The only drawback to WY vacations in the wintertime is that some of the bigger mountain peaks are NOT available to hike or climb.
Oh well - on to fishing!
Its been about 4 years since Josh was able to fish the Clark's Fork with us - we used to carry him down here EVERY year since he was 5 months old. No wonder the trail is easier now... !
Right off the bat he caught a nice brookie (above). We only had two poles, so the boys fished while the rest of us explored and tried to build a fire.
Here's another big fat brookie Josh got.
It was much colder and wetter - rain and snow moving in. We didn't get a fire going, so we didn't keep any of the fish the boys got, and we headed back up much sooner.
On the way up, we found a big cave well off the main trail.
This one was big - and had been used a long time ago. There was an old fire and plenty of space for several cowboys or indians to use it. We named it "Cowboy Cave".
This canyon has alot of history. This is where Chief Joseph lead the Nez Pierce indians to escape 7 US Army units on their flight to Canada. Dead Indian Pass we drive over to get into the cabin is where the Army said they found some wounded indians who were "already dead".
Also, when Captain Clark left the rest of the "Lewis and Clark" expedition in 1806 on their way back to St Louis, he apparently came through this canyon on his solo journey.
During prohibition, some locally famous bootleggers had stills down in the valley on the river where they made their "shine". We have found cans, equipment, a woodstove, and miles of metal pipe they used to pipe the smoke of their fires all over so the Feds couldn't find them.
Our cabin is actually in the meadow where a lumberyard had operated until the 1920's. The junkpile is pretty cool to explore - even an old safe still there! I know there is a gold coin or two in it still because I put them there! (Shhh!)
Lots of history. So who used this cave??? None of our family - none of them know about it. Definitely worth exploring more.
There were other caves we spotted, but the little girl was impatient to get back to the cabin and cocoa. Next time we'll look in them!
On the trail up we found Mountain Goat hair on a branch that wasn't there on the way down...
There are lots of goats there - usually seen from below while they watch us fish... but we only saw fur this trip.
Finally - there is the cabin! We got to the meadow just as the skies openned up and dumped on us.
Not alot of snow, but it was windy and cold.
The cabin sure is a welcome site!
And perdy, too.
... with hot cocoa waiting for us!