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Staying overnight in Jackson Hole, we rode in the next day by horseback 30 miles from Turpin Meadows to our camp at Hawk's Rest on the Yellowstone River. What a long day.....A bunch of middle aged guys who haven't been on a horse in years doing a 10 hour ride the first day. And 2 mule trains to carry all the gear. But the Grand Teton Wilderness was unbelievably beautiful and still pristine, the day ending after we rode through Two Oceans Pass at the continental divide.

We set up camp right along the Yellowstone, in the shadow of Hawk's Rest, the temperature falling into the mid 30's at night and rising to the low 90's each day. Building a morning fire under the tarp to keep warm, the coffee was hot and already made. We drank gallons. After breakfast, we prepared lunches to go, and as the sun crossed Hawk's Rest, the day warmed considerably. Putting our gear on two mules, we mounted our horses for the ride along the Yellowstone and over to the Thoroughfare.

Hawk's Rest and the Thoroughfare region are so perfectly beautiful, the fishing could never live up to the expectations. You think a 20 incher is going to swallow your fly every cast. The fish weren't that plentiful, but we were able to hook up enough. It was nice to be able to cast to and hook up 5 or 6 rising 15-20 inch cutthroats every day.

And then there was the ride back to camp at the end of fishing each day. The trail was hot and dusty by now as we made our way back to camp, but we did spot a wolf in the wild one afternoon. Sipping on a beer cooled in the local spring, smoking a good cigar, talking about the day's catch.......all were a daily ritual before dinner. After dinner, there were the sounds of the wilderness each night......wolves occasionally howling on the hill.......cow bells around the necks of the mules ringing as they moved about feeding.....maybe a dog in the distance. Not to worry, we slept well. We were obviously tired.

Yellowstone Outfitters provided all the gear. Lynn Madsen, the owner, was our guide and host. And Brad was our cook, delivering unbelievably great meals every day. I'll always remember the sounds and smell of the sausage sizzling in the morning..... Brad's dog sitting on the ground beside him while he cooked.... Cowboy coffee on the kitchen, made, and waking you with its aroma and great taste.