A large fire, called the “Redrock Fire” has burned about 8000 acres up in the Gros Ventre drainage. There are about 100 fire fighters set up to monitor the fire and they have a big base camp set up at the Slide Creek trail head with a heliport and the hole nine yards. The real tragedy of the lightning caused fire is that it has cut off access to the “Secret Lake.” Friday night was Joe’s last night with us, as Sue was do to arrive in Jackson on Saturday and they are headed north back through Yellowstone on their second honeymoon. Friday night was also the night of Sandi’s arrival into Jackson and Sandi and Bob met up with Joe and Frank for dinner in Jackson after they had spent a fairly non-productive day on Granite Creek and Black Tail.
|Redrock Fire from the road from second secret lake|
Saturday morning Bob and Sandi headed out to hike into Slate Creek while Frank stayed at camp to see Joe off and fish a little on Lower Slide Lake. Bob and Sandi had a great day of hiking and fishing on slate creek and had a serious stroke of luck on the way out. They had stopped at a fire information billboard and while reading the bad news about the access to the Secret Spot, a very helpful Park Ranger pulled up and asked them if they had any questions. Bob asked, "How long is the access to XXX Lake going to be closed?" Mr. Park Ranger replied that it would be at least a couple of days and asked sheepishly, “Have you fished XXX lake before?” Bob replied, “Yes.” “Have any luck?” the Ranger continued. Bob responded “Some…. Why? Have you fished it?” The Ranger, “Some.” This feeling out dance continues for the next several minutes while Bob and Ranger attempt to discern how much the other knows without disclosing any of their own secrets. The Ranger finally comes to the conclusion that Bob knows all about the Big Mothers in the Secret Lake and finally says, “So you know then?” “Yes, I know” says Bob and the Secret Fisherman’s Dance is completed.
Bob goes on to casually inquire about some other other local steams, “Hear any news on Crystal?” “Fishing good, I hear, all the big fish are still up in these little creeks because the water has been so high.” “Oh, yeah. What about the upper Gros Ventre above the ranch?” “A guy caught a 24 incher up there last week,” the Ranger replied. At this point the Ranger is starting to wonder who in the hell Bob is and how does he know about all of the secret spots and states, “Man you have really done your homework.” Then the final salvo, “What do you know about YYY Creek?” Bob asks. The Ranger hangs his head, walks in a circle and simply says, “I can’t tell you.” Then, totally defeated the Range spills his guts on YYY Creek and then says, “While you’re up there you might as well take the secret trail into ZZZ Creek and oh, by the way, here is where my other secret lake is.” Game, Set, Match!
|Bob and Sandi reading the bad news about access to the Secret Lake|
So Sunday the onslaught of all of the new secret places began. We left so early that Joe and Sue came for a morning visit and all they found was an empty RV. Frank fished YYY Creek and Bob and Sandi hiked into ZZZ Creek and then the group finished the day with a drive back into the second secret lake. It was all Great!
So Monday morning at O dark thirty Sandi flew back to South Carolina and Jerry, Bob’s dad arrived late Sunday afternoon. By the time Jerry arrived Frank and Bob had moved off of the mountain, cleaned up and restocked the RV and did some laundry. Sad to see Sandi go, but glad to have Jerry on board. So the plan for the evening was to have a nice dinner, buy some groceries and drive down to Apline, Wyoming and set up camp along the Greys River.
So after living together for nearly a month, some pet peaves have emerged. Bob’s pet peaves are water on the counter, toothpaste on the mirror, and wasting battery power. Frank is a stickler about the refrigerator. It has to be organized just so. Meat in this drawer, cheese in that drawer and the Diet Coke goes here. But most importantly, the door is to be completely closed! The door has a latch on it so that it doesn’t open in transit. The latch doesn’t have a real purpose while you’re stopped, but there is a latch and according to Frank, the latch is to be closed. Period. Don’t make him explain it to you again.
|Brown and Brown fishing team|
So we stop and get the groceries and Frank, after 2 glasses of wine, loads the new stuff into the refrigerator because that’s Frank’s deal. So we head down the road and turn on this dirt road that used to be great and no longer is. The road to the camp ground just seemed to go on and on and we finally get to our campground. Bob and Jerry get out with flash lights to see if the RV will fit in the space and walking back to the truck, Bob notices that there is a light on in the RV. He thinks this strange because "Bob the Energy Nazi” was certain that all the lights were off. Bob shakes his head and chastises himself for not catching that a light was left on.
So after we parked, Frank and Jerry enter the RV and all Bob hears from outside is, “OH MY GOD.” As it turns out, the refrigerator was not locked. About 90 percent of the content of the fridge was on the floor of the RV, the eggs, the beacon, the yogurt and the salsa. Bob took one look at the mess and said, “Thanks for making Huevos Rancheros!”