Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dark Water and Cold Fire

If you refer to the post, "Buliding Bridges", you will recall we didn't get the poop pumped on Labor Day. So, taking advantage of my third four day week in a row, Thursday night found me on my way back to Loll

This time there was no army of helpers. Only Jody came with me, but all one really needs to succeed in camp is a Jody.

We arrived after dark and found that Clynn Josephson had already been at work. Bill Wangsgard and Junior Shupe had been in camp all day, and while Bill and Junior finished the roof on the Old Office and closed down the water system for the winter, Clynn had pumped the lodge septic.

Their work well done, Bill and Junior headed home, Jody and I passed them in Rexburg, and Clynn took his first truck load to Ashton. By the time we arrived he had already pumped the "High Seat" and cleaned the cans and such out of the Staff KYBO; ready to pump at first light.

Clynn is a miracle for Loll, no one has ever applied the dedication and craft to pumping poop the way Clynn does. Not only has he cleaned up our worst mess for years now, he has taught us how to make it less and manage well what is left.

He navigates his monster truck through the forest, entertains and educates with all sorts of interesting tales, and does so much hard work with amazing skill.

Here the pumper truck goes to work on the Gros Ventur KYBO.


Clynn approved of the condition of the tanks, our little friends the bactee had been hard at work. Here he inspects the summers product before the suction begins.


Clynn's energy and sense of humor make this otherwise horrible job an adventure. He is the most wonderful proof that doing any job well makes it a "good" job. As his pumper truck proclaims, there are plenty of challenges in life, but those who accept the challenge and do the work make the world go round. Thank you Clynn for whirling our problems away.


As our summer's waste disappeared into the belly of Clynn's truck, Jody faced our next big problem. In order to make pumping possible, the departing Camp Staff left the bear boxes out. Now they needed to be put in . I had planned on using the Labor Day crew for this chore, but it wasn't to be. Now all the work fell on Jody and me. Well, mostly on Jody.



At every KYBO there were four or five bear boxes and a pile of fire barrels. Jody muscled them all into place. I recorded the process; that's part of being a good supervisor.



Here, at the Shoshone Kybo, you can see the one Jody has already put inside and four more in view. There is a sixth behind the cabin. He got them all in. Eat your heart out Justin Hansen!


By 10:00 AM we had pumped four more KYBOs and the Whirlaway truck was full. Clynn and I walked back to check out the remaining three. Navajo had really digested well. There was almost nothing in it but a few gallons of water. We headed toward the Lemhi head.

On our way, we encountered our worst fear. The stream that runs by the trail to Sioux was still flowing. The road was blocked. This same stream feeds the little marshy spot, in which we have lost trucks before. Clynn said he would give it a try; "satisfaction guaranteed" is his motto. I remembered how it took three hundred scouts to pull out the truck that got stuck there in 1992, and how the one that got stuck down by Nez Perce cost us more for the semi wrecker hired to pull it out than the pumper-man charged for the pumping. Clynn had no such memories, but I could tell he had his doubts about our success. I suggested we check out the other two KYBOs. Neither were anywhere near half full. Lemhi's was in the best condition of all the heads in camp, and although the Ute KYBO suffers from lack of air, it was not near half full. We decided to put in some more bactee and leave our little pardners to do the work. Clynn was on the road to Ashton by 10:30 AM.

This is the stream between Navajo and Sioux. I have never seen it this high in September.


Jody and I had planned several hours of work to fill the time while Clynn was in Ashton. Now we didn't need to fill the time but "we" still had to do the work. We loaded all the bear boxes and barrel's. Jody put covers on all the KYOB vent tops.

Jody also mowed the grass at the Spring.


Here is the finished roof on the "Old Office". Thanks to Bill and Junior.


One might wonder why anyone would be willing to go to Loll at this time of year for this type of job. Well, if you had ever been there, once the leaves start to turn, you would know.

As the leaves start to turn it as if the forest were filled with a magic fire which illuminates without consuming; colors warm and bright.

