Montana Summer Horse Pack Trip Testimonials

K LAZY 3 Outfitters

Continental Divide Pack Trip

By Louise Lester

JULY 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

At 1:30 AM Betsy arrived at my house and we drove to Portland to get a bus to the Logan Airport in Boston.  All went well through Logan, Salt Lake City, to Helena.  However, we didn’t have time to eat other than a breakfast sandwich at Logan and the snacks on the planes.  Bless video games for keeping a little boy on the plane to Helena occupied.  He looked like the kid named Jody on the old TV show called Family Affair.  We were waiting at the baggage area in Helena praying to see our bags arrive.  I had concern of what we would do if the bags didn’t get to Helena with us.  We saw a cowboy type – cowboy hat, western shirt, jean but no cowboy boots and figured it was our ride.  It was the outfitter Brett Todd and we made ourselves known to each other.  We chatted a bit and he asked if either of us had been to Montana before.  Betsy said no but I said that I had traveled through a couple of times but not to really see the state.  I mentioned that my husband had purchased a saddle in Great Falls on one of our trips.  I said that it came from Arios’ and Brett’s interest was apparent.  He immediately asked if I wanted to sell it.  He added that he owned a couple of Arios’ saddles and wanted to find more because the shop was now closed.  I said that since my husband had passed away I would ask my daughter, who really now lays claim to it, if she wanted to sell it.  [Upon arriving home I asked her and she said she wanted to keep it.]  He picked up our duffle bags and commented that they were balanced and about the same weight.  He seemed to like that.  Betsy and I tried to keep our duffle weight below 35 pounds.  We later were told that keeping baggage evenly packed was helpful in packing the boxes for the mules.

We then went to a local grocery to pick up the rest of the crew [Susan; the cook and Seth; Brett’s nephew, also one of the wranglers] who were doing some food shopping for our trip.  Since it was around lunch time [for Betsy and I it didn’t matter what time it was, we were hungry] we went to Burger King and had lunch.  We drove over an hour through beautiful country into the mountains and the Bob Marshall Wilderness where Brett had his trail head.  We met two more of the crew, Jerry who looked like a professional wrangler, and Logan another wrangler.  Jerry proudly showed us the beautiful saddle he had just finished; being his first attempt.  Jerry didn’t have a mentor saddle maker but learned from books and the experience of riding saddles for many years.  They unpacked the truck and packed the food into boxes for the pack mules to carry.  The riding and pack stock looked good and well fed. There were about an even number of horses and mules.  Brett said that he didn’t shoe any more unless he had to because he had a farrier in the area that did it with a tilt table when needed.  He paid $45/horse plus the cost of the shoes.  I think he was surprised when I told him what I paid for a shoe job for my competition horse and I think he thought I was nuts.

We drove back to the small mountain town called Lincoln to stay overnight and meet the rest of the riders.  We stayed at a charming motel; The Leepers Inn.  We had our first dinner at a local bar called the The Wheel Inn and had a chance to meet and talk with our fellow travelers.  Besides Betsy [vet tech] and I [town clerk] there were 5 from Minnesota:  Jeff [medical engineer], his wife Julie [product designer and promoter], Kristi [teacher], Frederick [stock broker], and Ann [landscape architect].  I had only three questions:  water, snakes and bears.  Brett said that all our water would be purified, we wouldn’t see any snakes at the altitude we would be traveling, and we weren’t likely to see any bears.  In fact the only “sign” I saw regarding bears was the five wire fence around the cook tent at Camp #1 and bear scat along the trail from time to time. Camp #1 named the Meadow Camp is a semi-permanent site which Brett uses annually for the pack trips, fishing parties and hunting parties in the fall.   Because the camp is in a wilderness area, Brett must remove everything from the site before winter which means that he has to bring everything in again in the spring for the next season.  I thought the name for the mule who carried the propane stove and big cook tent in and out every year was very appropriate – Diesel.  We didn’t get a chance to meet Diesel.

