Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 44

Lava Mountain Lodge served as the headquarters for Brent and his crew as they built Brent's dream cabin. (Photo by Wes Uncapher)

insects. These are manmade environments, and yet,
in the fly-fishing world, these places have become
wildly famous. However, Wyoming boasts many
rivers that are virtually untouched.
***
That night, at Lava Mountain Lodge, the crew of
weary men and women returned from a 10-hour day
of hard labor. They settled in for a lasagna dinner.
Many talked about returning for the solitude
of winter or to test the streams with their own dry
flies. I had a beer with Tim. He was heading out the
next morning.
" My time here has been busy, so I can't wait to
come back and spend some slow time here ... a cup
of coffee on the deck, a morning hike around those
hills, maybe even listen to an elk bugle, " he said.

Brent saw me sitting on the porch of my cabin
and waved me down. He said things were going
exceptionally well at the job site. They were, perhaps,
two days ahead of schedule. Brent's vision of the cabin
touched the crew.
Brent made sure I got something to eat. Then he
asked me about the fishing. I could tell he wanted to
go fishing, but he was so consumed with the cabin
he had to fight his impulse to take a day off. I downplayed how great the fishing was. I didn't want to rub
it in. I said something like, " Oh, it was pretty good. "
But I think he saw through my charade.
" If I can get this cabin weatherized, I'm going to
try to get out there too, " he said. He smiled a bit.
" I'm going to catch a few before I have to head back. "
- Dave Zoby teaches English at Casper College and continues
to make new friends in Wyoming's wilderness.

Progress
This winter I checked in with Brent at his cabin. He
was doing some trim work, weatherizing the windows and
enjoying the solitude of winter in Wyoming. Running water
wasn't yet installed, but Brent said he was comfortable
with the propane heater and the stove as a heat source.
Plumbing could wait until summer. Now, with the days
short, Brent talked about the drive and obsession he
needed to get the project completed. He talked about
how he will be able to share the cabin with his friends
and family - his grandchildren are coming to visit in the
summer. He talked about the spirituality of bringing people
to a special place such as this.
" The mountains do that to you, " he said.
Brent talked about all they were able to accomplish
44 | January 2021	

The cabin is nearly complete. Running water will be installed
later. (Photo by Dave Zoby)

over the summer.
" My wife reminded me that this is my fifth midlife
crisis. I count four. But she says there have been five, "
he said.
Although too cold to fly fish, Brent had been relaxing

in Dubois, getting coffee downtown and visiting with
the locals. He portrayed the locals as welcoming, and
attributed this to something he described as " Western. "
I asked if this was his attempt to start over and get a
fresh start. I wanted to know for myself how a person can
have so much drive. I wanted to know if we all could do
as Brent has done and find something new to bring us joy.
" You know, I served in Vietnam, and this cabin project,
in a way, was a way for me to deal with those issues, " he
said. " This was a part of the therapy. "
I got that. Going to the mountains for clarity is something mankind has been doing all along. It's getting down
to zero degrees these last few nights, and I can't help
but think about Brent in his cabin tucked up against the
Absaroka Range on these frosty nights.
- Dave Zoby



Wyoming Wildlife magazine

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wyoming Wildlife magazine

Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 1
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