I have lived in Idaho for approximately two years now. In that time I have met some wonderful people and started some great friendships.
Two of these new friends of mine are Mike Hudson and Robert Purcell. I met both of them in a working relation doing appraisals for their firm Intermountain Home Loans in Pocatello.
Mike has lived in Nebraska, Montana and Idaho during his life and participated in many outdoor activities throughout his life being taught these by his Grandfather.
Rob has lived in Idaho most of his life leaving for a time to serve in the military.
Mike approached me one day and asked if I would be interested in going on a Grouse hunting trip with them? Being open to new things I said I would be interested.
Now I have gone camping in the past, many times and Hiking but I have never shot a gun in my life. I agreed to the trip, because I have enjoyed my life here in Idaho and wanted to immerse myself in the Idaho culture, which a large part is hunting and Fishing.
In preparation for the trip I had to get a hunting license and that meant finally getting my Idaho drivers license. I have been putting this off for some time, thinking that this would be the one factor which made up my mind about going back to Massachusetts. Well I guess I’ve made my decision.
Mike and Rob said that they would provide everything I needed for the trip; I just had to bring appropriate clothing, good pair of boots, a sharp knife and flashlight. I had all that so I was ready for the trip.
The trip would take place from August 31st to September 3rd, since Grouse season started on the 1st.
Well Thursday the 31st finally came around , I went into the office, were we share space with Intermountain Home Loans and worked until about 1:00 pm , then Mike came round to my desk and said it was time to leave. From there we went to Mike’s house to pack the gear, which included a homemade camp box which contained, dishes, pots, pans, towel holder, and other essentials for cooking out of doors. We also packed up mattress pads, sleeping bags, a white gas cook stove, a white gas lantern, fishing poles, and gear, and a shotgun.
We got all this into Mike’s old ’77 Scout, gassed up, got ice and went on our way. We were heading south along Route 15 heading to the Pebble creek camp area in Caribou National Forest. The trip was slow going since we were traveling at 55 mph almost the entire way. The area we were headed towards is located just outside of Lava Hot Springs proper. It’s off Route 30 six miles in, through open cattle range area.
When we got to the camp ground it was evident that it was going to be a busy place this weekend since almost all the sites and been reserved. However Rob had gone ahead of us and found a nice shady site and had also already set up the tent and the gear that he brought.
Mike and I started taking his gear out of the Scout, and Steve Klauser and His son Kiefer showed up in his RV (RVs are a big thing in this part of the country). Mike had mentioned that they would be joining us for the weekend for Hunting.
It a good thing to since Mike’s camps stove and lantern were not working, Rob and Mike left to see if they could find parts to repair them and left me at the camp site, while Steve went to look for a space. A while later Steve and his Son showed up and we talked for quite a while and it was getting late. Steve offered his bug lanterns and we went to his RV to get them, went back to our camp, set them up and Steve started the fire. It’s a good thing, since on all the camping trips I was ever on; someone else always started the fire.
As the sun started to set, we all became very aware that it was getting quite cold out!
Finally Mike and Rob returned, unsuccessful in finding the parts they needed. So Steve lent us a lantern.
Mike was disappointed that the camp stove was not working since that meant he would be cooking dinner over the fire. He had made homemade Pasties for everyone for dinner and was going to serve them with gravy.
Well they were all wrapped in foil so he just threw them directly onto the hot coals, and started the gravy in a saucepan over the fire.
In about 45 minutes everything was done and Mike served it up in bowls. I had a beef pasty and it was great, really good, not the first one for me either so I did have a reference for comparison and Mike’s were very good.
After dinner we all sat around the camp fire (very close since it was freezing now) and talked, Steve had a couple of beers and Mike and Rob had a little of George Dickle Whiskey.
Around Ten we all turned in and man I have to tell you it was really very difficult to get to sleep that night, I was in a sleeping bag, with my clothes, a hooded sweatshirt, and a stocking cap, and I was still freezing, it had to be a couple of hours before I was able to get to sleep and all the while I just kept thinking that I if I could get to sleep I wouldn’t know how cold it was.
But sleep did finally come………………