When writing up a trip report, I rely on my photos to help me remember what happened and when. I don’t have that luxury with this report (more on that later), so I’ll give you what I can remember. I can’t promise 100% accuracy, but the following recollections definitely contain a strong scent of truthiness.
Last Thursday I flew to Cody, where Lando, Miss Wyoming, and Louie (Lando’s dog) met me at the airport. From there we went to a bar, where a glass of whiskey helped wash the taste of modern air travel out of my mouth. After that we went to Lando’s house, and after a few more drinks I went to bed.
Hagen had expressed an interest in joining us on this trip, but he’d made an earlier commitment to spend Spring Break in Hawaii with his family instead. Kinder and gentler people would have commended him for being a loving and responsible husband and father, but where’s the fun in that?
Instead, we launched “Operation Tempt Hagen,” and proceeded to spend the next two days texting him photos of all his favorite things: biscuits and gravy, beer brewed somewhere other than Utah, ads for massage parlors…We started by having breakfast at Hagen’s favorite restaurant in Cody and then sending him photos of the menu.
After breakfast we stopped by the liquor store for provisions, and then went back to Lando’s house.
The wind had already kicked up, and Lando thought we might need something more than oar power, so he pulled out his motor and put it on his boat.
It had been awhile since he’d used it, so he decided to fire it up before we left to make sure it was still running OK.
He put some gas in the tank, suspended the motor in a trash can full of water, and started it up.
It seemed to run fine, but it wouldn’t piss.
Lando gave his mechanic a call and was advised to bring it in. Lando then turned to me and said, “BOAT: Break Out Another Thousand.”
After dropping off the motor, we picked up one of Lando’s friends and drove out to a different lake.
It was mostly frozen, but we found one small cove where the ice had thawed.
We fished it for awhile, and Lando got one to come up and look at his streamer.
We caught nothing.
We had something for dinner that night, but I’ve no recollection of who cooked it or what was served.
Sunday morning we once again went out for breakfast.
I had the chicken fried steak and eggs.
It was extremely salty, and I was unable to finish my meal.
On Saturday we’d done some scouting and found a stretch of river that looked promising, so we headed back to fish it.
It looked good from the road, but when we got down to the water we realized it was too skinny to fish.
We fished it anyway.
We caught nothing.
Hagen called and said, “I told my wife that I’m not going to Hawaii. I’ll meet up with you on Tuesday. But I’m not camping! And you need to buy me some beer. And some lotto tickets. And…”
Lando put down the phone and then turned to me and said, “We are now the victims of our own success.”
We drove to another spot that Lando knew about and fished that.
Before leaving for Cody I’d noticed that the felt sole on one of my wading boots was starting to separate at the heel.
I smeared the heel area of the boot with a bunch of Gorilla Glue and thought, “That should keep the heel in place.”
And it did.
What it didn’t do was ensure that the front half of the felt would stay securely stuck to the boot.
The toe area of the felt now separated from the boot, and then continued to separate all the way down to the heel.
I couldn’t rip the sole off without damaging the felt (Gorilla Glue is an extraordinary product), so every time I wanted to move, I'd lift my leg as high as I could and then attempt to bring it down squarely on the felt.
Every stride made it appear as though my boot was opening its mouth and trying to eat something.
Lando found this very amusing.
One of the restaurants we visited had some “fun facts” listed on the menu.
One of them read, “The Japanese word, “Bushusuru,” was coined after George H.W. Bush publicly vomited on the Prime Minister of Japan during a formal state dinner. The word literally means “to do the ‘Bush’ thing, or to vomit.”
As the morning progressed, the chicken fried steak and eggs I’d consumed earlier in the day proceeded to wreak havoc with my intestines, and a new word was born:
A word that literally means “to do the ‘Mitch’ thing, or to shit.”
Now you know.
We drove to a lake that had been nearly drained but still had a channel of water running through its basin.
We gathered some rocks and some wood and made a fire ring and then started a fire.
Once the coals were good and hot, Lando hollowed out a loaf of bread, stuffed a cooked meatloaf in it, wrapped it all with tinfoil, and put it in the fire.
I walked down and attempted to fish the channel, but was soon knee deep in mud.
The water was thick with silt, so I headed back to the fire and set up my foldy chair.
A little over an hour later, Lando pulled our lunch from the fire and unwrapped the foil.
The outside of the bread was black, but the meatloaf inside it was perfect.
Spork life at its finest.
After that we went…. somewhere.
We might have played cribbage and consumed whiskey at a fly shop, but I can’t be sure.
And once again, I’ve no recollection of who cooked that night or what was served.
We’d considered fishing with Heero, but decided to head south instead.
A friend of Lando’s offered to lend me some waders and boots, so we stopped and picked them up.
Then we grabbed some breakfast sandwiches and began our journey.
As we progressed down the highway, signs warned of 60+ mile per hour winds, and whenever we pulled over at a rest stop, Lando advised me to take off my hat and be very careful when opening the door of the truck.
The weather started to improve, and Lando’s plan to leave town proved to be prophetic.
Cody got ten inches of snow that day.
Along the way we stopped to get Hagen the ninety cans of PBR he requested.
The liquor store only had six twelve packs in stock, so Lando called Hagen and asked if that would be enough.
“Seventy-two will have to do.”
I spoke to Hagen and asked, “So how are you progressing with the goals you set for yourself at the last luau?”
“You can’t hold me responsible for anything I said while intoxicated.”
Six hours after leaving Cody we reached our destination.
We purchased fishing licenses, and Lando booked us some rooms.
Then we drove to the river and checked out the put-in and the take-out.
At some point we met up with the Young Lass.
I remember that all of the restaurants were closed for dinner, but I’ve no idea what we ate that night.