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Rough Start, But Good Day


6/25/12, Mack’s Inn, ID - This morning I intended to get off to an early start, but circumstances dictated that it just was not to be. The previous afternoon, I thought I had the wagon and trailer parked far enough from the lake to be in firm ground - wrong. During the night, one of the trailer tire sunk enough to cause the axle to almost hit the ground. Also, one of the back wagon tire sunk about 4 inches.  Together, this was more than my star team of Doc and Bill could handle. 

I was dug in enough that I didn’t think the addition of a third horse would help, so I settled for plans B, C and D. First I tried jacking up the trailer and putting some wood under the tire.  As I could only get the jack under the trailer frame and not the axle, I could only lift it about an inch.  Then, I shifted some weight rearward in the trailer and lifted it off the wagon hitch. After using the horses to get the wagon out, I had to unhitch them and use a single tree and chain to pull the trailer free. The difficult part came when I had to back the wagon up to the trailer. Without unloading 2000 pounds of supplies, I had to get the wagon just in the right position so I could drop the hitch on the ball.  (All this sounds a lot easier than it actually was!)  Finally, everything came together.  The drive up to the road was a piece of cake.  So, after a two hour delay, we were rolling again.

A ways down the road, I stopped at Henry’s Fork (river) and used the pump to fill up my water jugs.  The sump pump, hose and wagon electricity turned out  to be a great idea for the trip and has saved me a lot of work!

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B.O.B. was a real help filling the water jugs. Every time he had the slightest suspicion that a jug might be full, he pulled the hose from the jug. Sometimes he did it just to check the water level. Now, if I can only get him to put the hose back in the jug.

After several days with tough hills, today was a piece of cake.  Most of the day was spent traveling across flat ground fromed by ancient volcanic calderas, from super-volcanos that erupted 1.3 and 2.1 million years ago (the Yellowstone caldera was formed 640,000 years ago).

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In this picture, the rim of the Henry’s Fork Caldera (1.3 million years ago) is clearly visible. When Bill started pawing for his oats, I told him to cool it, he might set off another eruption.  Just then, I heard a loud rumble - ‘oh oh’. With relief I realized it was just B.O.B.’s empty stomach - ‘whew’.

For lunch, I pulled up next to the river in the town of Island Park. I watched in amusement as a whole bunch of anglers tried their luck.  I never saw so much expensive gear and lack of fish in my life.  It’s too bad a ten year old kid with a cane pole and a can of worms didn’t come around and show them up.

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This poor guy had every do-da known to fishing mankind.  It took him 30 minutes to suit up, then he was weighted down so much he fell down the river bank.  For the hour I watched him, he had yet to get his line in the water.

I stopped for the evening in the small community of Mack’s Inn.  It’s the last place the map shows that both National Forest and water exist in the same place for 10 or 12 miles.  I couldn’t find a place to camp near the water, so I decided to try the National Forest Campground.

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At the campground I met some great folks who have already prepaid the $13 fee (inflation) for a spot and their party wouldn’t arrive until tomorrow. They invited me to stay and I gladly accepted.

Tonight, the lads and I are basking in the lap of luxury.  They’ve got good grass, clean water and I get to stay next to some nice folks.

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The lads, enjoying their evening oats.

Tomorrow night, I’m looking to camp on the National Forest, around the summit of Targhee Pass.  That will leave me poised to get into West Yellowstone, pick up some supplies and head north for the Gallatin River.