Tuesday, July 23

At 7:00 AM we met for breakfast at the Lampkin’s Restaurant and found that there was only one lady acting as cook, waitress and general bottle washer.  One of the regular customers helped serve us beverages.  Seth, Logan, and Jerry had already headed to the trailhead to get the stock ready to go.  By 8:00 AM we started for the trailhead.  Upon arrival Brett did a quick safety talk and then began matching people with horses. The mules were all tacked but Jerry, Seth, and Logan would load them with all the gear and come along after we left.  Betsy was on a bay Quarter Horse gelding named Grizz, and I got a bay Quarter Horse gelding named Nute.  The rest of the string was Quarter Horses or Quarter Horse crosses along with several pintos.  We had gone about 30 minutes when 2 horses and 2 mules met us going the other way completely bare but with tack sweat marks.  They went around us [Brett didn’t know any of the visible brands] and they continued back down the trial toward the trailhead.  We had seen some trailers in a parking lot and figured they were going there.  We rode to Webb Lake cabin which is owned by the U.S. Forest Service built in 1906 for a resident year-round ranger base.  It isn’t used now but is kept up for emergency use.  Its water source is a year-round spring which had the coldest free running water I’ve ever experienced [at least until I took a bath in a mountain stream]!  We ate a great bag lunch which we had carried in our saddle bags.  As we sat around the cabin eating, the mule train passed us so that they would have our camp set up before we arrived.  We got to Camp #1 about 4:30 PM.  We went near drop offs but the hill sides were covered with trees so I wasn’t worried about going over the side.

Betsy and I decided to try the stream with the other women to get some of the trail dust off and found that the water was cold enough to take your breath away.  The bath was very quick!  We had a great dinner of lasagna made by Brett’s wife Julie and a marvelous fresh fruit bowl which Susan had prepared.  I asked if I could help with the dishes as the rule was that guests could help with the work or not as they pleased.  Beverages were at a premium as well as everything else we had access to because everything had to be brought in by mule.  We were given a choice for cold drinks: purified water, lemonade, and Tang.  I hadn’t thought of Tang, the drink of the astronauts, since my kids were little.  An extension of Tang became Wang which was a bit of Tang and whiskey.  Maybe you could call it the Packer’s Cocktail. We all sat around the campfire talking until about 9:00 PM when we welcomed our cots.  It was supposed to be cold that night but turned out to be quite pleasant.

Wednesday, July 24

[I’m writing this on Thursday at our noon fishing break at Parker Lake because I was too tired to do it last night.]  Wednesday early morning I woke up around 2:00 AM to go to the outhouse and returning to the tent saw a small mule deer nearby.  I stood still and it approached me even with my headlamp on.  It walked about 10 feet from me being very curious and then just continued toward the meadow.

Since Nute [incidentally they told me that Nute was once owned by Tom Brokaw, the NBC news commentator, was not sound, I was assigned a paint gelding named Cherokee.  We rode to the North Fork of the Blackfoot waterfall which was beautiful as well as the scenery we experienced getting there. Kristi, Julie and Brett hiked down to the river and took a swim.  Betsy and I decided we’d stay at the top and rest.  The altitude was evident to me because of my lack of energy so I decided not to do any extra hiking.  Frederick had meant to go with the ladies but fell asleep and awoke after they had gone so decided to stay at the top.  We were pleasantly surprised with having roast beef for dinner.  I didn’t know whether I’d be able to complete the week because I had a saddle sore.  I went to bed with First Aid Cream on my butt hoping it would help and I slept well.

Thursday, July 25

Brett asked me if I would like to ride a mule.  I said sure.  I’d ride anything he asked me to ride.  I love to experience all equine and had never ridden a mule; just a donkey years ago.  I found it amazing when he told me that many people didn’t want to ride mules.  I was given a chestnut gelding mule named Spike.  I think that Seth was unhappy because he was going to ride him but now had to ride Cherokee instead.  We rode back up the trail to Parker Lake where we built a campfire for a hot dog lunch.  Jeff, Julie and Kristi went fishing and they happily reported they had caught and released many fish. We stayed there a few hours and then rode to Camp #2 at the West Fork of Lander’s Fork.  It was down in a valley with pine trees and a nice meadow and a stream.  When we got to camp, Seth asked me how my ride was and I replied great.  I think he was disappointed.  Spike is an unflappable sole which was trained to pack as well as ride so he followed very well and could hardly be dissuaded from his task.  He went forward very easily but didn’t stop until he was directly behind the horse in front of him.  Stopping was not an option until he had his nose in the tail of the mule or horse in front of him.  He knew his job very well.  I had a good day and my butt didn’t get worse.

