The camp site at Willow Creek is set up with spacious white canvas tents with cots and mattresses, so though you are roughing it, you are at least roughing it comfortably. Be prepared to bathe in the creek on this pack trip, but also enjoy fly fishing for native trout, riding on the myriad of trails that branch out from camp and hiking and dining on home-cooked campfire meals.
Bob Barlow, who runs these trips, is a great fly fisherman. His mother, who helps out at camp and cooks the meals, told me that Bob has had a rod in his hands since he was a child. I believe it as Bob takes me down from camp to Willow Creek for a fly-fishing lesson.
I would label Bob as the samurai fisherman. You have to sneak up on the fish, he tells me as he stealthily stalks toward the water and begins to fluidly wave his arm to cast out a dry fly into a pool, where a trout was spotted. We wears polarized sunglasses, in order to see the fish in the water and begins to explain the variety of flies that one can use to fish. There are a lot.
The campsite is located in a large meadow in a valley. Willow Creek winds through the valley and is steps away from the campsite. Bob usually takes a group of about four at a time, but today he has a group of eight. We all cook hot dogs over the open fire and enjoy lunch in the shade of a nearby tree. As we are preparing to take our ride back to the trail head, Bob's mom is cooking up spaghetti.
The rest of the group is staying a few more days, but we have to head back to head on to another Wyoming destination. The ride back takes us on a different trail. At a little over 8 miles, it's a bit shorter than the way in, but no less scenic.
There is a forest fire somewhere in the vicinity, which is why, Dale tells us, they are getting these really pink sunsets. With the Tetons in the background and the sun setting, the sky looks like it's on fire. We stop to take in the views. Jack nibbles on some grass below and I can't believe how beautiful the land is here in the state of Wyoming.
Stay tuned for my next blog entry about riding at T Cross Ranch, an authentic dude ranch outside of Dubois, WY!