Fishing on the Sun River – August 2018

Thursday August 30: Today will be the fishing day on the Sun River, but to start the morning, my brother Rollie and I have coffee in his motor home, parked in the town of Sun River, Montana. About a mile from here is the farm where I raised my family, and this little town was where my kids went to school and where some friends from those days still live. This area was my home for twenty years, and my son Matt and his kids still live here. Sun River has become more and more run down in the twenty years plus years since then, partly due to laws that limit rebuilding after flood damage. It is sad to see.

Matt and his friend Lexie join Rollie and me for breakfast in the motor home and we make our plans for the fishing trip. Rocky Reef on the Sun River will be our destination. We decide to forego a picnic and will just return to the motor home for lunch when everyone gets hungry.

Sun River Upstream from Rocky Reef
Sun River upstream from Rocky Reef

Rocky Reef is a rock formation that juts out into the river creating a deep pool at its base. Although the river is low this year, the pool remains deep. While the other three – Matt, Rollie, and Lexie – fish, I wander the banks and climb the rock formation to take photos.

Downstream looking toward Rocky Reef
The fishermen fishing at Rocky Reef
Rollie on the bank below Rocky Reef
Matt catches fish

Matt is an outstanding fisherman and he is the only one who catches fish. Three good-size trout will make a tasty dinner tonight.

Saying good-bye to the Sun River at Rocky Reef for now

After meeting Matt’s boss (Matt works near here and his boss let him have the day off for my visit), we head on back to the motor home for lunch. The fishermen will try a different fishing hole this afternoon, and a decision is made to just walk down to the river from here rather than driving somewhere else.

Rollie, Matt, Angel, Carol

Back at the river, fishing continues. Rollie has to catch his hat after it blows into the river and I stack rocks to amuse myself before heading back to the motor home.

Fishing for a run-away hat

In the early evening, my grand-daughter Aurora and her friend Alex come join the rest of us for baked trout dinner. As dinner is cooking, Rollie and I play a few of our bluegrass tunes for them, and after dinner we make tea and chat until late.

Grand-daughter Aurora; Son Matt, Aurora’s friend Alex, Carol, Brother Rollie

It was a good visit. Tomorrow Rollie and I will head back to Seeley Lake.

Road Trip – Fall River, Oregon – April 2015

Tuesday April 21:  Today I have my last campfire here at McKay Crossing along Paulina Creek west of the Newberry National Monument in central Oregon.

Panther Flat 1 - G1x 001-LR
Last campfire at McKay

I take photos as I say good-bye before we have breakfast and begin the packing routine.

Panther Flat 1 - G1x 004
Saying good-by to the tall ponderosa trees

Panther Flat 1 - G1x 006
and to Paulina Creek

Panther Flat 1 - G1x 008
Time to leave our McKay home

Packing takes a good three hours since we have become so settled in after being here for two weeks.  Odds and ends of loose stuff go in bags; everything is packed neatly so it will all fit, but things are becoming harder to find.  The next time we set up, a complete reorganization will be necessary.

Once we are finally packed, we head to the little town of Sunriver, a few miles down the highway.  After a tasty lunch at the Village Bar and Grill, we find out way to Lori’s place, a sanctuary overlooking the Deschutes River.

Panther Flat 1 - G1x 017
The Deschutes River

Lori is an artist and her paintings and sculptures grace every room of her home. Some of her work reminds me of Leaning Tree cards, and indeed, as we later learn, she is one of the Leaning Tree artists.

We warm ourselves at her wood stove and then sit in the sunshine on the deck overlooking the river as we chat about the environmental issues that affect all of us; Lori speaks from the perspective of an activist and Clifford from the perspective of a researcher.  It is as though we are all words on the same page, each of us contributing to the story being told – hopefully the story of a return to wholeness for the planet and all life on it.

Later, after dinner and more sharing, we listen to the frogs (or toads) as they “rivet rivet rivet” through the night.

Wednesday April 22: In the morning I admire the lovely light that warms the trees and the meadows along the river bank, but taking photos through the screen does not work, so this picture is only in my mind.  I accompany Lori down to the bank where she feeds the ducks, some domestic and a pair of mallards.

Panther Flat 1 - G1x 010
Lori feeding the ducks

After breakfast, Clifford has a radio interview with a local station and then we take some time to catch up with email before heading out for the afternoon.  Lori is taking us sight-seeing on our way to the place where Clifford will be giving a talk this evening.  We go to the headwaters of Fall River, a place where a spring is the birthplace of a creek that soon becomes a river that flows into the Deschutes.

Panther Flat 1 - G1x 018
Birthplace of Fall River

It is amazing that so much water can come forth with so little fanfare.   The crystal-clear water is surrounded by mossy rocks and logs, creating a fairyland habitat.

Panther Flat 1 - G1x 025
Moss and green grass

There is an old ranger station here, no longer in use but still maintained, which is perhaps the one where Clifford spent time with friends over 40 years ago.  Inside and out, it looks familiar to him.

Panther Flat 1 - G1x 030
The old ranger station

Further down the road, we walk along the Fall River, admiring its lovely clarity and the reflections on its surface as it flows gently toward the Deschutes.

Panther Flat 1 - G1x 034
Fall River

Panther Flat 1 - G1x 044-LR
Reflections on the crystal-clear water of Fall River

Friends of Lori’s are hosting Clifford’s talk in their lovely home, also along the Deschutes River.  From their back yard I am delighted to find a view of Mount Bachelor, which has been elusive.  I have had only the briefest glimpses of it, even though it is one of the most outstanding peaks in the area, the view always being blocked by trees or the contours of the land.

Panther Flat 1 - G1x 049
Mount Bachelor

There is a good turn-out for Clifford’s presentation, which is received with renewed enthusiasm and appreciation for the work that he is doing.

Panther Flat 1 - G1x 050
Cllifford’s talk in Sunriver, near Bend, Oregon

It is late by time we return to Lori’s place and we soon retire to our rooms.  Tomorrow we will head to Ashland for the next talk, but tonight the “rivet rivet rivet” of the frogs keeps us company, reminding us in their own way of the importance of restoring a healthy environment to the planet.

Panther Flat 1 - G1x 028
Carol and Clifford in central Oregon