May 2021 - 20

Miriam sits next to the family Labrador on the shores of Firehole Lake No. 1 in the Bighorn Mountain.

W

e could see the storm building over the jagged peaks
of the Bighorn Mountains as we hastened to set up our
tent. Dark gray and black clouds on the horizon could
mean rain or snow early in June near 10,000 feet. The thunder and
lightning gave me hope it would be rain.
I looked down at our 3-year-old daughter and
8-year-old yellow Labrador.
" Which one is going to be most scared? " I asked
my husband, Josh.
" Probably the dog, " he said, tying our green and
yellow rainfly to a towering pine tree, assessing it for
life to be sure if the storm raged hard enough it likely
wouldn't fall on us.
He was right about the dog.
We spent the first couple hours of this annual pilgrimage trip cuddled in a three-person tent listening
to the rain and wind rage. Our daughter, Miriam,
chattered away about princesses and fish while cooing
to our 90-pound Labrador who shivered uncontrollably on the bottom of her sleeping bag.
" What if it snows a couple feet on us up here? " I

20 | May 2021	

whispered so Miriam couldn't hear. " What if we can't
get out in a few days as planned? What if the tree
falls on us? What if we try to pack out and get lost? "
" It probably won't snow that much, and if it does,
we have plenty of food, " he whispered back. " We can
hunker down here as long as we need. The tree isn't
going to fall on us. And we wouldn't try and leave
while it was still snowing, so we won't get lost. "
I knew all those things. But it was nice to be
reassured. And even with my worries and cracks of
thunder so loud the tent vibrated, I wouldn't have
wanted to be anywhere else.
Our perch in a clearing on the side of Firehole
Lake No. 1, downstream from Firehole Lake No.
2, 5 miles from the trailhead and another 15 from
a paved road, was where we belonged. We've gone



May 2021

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