Thursday dawned beautifully as always in our concrete aerie. The sun streams in from about five directions and yours truly had a busy day ahead. I took five flights in single bound(almost) and proceeded to hit the elliptical machine full bore. I was trying to fend off some of the ill effects I knew the weekend would bring. The International Brotherhood of Maniacs and Lost Souls was having its annual meeting. Attendance mandatory.
Now the enclave takes place in a magical place called Black Lake Ranch. Once you turn off the main highway a few miles north of Silverthorne, CO, the dusty road begins and for the next four days there is no contact with the outside world. That is for our benefit as well as the neighbors. One of which is the Master Bait and Tackle Shop. I kid you not. The dirt path takes you about five miles inland over cattle guards and busted gates. The scenery is magnificent but with no pretension. The heavy snowfalls of the Rockies give forth to rushing streams and a lake that shows well above F. Tastes good to be back home again.
The 12 Apostles as it were fill the unpaved parking lot with Mercedes, Beemers, Audis, pickups of all sorts and of course the Lesbaru. With a ton of dust all over them from the trek no one seems to care what you drive. The fishing gear is exotic and first class. Such a novice as me just tries to get the pole together in proper fashion and of course look cool. Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.
The screen door opens and Debbie and Jim and Carla and Taz greet us. These people are fabulous cooks and even better hosts. The dress is informal and the food hearty. The dining area and bar face the water in all directions. The furniture sturdy but simple. Neat but not gaudy. The den has the requisite stone fireplace. Make your way upstairs and find a room. Any room. Roommates are decided by who gets there first. Sleep is not the first priority.
We meet for drinks of all concoction. Roll your own and loosen up on the porch. Light a fat one and the session is called to order. There is no Speaker of the House and no decorum either. Get your barbs sharpened lest ye be attacked. The laughter and good will echo across the lake. Everyone is fair game. This is getting good.
What a wonderful mixture of old and not so old. Oil men, builders and bond types. People not speaking of accomplishments nor resumes but of life and all that it holds. Where are you from and what is your life like? Not let me tell you a thing or two. Almost like a Navy ward room without the stripes. Some are thoughtful and restrained. Others are outspoken and passionate. I bet you are wondering hole I fall into? So much insight into business. So much to learn about life.
The fishing was not great but it didn’t matter. My friend Jim and I spent a couple of hours just shooting the breeze occasionally casting but just taking it all in. He is a brute of a man and when he shakes your hand you know it and that smile is irrepressible. A Wyoming man in every sense of the word. He has been places and done things that bespeak his wisdom. He spoke to us one night at dinner about the Keystone Pipeline and you got a totally different viewpoint. That of the farmer and a common man. He told me he almost ran against Dick Chaney for Congress. I really wish he had.
It’s quiet there at the lake. I left my cell phone and iMac home. I took notes in the morning over a cup of Joe. I just look out over that water and watched osprey and eagles fish for life and not just for fun. Funny how they didn’t have much trouble snatching things. Sometimes you caught yourself thinking about absolutely nothing. Then on other tracks you are sure you have solved most of the problems of the world. Oh yeah that was when I and the Body Snatcher singlehandedly attacked Jim’s bottle of Jameson 12.
After four days of all this madness we bid adieu. Put the cards away and shook hands one last time. Kiss and hug the cooks and and a farewell that you know was more than perfunctory. Back to sanity but then again was I actually leaving it there in that verdant mountain pass? I wish I was a poet or a really good writer that could convey the beauty and the tranquility. I still hope you get the idea.
Back home I waded through a collection of the Denver Posts and WSJs. It was actually quite startling to read page after page of mayhem and human deceit. The IRS, GM and BNP were tied for first place among the deceitful. The Rockies were nowhere near first place. Sunnis were killing Shiites. Syrians were killing their countrymen. So were Americans killing there own in urban corridors. There was a gang shooting at Red Rocks, the most tranquil outdoor venue for music in these United States. But we have our rights you know.
It’s hard to come from the primeval balance of nature to our ordered chaos and think we really know what we are doing. Those birds were building their nest with well selected twigs. We feather ours with well selected stocks. I guess they fight over fish. We fight over road rage. And today they arrested 268 of our fellow citizens for child sex trafficking. You thought Boko Harem were beyond seemly.
I am not for a moment saying we all go back to nature. The mother earth couldn’t take it. I am not saying this hasn’t gone on for centuries. We are not the Edisons of crime and waste. But it does do one’s soul good to just step back and go fishing. To put away technology and pick up interaction. Hey, you can do it in a park or a Starbucks near you. Come on in. The water’s fine.
Ted The Great.
There are over 3.5 million miles of rivers and streams in the US. There are 123,000 lakes that are 10 acres or more. Black Lake is close to 70 acres.
There are 376 National Parks covering some 83 million acres. The entry fee for 7 days is usually no more than $25. Senior citizens buy a lifetime pass for $10.
FBI: 25 child prostitutes rescued, 45 pimps arrested in Super Bowl sex trafficking offensive. 2/5/14