Monday, November 28, 2011

Where You Been??

I haven't written on this blog since August. It isn't because of on ignorant comment by someone who can't face reality and it isn't because there hasn't been anything going on out on the Missouri. In fact, I didn't even see the comments from "Patriot" on August 31, until late last night when I checked this blog for the first time in three months. I was told of the comments by a friend and decided to check it out. I don't take what he wrote personally because I know where they came from and I hold absolutely no regard for the person making them. The only thing I regret, as it pertains to the response, is that I may have painted what I referred to as 'locals,' with a large brush and that's not fair to those in the area that work hard to educate themselves and improve not only their situation but the situation of those around them. However, I do appreciate the comments from Patriot as they help illustrate some of the barriers there are to fully participating in the culture of Wolf Creek and Craig, MT. To that I just want to say thank you to Patriot for his contribution. And as for wishing I go broke, I grossed 50% more this year than each of the two years prior to this season. Thank God for those folks I've established strong relationships with who actually contribute to the economy.

As for the real reason for the sabatical from the bog? It's depression. I'm not going to lie and I'm not ashamed of it. This year has been absolutely the most difficult year I've had in decades and I didn't want to use this forum as a dumping ground for my bitching and complaining. Briefly, I will say that it started last winter when I was forced to move from my place in Helena back to Wolf Creek. Being in Wolf Creek definitely helped on the business end but the cost of living in an area so closed off from the rest of the world has taken it's toll. My situation digressed slowly with not having opportunities to hang out with like-minded folks, losing some great friends to their relationships--becoming less and less a priority, getting hopes up for having my own partnerships and then having those hopes crushed and finally, to losing the best friend a guy could ever have in Chase. Not only did I stay off this blog but I also became a recluse and honestly, was fortunate to have done the days I did given how much I closed myself off from much of the guiding community. (This has nothing to do with those guys either or any kind of attitude from them. It was me just not wanting to be around people because I felt it was better they didn't see at all rather than seeing me sad.)

So now what? Well, I have left Wolf Creek for a little while to do some traveling and to see friends and family. Staying out of the bars has saved me a lot of money and now I can afford to do a little road tripping. Yes Patriot, I do have a lot of friends out-of-state as well as many in-state and I will now take advantage of the opportunity to reconnected with them. My plan is to travel through Colorado for a brief stint and then on to Minnesota and maybe Wisconsin. My brother's dog was bred with another championship lab and as a birthday gift, Jeff is giving me the pick of the litter. My landlords in Wolf Creek, Rick and Helen Greenlee, have been incredibly supportive and have offered to help out with the new puppy in any way they can when we get back.

I'm also happy to have helped a couple friends with some hunting and although I was blanked on my own elk tag, a good friend from Helena did get a great bull with his 339 tag. (John LaRue and I are in the picture above.) I have also been fortunate to have a hook-up on a ranch outside of Belt, MT. Not all my clients are from out-of-state and Bruce Keaster has allowed me to hunt his property for the last couple years. I did get a nice whitetail at his place.

By being so busy this summer, I kind of missed out on the growing music scene in Helena. Recently I've participated in a few open mics at the new Lewis and Clark Brewery and I have to say, if you haven't been down there yet, you should really check it out. I love that place and I love the fact that they are getting some good musicians in there. It also gives me an excuse to bust out the old ax and start learning some new stuff myself.

I do want to clarify the situation here in Wolf Creek because I want to be fair to those folks that have opened themselves up to me and to the change they are dealing with as we become more and more of a mecca in the fly fishing world. Change is tough. Wolf Creek and Craig were quaint little towns off the beaten path and now there are people coming in, buying up the property and it would seem that their way of life is being compromised to some degree. I get that and I do feel for them. Most folks in the area however, do not express the same views as Patriot. For that I am grateful. In fact, I have spent an evening or two discussing politics with a few of the guys down at the Oasis and had a great time. I've also even watched Monday Night Football with a Vikings fan as the Packers handed it to them and all was peaceful. The unfortunate reality is sometimes those with the most vulgar voice seem to leave the most lasting impression and there are a few of those people in the area. It's why I've chosen to stay away from the bars for the most part and away from the Frenchman in the morning. It's depressing to try to have a quite breakfast and be inundated with the Fox News bull shit.

In the end I'm going to continue to put myself out there and there will be some that will continue to hate me. I will make my money and continue to contribute the way I know how and those other folks will continue on their own life path. If that path includes making such comments as calling me an ass-hole, smug and holier than now, then so be it. For now, keep 'em where they live and please keep checking for updates.

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