There were mule deer all over the meadow and they don’t seem to fear us.  They would patrol the meadow and at the evening campfire, one came within 20 feet of us several times.  They also hung out near the temporary outhouse in the woods.  The crew set up a sun-shower in the trees by the brook but I didn’t use it today – just did a sponge bath because I was too tired to go through that process.  Our dinner was tacos which were very good.  We sat at the fire until 9:00 PM. I woke up about 2:30 AM and went to the outhouse and saw a deer again.  The ground was very hard even with the meadow grass and the foam mats Brett supplied. I think I’m too old to be sleeping on the ground.  I was surprised and pleased that they used the space on the mules to bring the mats in for us.  I’m finding that I’m getting old and my ability to get on and off the ground is a trial.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t done it much in recent years.  Maybe I should start yoga…

A couple of the horses wore cowbells at night so the wranglers could find them when they were turned loose. During the night we heard the cowbells coming into the meadow around the tents.  They kept a couple of horses tied up and let the others loose to graze – no fencing.  In the morning Jerry rode out to get them rounded up.  This night they stayed around the tents and we could hear them eating nearby and sometimes right next to the tent.  In the morning someone complained that he was awakened by a horse eating outside his tent.  Brett, Seth, Logan and Jerry slept at strategic points in the valley so that the horses wouldn’t decide to go home alone.  Brett said, “The horses know the way back to the trailhead very well and it would be a very long walk back to Lincoln without the stock”.

Friday, July 26

We had a good breakfast and left for the Continental Divide trail. Once we had crossed the crick [creek], we rode continuously up. It was very steep in places with lots of knee knockers, [small tree limbs] over rocks and dead lodge pole pine logs lying across the trail.  As we rode higher, the views were like calendar pictures with unbelievable scenes. At a point, we looked across the valley bottom and saw Camp #2 which looked tiny. We rode to the Continental Divide ridge and had lunch overlooking the mountains and valleys where the water divides on its way to the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific Ocean.  We stayed more than an hour with lots of pictures taken.  The ride down was faster, but quite unnerving at times because it was steep and the footing loose.  Once Brett asked us to dismount and lead down a very steep part.  I happened to be following him and asked what to do if Spike decided to do it his own way because I didn’t have any control of him at least 50% of the time whether to stop or walk.  Brett said not to worry because Spike would just follow along.  As we started walking/sliding down, Spike walked nicely behind me as I walked behind Brett’s mule.  No problem until we stopped and Spike wanted to eat.  He was very determined.  At the bottom there was a stream crossing and all the horses and mules really wanted a drink.  Spike decided to walk out before Brett’s mule and Brett said to go ahead.  It was neat to lead the ride into the camp even if it was only a few hundred feet.

I tried the sun-shower tonight and found it marvelous.  It’s amazing how the sun can heat the bagged water to a comfortable temperature.  I’m really tired tonight but my butt is OK.

Saturday, July 27

We took off before 8:00 AM in order to have enough time to go over the mountains to our next campsite.  Almost immediately we started climbing over footing going from rocky shale to completely rock or shale. The horses were very sure footed taking one step at a time including walking over deadfall, some not so small or so low.  At times Brett had to dismount and cut branches or logs out of our way with a hand saw.  The views were made for calendar pictures like before. Brett noticed forest fire smoke, he said was about 50 miles away and later Susan said she had been told when she called home that there was a small fire started north of Augusta, Montana. [Brett had a satellite phone from which he checked home periodically and which could be used for emergencies.] There was no danger to us except the smoke made our views at times somewhat foggy.  We were told that the Forest Service allows fires to burn themselves out unless they are encroaching on a populated area.  Because of this, our ride was allowed some of the best views, because the trees were almost all killed by fire and were either on the ground or without any limbs to speak of. I believe Brett said that there had been fires through this area in 1913, 1988, and 2003 so we had places with tree growth which hadn’t been reforested.

