April 22, 2014



A week or so ago Gram and I went down to Camp Crook. It will always be one of my favorite drives. Sometime we go down to Buffalo and then head west to Crook. Occasionally we go to Marmath and take the road south across the gumbo hills. Most often we go to Rhame and head south into South Dakota, around Table Mountain, head west and cross the river just west of the Bullock Hall. Some would say it is lonely, desolate country. I say it’s a great place to raise calves, kids, and lambs.
When we crossed the Little Missouri, it reminded me of a story I told you before when my grandkids were a little younger.
A few years ago we went fishing on the Little Missouri just out of Camp Crook. Fishing is using the term loosely. We had three rods. A “Barbie Doll” pink, a “Tigger” orange, and a wore-out blue one. Between the three rods we had one hook.
Since Gage was doing the casting, we soon decided that one hook was too many and removed it. It was more of a rock skipping, moss gathering, peanut butter sandwich kind of day than actually fishing.
Now you have to remember that Gage was less than two, and Gracy was five. Brave little ranch kids. But after a couple hours I went off into the willows. While I was there I was attacked by a bear! Shirley and the kids could hear me screaming and see the willows thrashing around. Oh, it was an epic struggle. Finally, the bear got the best of me and there was complete silence.
The kids kept hollering for their Grandpa. Meantime, I had escaped from the bear and began to crawl around behind them on my belly. Now, trust me, even on my belly I still stick up a fair bit. But I did get around them.
As I peeked out of the tall grass, Gracy was carrying a five foot long piece of driftwood. Gage was carrying a big rock. They were edging closer and closer to the willows where the bear had devoured their Grandpa.
Suddenly I let out a roar and charged from the willows. Gracy dropped her club, and with eyes larger than her head, raced for Grandma. Gage tried to move, but was stuck between gears and could only scream. His rock proved a worthless weapon against a bear attack as he dropped it on his foot.
I was rolling on the ground with laughter. Till Grandma picked up that five foot piece of driftwood and whacked that bear across the back.
Note to self. Grandma is not scared of bears.
Reminds me of a story Grandpa Jack used to tell. This guy came across this old mountain man sitting outside his cabin. Inside was a heck of a ruckus going on. He asked what was happening. The mountain man said a bear was in the cabin fighting his wife. And he had never seen a fight that he cared less about the outcome!