Saturday, October 11, 2014



The soil at the Owens Valley cow camp was powder a foot deep. At every step the dust swirled up and covered our cameras. I drive 400 miles every year to photograph this camp. Each year it is different. This year it was murder. I really wanted to go sit on the couch along-side the cabin and have Shirley take my picture, but the nearby Cowboys vaccinating cows were watching us. I think one of them was packing heat! I don't want any shootout in this heat today.
The nearby Hot Springs creek was the only thing that looked cool today. Not enough snow on the mountains for sure.
We are standing on the handicapped fishing platform at Convict Lake shooting the early morning light on the lake and I am grousing about what a lousy place to build the platform with all the shallow water below when a 24 inch Rainbow Trout weighing at least 10 lbs.cruses by. My casting arm begins to twitch and I know now I know nothing about fish!

We photograph sheep herders, their dogs and sheep, and dream about the old days of lamb stew and red wine in the Basque sheep camps we have known. We love their dogs, and one white Pyrenees remembers Shirley from some years ago. They were in the Bode Hills right where we always find them. The Herder waves but does not come up to see us this time. He knows we need him in our shot too.

Monitor Pass was as beautiful as we have ever seen it! I use the glasses to view White Cliff Peak way to the South, just above Connel's Cow camp of old. Our memories of horse adventures in the Fish Valley of the Silverking are as strong as ever. My horse Lady died there, her skull nailed to the wall of the Soda Springs Ranger Station. Rest in peace my lady.

Shirley let out a slight sigh as the girl scooped a very small scoop of Vanilla ice cream, but then worked it into a huge ball that hardly fit on the sugar cone. The Markleeville ice cream shop closes on Oct. 24th this year. Next trip I guess we will just have to hit the old Cutthroat Saloon for a shot or two, and remember Shrimp Ebright, the old horse packer who always wanted me to stay longer. But my family and kids were waiting, and trailering horses at night over Carson Pass, well only one for that road that was for sure.


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