The ride was uneventful with several stops to rest riders and horses. At the top of a very high point, we tied the horses and waited for our pack train to appear. They left Camp #2 about 2 hours after we did.  They were catching up because we had stopped in a beautiful mountain meadow for a rest stop.  The horses were turned loose to eat and we were assured they would stick around.  At this point the mule train passed us so that they would arrive at Camp #3, Valley of the Moon, ahead of us. On the last down slope we walked leading the horses because it was very steep.  At one point we led the horses over a steep downgrade which had a rock wall to our left and nothing to our right and there was a granite step down of about 12” and then 18” which was very uneven on the surface and sides.  All the horses negotiated it very well, but I wasn’t so sure about myself.  We got to Camp #3 in the Valley of the Moon were we camped.  A stream goes through the valley for a water source.  It was difficult to find a good location for our tent because the valley floor was uneven and rocky.  We put some of the packing canvases under us, as well as the foam pads folded double and it was OK.  Brett suggested that we use a saddle pad as well, but we declined.  We were told it might get rather cold at night so I dressed accordingly and used another packing canvas over me which made me quite comfortable.  The campfire and dinner of pork chops plus the company made for a great evening.  I must say that I was amazed at the quality and quantity of the food on this trip.  Susan was amazing; even to providing some kind of tidbit to eat after we got into camp and before dinner.  Some of the riders had brought wine in plastic pouches to drink which made a very festive atmosphere.

Sunday, July 28

We went to Big Horn Lake, also known by the Blackfoot Indians as No-see-um Lake because the trail was far above the lake and if you didn’t look down you would miss it.  It was about a 1 1/2 hour ride to the lake which we had gone by on our way into Camp #3.  Going out we rode over the “crying rock” which proved to be much easier than hiking down it leading the horses yesterday.  I was told that they began calling the step down rock the crying rock because it proved to be the undoing of some riders when they were asked to negotiate if after a long day in the saddle.  Today I was assigned Susan’s mount, a huge pinto named Chip.  Chip was about 1300 pounds, 15.1 hands, and size 4 feet.  I’m sure he would be able to carry a very large man or 2 sides of an elk.  Chip was very hungry and tried to eat continually.  He’d take a couple of mouthfuls and notice the horses were leaving him so he’d continue.

When we got to the lake, we turned the horses loose to graze, saddled with their bridles off which we’d tied to the saddles. Betsy and I were the only ones not fishing but we had fun watching the others pull the cutthroat trout out of the lake. They kept enough for everyone to have one fish for lunch cooked over the campfire. Even though I’m not a fish eater I found them to be absolutely delicious.  They were cooked with a little butter, real lemon juice and some Alpine Touch [a seasoning made in Montana] then wrapped in aluminum foil and roasted over the coals.  They had also sent along hotdogs, soup, and dessert to fill us up.  Betsy and I walked along the side of the lake which was about 20 acres in size.  It is filled by snow melt, rain, and springs.  The water is crystal clear, cold, and a beautiful dark aqua color because the lake is 100 feet deep.  We sat on rocks from a rock slide beside the lake and watched the fish swim by us like they were on parade. We stayed all day so the fishermen could fish and some of the riders actually swam.  I figured the water was colder than I wanted to get into.  Logan, one of the wranglers, decided to swim and wanted to jump off an outcropping of rock.  I told him what the result might be if he landed on the rocks instead of the water.  When he climbed up on the outcropping he decided that it would not be a good idea to jump.  [Brett said that only once since 1988 did they have to air lift anyone out from the trail.]  We got back to camp about 6:00 PM just in time for dinner.  The night was colder and the wind whipped around the canyon going from nothing to very strong gusts.  I didn’t sleep well because of the tent flapping and the hard ground.  Apparently there was a little rain around midnight but I didn’t notice it and everything was dry by morning.  One of the couples, Jeff and Julie, decided to sleep “under the stars” but retreated to their tent when the rain began.

