CAMP COMRADERY Often when Americans think of the outdoor experience they have a romantic image of the solo fur trapper, a lonesome cowboy or an isolated backpacker on a journey. While these scenarios are true and being alone outdoors has a profound effect on the individual, most of our time spent outdoors is with a community. Every year I spend as much time I can permit in the outdoors and most of those hours are spent with friends and family. Although we may separate during the daylight hours and partake in different activities, a hot meal and a campfire always...
She hoots and there’s a splash, a whine. Spray from her squealing reel peppers my neck. She’s in the back of the boat doing her thing with a rainbow while I row us between the first few fliers of an oncoming Salmonfly hatch. If you’ve spent any time fly fishing, you’ve heard the saying, ‘big fish eat big bugs.’ And when you hear it, it’s usually about the Salmonfly folks, the bug responsible for one of the most prolific hatches on the continent. Of course, when the hatch rolls around every June, anglers who’ve spent years dreaming of a sky...
The snowy remnants of winter are retreating up the mountain side hastily while lush greenery transforms the landscape below. It’s a rancher's indicator that the frozen, lonesome chores of calving season are done, and a long list of summertime work is on the way. Branding season encompasses more than a singular task, it's a day of community, hard work, and the kickoff of summer celebration, but it ain’t all fun and games.
Cows start dropping their calves in mid-March and keep going through the end of April, never stopping for single digit temperatures, snow storms or sleep. Calving season is the ultimate test of toughness and resilience for cow/calf pairs and ranchers who raise them. Ranching is already a full time job but it becomes an on-call, 24/7 schedule for the next two months.