Personal Website for TED HENRY

Expedition 2023, Day 3

After descending from Harts Pass into Winthrop I wasn’t sure where to head next. I stopped in at one of the two outfitters and talked to the two ladies I remember from last year hoping to refine some ideas I got from looking at my maps. They were very helpful and pointed out possibilities on their wall map, so off I went up Eight Mile Creek after topping off the fuel tank. Unfortunately the spur road that climbed up near an alpine lake was gated, as were all of the side roads, due to extreme fire danger. Rats. Well, from my perspective the fire danger was minimal since the whole canyon was already nothing but char. The real danger is the risk of a thunderstorm downpoor washing the now un-stabilized soil off the hillsides and wiping out the road leaving one marooned.

I stopped at an empty campground to try a little fly fishing. Ughhh, so annoying. I had to wade through shoulder high dense thistle and fireweed with hidden crisscrossed charcoal logs. It took forever to go a quarter mile to the river, all the while getting tangled and tripped up. The river was full of logs as well but I was determined to give it a try. My first cast brought up a small Brook Trout. And another. The problem is that the invasive Brook Trout overpopulate resulting in stunted fish so small they can barely tug on the line. Being hot, sweaty and covered in weed seeds I wasn't having much fun, so I gave it up.

Burnt Sign

The widely scattered cattle seemed to prefer hanging out near the road. Me too. Notice the device hanging from its neck, which I saw on all of the cattle in this area. Also notice the cowboy on his horse in the background (over its right ear) who was in the process of rounding up the animals. Yes, that is a mama cow. All of the cows here were mothers and their offspring.


Farther up river I discovered an unburned section of forest with a campsite. Even though it was not as far into the mountains as I wanted to be it was so nice I decided to stop and enjoy the quiet serenity. And to wash the charcoal out of my clothes in the stream. Pictured are larger Brook Trout sunning themselves a few feet from my picnic table. I enjoyed their presence so I left them alone. Later a nice retired couple from Winthrop showed up to spend the night. They confirmed that this was the nicest campground in the Winthrop area. I really don’t mind boondocking with no facilities at all but with a senior rate of $5 I also don’t mind paying for a tiny bit of convenience, especially considering the cattle were fenced out.

Brook Trout

OK, so this was not as exciting or as grand as the last couple of days, but it was still nice to be out in the mountains in great weather next to a babbling brook and relaxing about as much as I ever do. I believe in the healing nature of being in the forest and away from our oppressive electronic world. Being able to explore rugged mountains is a bonus.

On to Day 4