Monday, July 29

It was cold overnight and everyone enjoyed the breakfast and campfire.  I was drinking my tea when Seth came up and asked if I knew which horse I would be riding.  I said that I hadn’t heard.  He had a funny look on his face and said Smoke.  Smoke was Brett’s horse and up until that time the word was that no one but Brett rode him including the wranglers.  Earlier in the week someone had asked to ride him and Brett said that Smoke wasn’t ready for guests to ride.  I was very surprised and at first thought Seth was kidding me because of the number of horses in the string I had ridden so far on this trip.  I got my breakfast and asked Susan if it could be true that I was riding Smoke.  She looked surprised and said that it hadn’t happened before but that if Seth told me that, it was true.  I got my stuff together because we were packing everything to go back to the trailhead – ride over!  When I went to put my day equipment in the saddle bags, my saddle was on Smoke and Brett said that the only thing he thought I might have trouble with was getting on him because he didn’t stand still very well.  I put my stuff in the saddlebags and Smoke looked around at me like “are you sure you’re supposed to do that?”  Then when I started to bridle him he really seemed surprised.  Brett held him for me to mount from a stump and all was well.  He was a nice horse to ride and carried me without incident.  We headed down the trail in the middle of the group and I thought he wasn’t really comfortable so that the next stop which was at the top of a long climb, I put him toward the front of the line with just one horse between Brett, on Gale the mule, and I.  He seemed happier there.  I also tried him for the last bit of the ride at the end so I could ride with Betsy and he was fine there too.  I guess he figured out that he wasn’t leading the string after all.

The trail went up a couple of rather steep grades with beautiful mountain views. After a break we started down into old forest with very tall trees.  It was dark and cool and the trees had a kind of dark brown moss hanging from them kind of like the moss in the southern states but not as long.  It was really like a primordial forest.  The trail width was very narrow because the packers could only cut dead wood, nothing alive.  We were told that the mules with their packs had a hard time traversing this trail and several times bumped their loads hard enough that the wranglers had to stop and adjust the packs.  We saw a moose moving away from us and only Gale the mule seemed to take exception to it. We crossed a stream which was rather deep and fast moving but the horses/mules didn’t have any problem.  From then on we rode through more tree covered land and slowly came down from the heights.  We were riding about 15 miles to the trailhead.  Upon returning we unloaded the horses and turned them out in the corrals.

There was a man from the U.S. Forest Service, western Cascades in Oregon, looking to buy mules for his string.  Brett spent an hour or so showing him the mules he had to sell and the man picked out 4, one of which was Gale.  Brett said afterward he told the man about Gale’s idiosyncrasies with being tied and her impatient nature but the man said he was interested in her anyway.  While this was happening, the rest of us started putting gear away and getting ready to go home.  Jerry was going to stay at the trailhead to care for the livestock until it was time to head out again on the next pack trip.  There would be about a week break.  Susan, Seth, and Logan would be going back to Big Timber, Brett’s home town as well as Susan’s, to get horses shod, hay irrigated, and help Brett’s wife Julie get supplies organized for the next ride and go to a livestock fair to watch their daughter show her prize steer and pig.  They were also probably going to swap out some stock that needed some down time, like Jerry’s horse which needed some time to gain some weight back.

All of us squeezed into Brett’s truck which was hauling a stock trailer with 10 head in it.  Brett took us into Helena to the motel where Ann was staying until our flight the next day.  Logan and Seth kindly carried Betsy and my duffle bags into the motel for us for which we were very grateful.  After a wonderful hot shower and some clean clothes the three of us went to a steak house which was very good.  Betsy said that she didn’t have a problem falling asleep but as tired as I was I had a hard time falling asleep because I was reliving the week and my mind wouldn’t stop.  At 4:30 AM we were taken to the airport by taxi and had an uneventful trip home.

