August 24, 2017

-by Herman W. Brune

The mountain boys call this Cloud Peak Wilderness trail “flat”. Some of the folks that took our little tour think 180 degrees otherwise. So, despite nitpicking and cussing a good trail – please let the testimonials divine that nobody died and no horses were crippled on the way back and forth to Paintrock Creek. And, everybody in camp most likely gained weight on five days of our Texas Chef’s campfire and Dutch oven cooking.

The trout aren’t too big in Paintrock Creek but there are plenty of the critters and they make starting-out fly fishermen look like geniuses. Apparently the crew ate a bucketful of the be-speckled and brown swimmers while I was out picking up our guests.

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Herman telling camp fire stories.

The camp is slightly over 9,000 feet elevation in high-country that reaches more than 13,000 feet. The creek bottom grass sustains our ponies and the local moose population. Quiet star-filled nights sooth peoples’ souls and lull you into your center. From mid-July to mid-August the weather may be considered moderate. That does not mean a novice explorer shouldn’t expect the occasional icy squall. On the third evening our flat-land Texas gourmet decided to grill steaks; only to get them covered by an inch of sleet. But a thick Angus ribeye can’t be beat! The campers pulled out their Bowies and resembled Texas – Old School!

Special thanks must be awarded to David Elshoff and his son Eric. They bought and braved the first of many tours that may be offered benefitting the Texas Outdoor Writers Association Scholarship Fund. David bought the trip on behalf of RAM TRUCKS but his sportsmanship must be commended on a personal level. David believes in TOWA’s scholarship program, our efforts to bring young folks to outdoor journalism, and the inevitable horse sense that dictates outdoor issues relate to mainstream concerns. Before this wilderness trip he’d only been horseback riding once in his life. Likewise, camping was not a normal family activity.

I suppose it was his bad draw to wind up with me as a guide. But I sure hope we get to do it again!

Also, special thanks to Taylor Engum from East Fork Outfitters – our Wyoming hosts.

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This is a good pic of David. Please note he’s on Moe. Nohing makes a man look better than being mounted on a good horse!

                          ram truck trip 5

Moe. Anyone in TOWA or who knows, or, has dated Herman knows Moe. He is the star of the Horseback & Hounds Hog Hunts. In this pic he’s carrying David Elshoff from RAM Trucks through the Cloud Peak Wilderness in Wyoming’s Big Horn Mountains. Moe made this trip completely unscathed and delivered David back to civilization feeling like an accomplished horseman.

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Eric Elshoff serenading with his ukulele. This is why we take folks to the hills. It is an unimaginable experience to take a 20-something year olds to the wilderness and watch them unfold. He’d never been on a horse and camping wasn’t his forte’. But, I bet he’d go with me again.


About the author 

Michael Bennett

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