Aug 27: Rendezvous at Redfish Lake
Sunday 12:30 pm rendezvous with Beau Baty from Wilderness Ridge Llamas is quite the llama drama reunion! Beau brings 5 new llamas and came to take Bono and Johnny home. What a ruckus when our "big boys" see their pals in the trailer. Johnny just wants to be in charge and when Beau unloads the 5 llamas, sniffing their butts, totally in their faces, so to speak, playing the big man on campus. Bono was excited but calm. Beau puts both Johnny and Bono in the trailer with hay to calm things down!
We are also met by 3 folks joining us for the next ten days. Louise Noyes, who was with us in the Sawtooths, and Charlotte Unger and Reuben Perrin, great hikers but new to llamas. We form a car and truck llama caravan to the Livingston Mill to camp, have a tour, then in the morning, start our trail to the White Clouds.
Livingston Mill tour with owner, Ron Swanson
It has had various owners and only operated intermittently after 1929. Besides being a predominately silver mine, the Mine produced a little gold and a lot of lead and zinc.
I met him two summers ago when I saw him from the road working on his art cairns. I was interested in his rock art and the large TRUMP sign painted on the roof of an old mining building which serves as the gateway to the historic Mill site. I found him delightful and a real Idaho persona.
Now to the story of our wonderful llama companions.
Our 5 Llama Cast of Characters
Russell the Rascal is a contemporary of Johnny llama's and is, in equal parts, charming and a brat. He has "attitude" which he struts with the other 4 big boys who are definitely not enamored. Truly an independent spirit, he is cute and feisty! The number of small scars and his floppy ears indicate just a small percentage of of all the scraps he gets into with other llamas. But by day three, he is settling down, is cozying up to us for llama cookies, and we're enchanted.
An easy first day with camp between Goat and Island Lakes.
The memorable event of this day is my slipping, landing hard on a granite rock and badly bruising my tailbone. Besides the pain, it has been tough deciding whether I should continue. The options are either a short hike out (hoping I can find someone to pick me up) or another 4 days of strenuous climbing and descents.
Considering the discomfort and the fact that the Livingston Trailhead is only 3 miles from our camp, I know that going out is the best option. The trailhead is approximately 2 1/2 hours from Ketchum -Sun Valley, with at least 10-15 miles on very bad dirt roads. Besides Heather who is not at her ranch, I have 2 other friends who live relatively close by. My friend, Colleen, who resides on the East Fork of the Salmon River is only 17 miles away. Amazingly, she received and responded right away to my message requesting help tonight. She said she would pick me up at noon. Polly also responded affirmatively but she lives at least 30-35 miles away, so Colleen got the nod.
I feel so lucky that friends are close by, that they read their e-mails, and are willing to change plans to help out!
Sept 1: Sarah's Retreat
I wave good bye to my pals and painfully start walking. Fortunately, I cross paths with Colleen and her two dogs at 11:30 am this morning on the trail looking for me. I am so happy and relieved to see her that I give her my day pack to carry out! It is smart to leave the trail to nurse my bruises and per Colleen's recommendations, I am spending considerable time soaking in the cold East Fork River. Resting and soaking are excellent remedies, particularly at Heather's East Fork Ranch. Thank you, Heather.
Some of Ron's East Fork neighbors give the Livingston Mill a wide berth as a result, and the large TRUMP roof top sign may deter others even more.
It is an enjoyable introduction for Colleen (no guns and good conversation) and a big plus to Colleen's rescue duty. Her husband, Ron, she feels, would also enjoy meeting him to share stories, philosophy, and history of the place.
Bob, Reuben Perrin, Charlotte Unger and Louise Noyes, plus 5 llamas are en route to Chamberlain Basin and are expected at Heather's on 9/3 or 9/4. Bob will be reporting on the map on his location each night....I hope.
Heather and her husband Ron (do you have to be named Ron to live on the East Fork?) arrive on 9/3 .at the Ranch. In the meantime, I get to enjoy this beautiful spot, read, nurse my aches, feed the horses, and get ready for the trail to Summit Creek across the Boulders.