***

I’m sure that this journal will help me remember all that happened, but in reality I think that this experience will stay in my memory a long time.  I’m not sure whether I will ever go on another wilderness ride because I found that I wasn’t physically strong enough.  If I ever do, I will be sure to prepare myself better.  The riding was not the problem as much as the wilderness camping and I’m sure the elevation.  I think I’m too soft for that life.  One of the reasons I wanted to make the trip was to experience a little of what our forefathers did so many years ago.  Our trip was far from what they experienced which only makes my appreciation for what they did more intense.  I think there must have been a great many people, especially women, on the trip west in those days, whether horseback or by wagon, who were very unhappy, scared, hurting, thirsty and hungry.  I’m much too soft to even imagine what they truly went through.  I’ll be ever grateful to them for opening the west for us.

 


 

July 14, 2013

Brett, July 14th 2013 Sunday just out of the wilderness [wagner group]. How does a person begin… This adventure was a life time experience for me, and the whole group, without question.You showed a great deal of leadership, trust and determination for us and our eyes and mind will never forget what Gods country is and appreciate it as much, as the way you showed it to all of us.

Scapegoat mountain the, Continental Divide and all the camps we set up in, The great trout Fishing, was everything we had expected and more, at least for me. My horse, I’ll admit I did fall for my horse[wille], and will never forget the hard work that horse, did to keep me safe, and gain the trust I have for him to this day.I Already miss him and its only been 2 days…….THANKS again to you and your staff and the work they did for us I’ll never forget you guys….[,Remember have fun while your young] :] The memories will last a life time

Your friend and[ willes] riding partner…………Bill Schaefer

p.s I feel like I should still be riding…………..:]


July 13, 2008

Dear Mr. Todd,

Thank you for a spectacular week. It was an amazing horse ride. I liked all 3 campsites, being by water; a plus. Crossing the divide was my favorite day. The wind did not spoil it at all, I still enjoyed the scenery. I’m used to wind, it blows frequently in Amarillo. My second favorite day was the ride to the snow patch. That was a fun day. The staff were so nice, pleasant to be around and I appreciate all they did. Susan is amazing, preparing great food in the wilderness. This trip was very special to me; first vacation since cancer treatment and 6 months of chemotherapy in 2006. It’s wonderful to be healthy again and enjoy the great outdoors. I would love to do it again.

Sincerely,

Sandy Collins

Amarillo, Texas


July 13, 2008

Dear Brett & Julie,

We don’t know where to even begin to thank you for this incredible gift of a lifetime. We have experienced something that few ever do – and we got to share that experience as a family! You guys run an awesome outfit – and that definitely takes a strong family unit to accomplish! Every one of your crew was a joy to be around. It will take a while to process all that we have seen and experienced. It has definitely been a true blessing to experience it with you. We look forward to many many more adventures with the K Lazy 3! We’d love to you in Arkansas – but Brett – you have to go DOWN to get there!!

The Windleys – who are still climbing higher!!

With all our love! Jonathan, Tracy, Jake, & Tucker


September 5, 2008

Greetings Brett and Julie,

I can’t express how great a time Larry and I had with you and your family last month. I will never forget our trip. The fact that I took around 500 pictures helps too!

I guess you’re out on the fish count trip now- I would be interested to know just how big those trout were in the deep pool.

We had a great time on the Blackfoot River and Glacier was awesome. We will return. (with a kayak next time)

I’ve attached a couple of great pictures. I will have time this weekend to make a CD for you, I haven’t forgotten. I think we got some pretty nice shots, I think you will really enjoy them, we certainly have!

