hope there’s a honey hole waiting for me there.

-Long Rifle

1 comment:

  1. Oh my. That was quite the trip. Great post!