After a lazy morning walkin the dog, I rolled on down to Kathy’s koffee shop to solve some world issues or at least bring them to the table.it was already shaping up to be a warm day and I was thinking I might explore the wind river for some big brownies, but I had a real hankering to go get in the snake.talked to some friends over there and they said it was downright warm,so I was thinking hatch city! Hey Charlie,hey lorna;leon here?Leon gave me all the inspiration I needed as we lightly debated the pros and cons of my way versus his way along the finer points of nymphing, his way actually the purer style.i just sat there as Obi-Wan tied flies and spun fishing yarns;A)what the world needs is more of this kind of multi-tasking,B) I’m in a good place.the Snake it is! As I roared out of town in my trusty 87 jeep 4 banger, Lil Gator, a couple things occurred to me. The first was that my buddy was right; four cylinder vehicles need em all.The second thing as I gazed longingly at the wind, looking for flat spots and slow waters next to fast waters, was how wInd-y(long I) the river is. It practically doubles back on itself in several places. The Indians called it the wind.maybe that was the trick.maybe enemies would look at it and say, “that’s clearly the wInd”!(long I) Gotcha cowpoke!arrows, on my command! The roads were great up to about tie hack where I dropped her into 4HI and entered the gateway to the winter wonderland of the togwotee trail.this area had looked like a black cloud soup from back east,but up top the clouds were broken up and there was a sort of ceiling of dark clouds making it feel later than it really was. When I came to that rolling meadow spot just before togwotee that gets so red in the fall, the one where the Tetons come into view the first time, there was big long dark cloud just capping the mountains creating that kind of low slung horizon the sun likes to peek through after a late afternoon summer rain.it was like a sepia tone of that.when I passed by togwotee, a truck and trailer eased out behind me and was on me in to time flat.had I given some indication when I passed going 45, that if you got on my tail, you could force me to your pace?what’s the hurry…sport? I ain’t trying to set no kinda speed record getting down, so play on through.amazing how some folks can just pass you and a couple turns later, POOf, vanished.after four mile the road is actually in pretty fair shape; what’s that, up ahead? A belly dump goin real slow.what you got now, speedy Gonzales,what you got now?maybe Sir Speedy will get how it works out here; maybe he won’t. Later on down the road near moran jct, I spied a momma and baby moose moving along the low area near the buffalo river.They kind of looked like a mom and baby elephant like on “Dumbo”, they were traveling so close together, having found that right rythym.i happened to think,”maybe we should spend some time following these guys around instead of their canine counterparts ”. There used to be more moose, for some strange reason.
It was getting pretty dark at that point so I had already bagged fishing in my mind—at least I could look at the rivers going by. Dreaming about the fish that hid in the new lies created by winter.Spread creek’s flowing; I wonder if browns and macks that seep through the dam spawn in those creeks around there.lotta springs.worth checking in to sometime soon.
Dinner with friends at the Q; stay away from the brisket.sorry Q, I’m a bbq snob.Remembered there’s a meteor shower tonight and tomorrow night.it’s way cloudy here.I guess it’s back to plan A.I got a couple days off so, whatever.Lil Gator don’t fail me now.Coming up on antelope flats.It’s dark and snow’s a falling.Falling is not the right word;it was that kind of snow that makes you think that you might wind up in 1950 if you get to the other side, and you are driving a DeLorean.don’t look into the light! It made me think that Wyoming winter drivers probably can all look into those crazy double-image posters found in malls, and see the image right away.driving through that kind of snow is analogous, sort of.despite my trying to concentrate on looking through the snow, I did glimpse the takeoff of a big old owl,hanging out on a road marker, I guess waiting for the errant road-kill or naive mouse;massive wings that barely touched the snow as it lifted off.
Back at togwotee, I stopped to breathe and visit with friends, got stuck in the lower parking lot and had to get towed out with rig-job tow strap.my tires and four wheel drive aren’t in total agreement right now.Finally back on the road again, snow having a dumpfest, clive cussler ninth out of ten cds in the player, heat cranking,wipers on high,it’s all good.All systems---wipers creating a streak of ice through the middle of the windshield,switch to defrost full blast.that danged line of ice prevents the top view from happening,so I get the hunched view.the wiper takes off the ice line then puts it right back on.wax off ,wax on.after a while it’s over;small victories baby.switch heat back to feet.As it turned nasty on me, I was grateful for my golfing background, since clearly I had come to the point of the togwotee “trail”, where greg norman had stepped in to the design process.i was inching along the cart path,road signs serving as scorecard and map.scoring was simple—how many “use care passing” signs would I have to go through on this voyage of 40 miles through long division.the roadsigns showed me “short dog-leg left then it’s gonna break to the water” up ahead.Where’s Dave Ledbetter when I need him. I looked to my left and saw what seemed to be a beautiful low hanging fog across an open field.Wait a minute, my left!?hey big mountain wall.survival thoughts filled my mind, am I the only one out here ? did I miss a flashing sign?Snow –plow coming up ahead;wipers to full .there is that few seconds of driving blind to follow which will inevitably make me think of the movie “Days of Thunder” when Robert Duvall urges Cole to drive through the smoke to the clear on the other side.hey… sheriff,Shane? guess I’m not the only one out here.at least I got backup.At last I am now the king of the road! New plan—make it to Lava Mountain lodge,sleep a little till it all passes;scotty’s voice echoing in my head”captain,I’m givin her all she’s got”. A four cylinder needs em all.where am I anyway?have I passed Brooks lake yet?the beauty of Wyoming travel.just keep going,you’ll get there.a little while later and WHOA!! Lava Mountain Lodge Just Ahead.well,shoot the pavement’s dry here;might as well keep on truckin.No more snow to worry about.dropped her back into two wheel drive at tie hack and got on down the road.one last hurdle;hey little 6x6 buckaroo, you don’t wanna get out on the road.please.thanks.bye bye.Home again home again jiggety jig.meteor shower. I sat out on the porch and watched meteors drop by like snowflakes sliding down our domosphere’s glass.every now and then one would drop vertically reminding me of the video game centipede and the mutant ladybugs that fell down through the mushroom maze.looking at the big dipper,you gotta think they named it at some other time than this;right now,it looks like a catapult. it struck me that most of our “representatives” live in big cities where they might see one star at night.are we really seeing things the same way? one night I was hiking to huckleberry hot springs and I looked out over the ponds below me and saw the big dipper reflected on one of those ponds.i hadn’t known something like that before, yet it had probably been happening since the beginning of yellowstone.”if a tree falls…” looking at the night sky puts things into a better perspective.it simplifies.”when I look at the heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place,what is man that you’re mindful of him?” Faith, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen;it is interesting that our world markets are driven by fear and we choose to put so much of our faith in fear.”there is nothing to fear but fear itself .”When you get away from the simple,it is easy to forget it’s even there.you don’t realize something like that exists. So,until you walk a mile in these good shoes, in this good life, sorry fellers, you got no idea what I “need” .I’m fishin tomorrow.And every day after that.Here’s a thought:look at a night sky. stand in a river,watch and learn how it all works together, how it balances. let it draw you in. AJ MacLane really nailed it for me when I finally located this mantra:”there’s something deep in the human spirit that responds to running water;the fisherman knows it well, for a living water has many voices…from the infant gurgling of a headwater brook spilling over mossy stones, to the sibilant sound of its’ youthful course as it dances on gravelled riffles, or its’ protesting roar as it rushes against towering rock walls that threaten to hold it captive…it is when fly fishing, I have learned, that you come to know a river intimately, for a few seconds, I can hold a trout gently in my hand, feeling the pulse of the river." simple, yet so poetic...