Sincerely,
Rhonda Mills


August 11, 2006

Brett,

It’s been almost three weeks since we left the Montana Wilderness to return to our “normal” life in northern New York. I’ve thought about the trip daily since I left and have often debated in my mind what was most special to me. The conclusion I came to was that I was able to share such a wonderful experience with my wife, who became enamored with the idea of the summer trip when I first mentioned it, and her enthusiasm continued to grow as I talked about and shared pictures of my recent trips with you to the Scapegoat Wilderness elk camp and Deer Creek mule deer camp. We both had a tremendous time, and you all went above and beyond with your efforts to make us comfortable and show us a great time. Let’s just say my 45th birthday celebration is now indelibly etched into my memory forever!!! I know Donna particularly enjoyed “digging” for gold on our day trip to the old mine out of Meadow Creek camp, and for me I was a little overwhelmed with the fishing opportunities, not being much of a fisherman and all. I can honestly say there was not one single aspect of the trip that I did not take pleasure in and really enjoyed myself. Sleeping in a bedroll under the stars instead of our tent on our last night was truly an experience. Stars so big and close that you feel like you could reach up and pluck them out of the sky. Once again a heartfelt thanks to all, and the fall of 2008 can’t get here fast enough, so that I can return once again. Here’s to good health and happy trails to you, your family and your staff.

Sincerely,
Scott and Donna Bonno. Canton, New York


June 13, 2006

Mr. Brett Todd
664 Highway 10 East
Big Timber, MT 59011

Dear Brett;

Thank you so much for hosting the MOGA/FS Pack Trip last week. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to visit about the issues that are important to the success of our outfitters and guides in such a beautiful setting. I was also pleased with the opportunity to visit your camp, which I have heard about for years. You are considered one of our premier outfitters in the region. The professionalism of your camp and your hospitality confirmed for me that your reputation is well deserved.

Thanks again, Brett. I’ll look forward to visiting with you in the future.

Sincerely

CHRIS RYAN
Regional Wilderness Program Manager


July 28, 2005

Dear Brett & Julie, Gary, Guy and Susan.

The sentiment in this card cannot possibly express our gratitude for the experience of a lifetime. Not only did we get to view God’s own country up-close every day, but the combined experience which included a fabulous crew, the camp camaraderie, the horses (and mules!), the weather, the solitude and, of course, who can forget NFR (?) made this trip the best experience of our lives. Although we had looked forward to a trip like this for many years, I don’t think we ever expected it to impact us in so many ways, This was no ordinary vacation – we came back forever changed. You cannot know how special your lives are to be a significant part of that experience for others. We are so happy to have met you all and we are counting the days until next year and Scapegoat! Stay well and safe. Till next year – thank you again,

Michael Simmons and Deborah McGhin


August 28, 2004

Brett,

I want to thank you and the entire K Lazy 3 crew that helped make the Wendell family adventure – the Continental Divide ride in August – such a wonderful experience! Each of the family members, either individually or in subgroups, have had adventures with K Lazy 3 over the last 7 years, either fall hunting, summer pack trips or working (camp cook, breaking camp). Every one of these adventures has been a very positive, learning experience. However, this family adventure was truly “the best it could be”!

First off, the excitement, enjoyment and positive attitude you and the crew have, demonstrates the love you have for this Rocky Mountain environment. This enhanced our enjoyment and excitement of the environment: the scenery, the wildlife, the camping and the riding.

Secondly, the trout fishing was fantastic! At Meadow Creek we caught Rainbow trout non-stop all morning! I have never in my life thrown so many trout back. Of course the interaction and humor of the entire group was special – Steve in his “Mr. GQ” Cabela’s outfit and Scott in his soaking wet jeans and sweatshirt from falling in the creek make quite a contrast J Then the awesome beauty of the crystal clear waters of the high mountain lake (Big Horn lake) along with the abundance of very large Cutthroat trout made a special day. This time it was Ruthie and Denny providing the humor after each took a dunking.

Thirdly, just the plain natural beauty of the scenic mountain vistas that presented themselves as we rode the Divide was unbelievable. To support all this visual delight was an equally impressive culinary delight. The cooking facilities (traveling ovens!!) along with a “fine restaurant” menu and Susan’s cooking skills enhanced the meals beyond any expectations. We were simply WOWed!

Finally, and the most important component, was that the Wendell’s got to share this wondrous adventure together, as a family. It is an adventure that will be etched in each of our minds permanently. Additionally, our family got to share this with you and K Lazy 3, who have been such an important part of each of our lives.

A very heart-felt THANK YOU!!

Ruthie, Denny, Steve, Scott and Michelle Wendell

 

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