I recently returned from a week spent camped in the nearby mountains. Much cooler up there than here at home, and I wish I was back up there. I had actually intended to stay a little longer, but I shorted myself on hay for the horse. No suitable grazing where I was camped, so the only alternative was to head for home until next time. A camping buddy indicated that he might be able to join me for a day or two, but as things turned out he didn’t make it.
Fishing was about as poor as it gets. I dropped a fly in some pools in the creek that ran by camp a couple of evenings, but couldn’t raise a fish. One day I rode the mare to Campbell Lake. Fished a baited hook about a foot and a half off the bottom. Had a couple of bites that didn’t hook up, and that was all. A couple of days later I saddled Sis and rode to Log Lake. Finally managed to catch a single brook trout. If he hadn’t been such a hog about it, and swallowed the hook, I would have turned him loose. As it was I dropped him in a frying pan along with some bacon and eggs for breakfast the next morning. From talking to a few back packers on the trail I learned that I did about as well as anyone. Nobody was bragging much about the fish they caught.
I had in interesting conversation with a llama packer that I am acquainted with. He is doing some contract work for the Forest Service and the Indian Agency. Specifically, he is collecting water samples from the creek and the lake it flows out of. He asked me if I ever had a bear tear up an inflatable boat. I haven’t, and I asked him if he had been fishing and if the boat had a fish odor to it. He told me that it was a brand new boat, and hadn’t even been in the water yet. Said a bear tore it to pieces! Funny critters, and they sometimes do strange things!
The closest encounter I had with some potentially “dangerous wildlife” was a wild mountain woman from the Salmon River country who popped into camp one evening. Ringy as a pet ‘coon, and obviously floating a little high on something. She had 2 horses with her, a filly and a stud, and wanted to put them in the camp corral with my mare. I told her that no way was she going to put a stud in with my mare. We made some arraignments, divided the corral, and put the mare and filly in one section and the stud in the other. She made her own camp, up in the back packer’s parking lot where the Forest Service would have written her a ticket if they found her there. Early the next morning she loaded her horses in her trailer and pulled out of camp.
I have some chores to do while I am home, most urgent of which is painting the top of my horse trailer. I hadn’t realized it was in such bad shape, but I had to stand up on a fender to spread my tarp out in camp, and discovered that the paint is cracked and peeling badly up there. Once I have that done it won’t be long until I am ready to go again. Far better to spend the hot part of the summer in the mountains than here at home.