I love the annual ritual of going somewhere beautiful in our great country that is in the mountains, along a river or near a beach with my buddies. Although the make-up of the group has changed over the years – “why is it that the older we get, the longer the hikes get?” wisely asks Will Shortt – the excitement around who gets to pick, the unveiling of the destination, wrangling for the right date and eventually – the meet-up and entrance into the woods. Here’s a list of the boys trips over the last 24 years.
The 2018 version was no different as Jeff Thompson’s pick was, of course, fantastic. Strangely, the same BitterRoot mountain range that he picked last time in 2013 – but a winner is a winner. The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness is one of the largest wilderness areas in the lower 48 and is magnificent. Crew included Pat Boyer (AZ), Rob Blake (MT), Jeff Thompson (WA), John Howell (TX) and Yours Truly (WA).
- Fantastic weather – clear during day, cold at night – with only a light dusting of snow for about 20 minutes on the first night.
- Bourbon tasting – the tradition continues with a Old Forrester, 120 proof, prohibition style bourbon winning the night.
- Fishing – Ship Island Lake was our two night destination and lots of tasty trout live there. Some became dinner. We determined that a spin rod out performs fly rods in alpine lakes because you can get out to the middle easier.
- Spruce Grouse – Stupid birds that defend themselves by being still and trying to blend in to environment. Not much of a defense mechanism for a trained, experienced hunter with hiking poles and a determination to win a $100 bet.
- Bertrams Brewery – We had two great meals at this great restaurant in Salmon, ID.
Click here for the full selection of photos. Now, what to do next year for our 25th? It’s my pick and I’m on the clock…