August 31st: We woke up to a huge wall of smoke outside the trailer. Ugh. My eyes had been burning all night and now with visual confirmation that the world had come to an end, we made a quick decision that our time in the Madison River Valley had come to an end. The thought of 3 or 4 days in this level of smoke was more than I could endure. How the people in Tahoe are surviving this is beyond me.
We packed up our stuff, got a quick rigging lesson from Frank and said our goodbyes. They have been beyond wonderful to us through our life and this visit was no different. Two of the best, most generous people that I know on this planet.
Susanne had scoped out a place about 45 minutes west of Missoula that looked like a good place to boondock for a few days. We were hoping that this far enough west to get us out of the smoke.
I often have asked myself, why do I take time to write these blogs and just who am I writing them for? As time has gone on and I go back and reread my old blogs, I have realized that I am mostly writing them for myself in the future. Well, that and Susanne’s sister Anita, who is, by all accounts and measurements, my blog’s biggest fan.
We were listening to a “Hidden Brain” podcast on the drive that was all about how bad we are at remember stuff and how quickly we can create memories that are just simply fabrications. The speed at which the details of our memories fade is pretty staggering and we tend to forget the things that are new and novel first.
They also talked about “memory athletes” who are people who compete in remembering long strings of things. Sounds kind of boring, but you probably won’t slice your shin open and scream out F bombs. They have a technique where they build a mental image of something that is familiar (like your house) and then mentally place the items they are trying to remember in that familiar image. It was quite interesting.
Anyway, I mention this because I believe that is what I like about blogging. It helps me keep so many precious moments from these adventures that would so quickly fade into the fog of past memories.
We stopped in Missoula to get some supplies, both food and fly fishing equipment. Susanne found us an Albertsons that was right across the street from a fly shop. We pulled in and the parking lot was very tight for a big-ass truck and a trailer. I found one spot that I could pull through on, but it was tight on each side. We debated and then thought maybe I should look for a better spot. I tried to pull out, but it was just too tight. I was stuck. I backed up and figured I would just wait until one of the cars next to me left. Susanne went in to get supplies. The lady next me left and I worked the rig around so I was eating up 3 spots and could easily get out without smashing into someone.
The fly shop was just across the street, so I strolled over there to get some stuff. I brought two poles, but not much else as I had not expected Susanne to get the fly fishing bug. I needed new stuff anyway, so it worked out. The dudes were quite friendly and helped me gather up the $221 worth of stuff. Fly fishing is not an inexpensive sport, especially if you put flies in the trees on your backcast all the time.
Fully geared up, we drove out to the Big Pine Campground on Fish Creek. We found a gorgeous spot right on the creek and set up camp. Very private and nobody else was in the campground yet. Some jerks had left a lot of trash in the campsite. ERRRRRR, that makes me MAD!!! Really? How hard is it to just pick up your trash and take it out?
But Karma being Karma, they had left a bunch of trash and with that, a $40 fly box with $20 of flies. Serves you right you jerks. Now Susanne has her own fly box.
Later on a few folks showed up, but it wasn’t a big deal as we couldn’t even see them. We definitely got the best spot. Although one of them had a dog which was totally unacceptable to Sadie.
Tomorrow we will go out and trying fishing on this absolutely gorgeous little stream.