Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Father-Daughter Trip

Dad called me last Thursday and said, "Get packed. You need to get away. We are going to Montana and Wyoming to explore." Three hours later, he picked me up and we were on our way. Our main purpose was to get fish planted in two ponds on some of the R &K Hunting Company ranches. One pond had produced 13 pound rainbows (see the John Elway picture). But the weather turned bad, so we ended up traveling to all of Earl Holding's ranches and assessed the land for fishing and hunting opportunities we could package and sell. We went to the Sunlight Ranch, buried deep in the forest near Yellowstone, to Twin Creek Ranch, a sprawling cattle ranch with green hills and meandering streams, to Will James Ranch, where the upland bird hunting opportunities were vast. We stopped along the way at the Royal Bighorn Lodge, a potential partner in the fishing venture. Paul Garrison and his family were kind enough to host us for three days of insane flyfishing on the Bighorn River and I caught more BIG fish than I've ever caught in a day. 18 to 24 inches almost every fish! We went hiking and saw bear, coyotes, skunk, wolves, and racccoon. We watched a heron stab a 17 inch brown right from the banks of the river. We listened to coyotes call one another at night. We followed dirt roads from old maps to find little known rivers and freshwater streams. We sat on the banks eating Doritoes and listened to the sound of the birds and the wind in the trees.

It reminded me of exploring through Argentina and Chile. There is just nothing like a road trip with no end in mind except experiencing the great outdoors.

It was five days later I caught myself saying, "Kids?? What kids? Oh, yeah, THOSE kids. I guess I'd better get away from this fantasyland and get back to being a responsible human being. I got back cell phone service Monday night as we drove into Park City. I'm back home, but not without great memories to carry me. Thanks to Kevin for holding the fort down while I was gone!