The leaves were still days from their brightest blaze, but here you can see them begin to glow along Lake of the Woods.



They come in every hue of red, orange, and yellow. Like gold and jewels, like the dancing flames of the campfire that catch your eye and force you to stare into the coals. Huckleberries go purple, red, and gold.


Mountain ash take on every imaginable orange. This one blazes like a torch just below the Barlow/Wadman Lodge.


I could not resist enjoying the beauty which, more intense then flowers, a billions leaves provide. Beauty on the individual level that combines in an overwhelming wonder. Think America.


The old dining hall, closed for the winter, is warmed by a flash of mountain ash.


This mountain ash is a golden light on the trial to Nez Perce campsite.


This one, orange and green in perfect contrast, is down by camp Sagwitch.


Once we started home, the road we had passed in the dark the night before burst into wonderful light. Light is color; color is light.


I kept stopping to take pictures. Jody didn't mind; we were in no hurry to leave Loll behind.


No photograph can capture the wonder of the under-story throughout the entire forest. It has been changed into a carpet of color.


Mountain ash so hot it burns, not the physical body, but the soul. There are feelings and there are feelings.


Every look discovers a new wonder.


I wanted to run through the forest. I could hear the call of the Windigo, the call of the wild, the call of fall, the stored up energy of weeks of summer sun in one last farewell to summer joy.


The greens now frame the bright hot hues; the pines, spruce, and fir make ready for the long winter. They seem to warm themselves, one last time, with this magic fire.


Mountain ash, snow berry, and huckleberry splash orange, yellow, and red on the forest floor.


It is almost painful to realize that of all those who love Loll, who revel in the Yellowstone wilderness, and who delight in summer in the Tetons, only a few will ever see this beauty. Of all of our thousands of campers and staff, only those who go to pump the pooh.


The aspens have not gone fully golden yet. They line the road from Indian Lake to the wheat fields of Squirrel. But this "golden bough" was hung, as if set in the forest for Aeneas, a ticket to Paradise.


We took one last look back and there was a hawk. I would love to soar with him, above the gentle blaze of fall, and watch over Loll until the cold fires go to rest beneath the snow.


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10 comments:

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Justin said...

Well seeing as how I was called out by name to eat my heart out I thought I would leave a comment. I'm sorry I wasn't able to go along on this adventure as I'm sure you know. It doesn't suprise me that Jody was able to move all the bear boxes into the KYBO's by himself. After all I put him through some rigorous workouts this summer which left him cursing my name. Jody is definately more than meets the eye and is capable of accomplishing pretty much anything. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to work at Camp Loll and to be remembered there, though I hope it won't only be in cases of trying to out do things I did, or things people claimed I did. After all I never did get to tear down any of the old KYBO's even though I was used as motivation to get others to do it before I got back. I don't take credit for doing any marvelous things. I simply learned how to work hard from great men who led by example and gave me great expectations to live up to (although occasionally I may have tried to use muscles instead of brains).

Lysis said...

Justin,

You are always with us. Thank you for your service and for the inspiration you are to all who work for Loll.

Reach Upward said...

Yellowstone Autumn:

After arduous labor,
Dirt, stench and sweat,
Sore muscles long
For bath and a bed.

But the forest ablaze
With deep burning hue
Cleanses the soul
With each stunning view.

Ah, the Yellowstone autumn
That none but few hail
Is payment enough
For the wearisome trail.

Though the body recover,
As is its part,
The colors of autumn
Stay etched in the heart.

Anonymous said...

Delose,
I love coming home and looking at what new posts you have on each day, it makes me feel more at home thanks for the great summer :D
-Jordan Osborne

Lysis said...

Reach,

Thank for the wonderful poem. I flatter myself into thinking that this post might have inspired it, at least I see our muses are in sync. I love poetry, and how few mastered words can paint pictures in the mind and the heart.

Jordan,

I am glad you enjoy the posts. It is the hope of that which motivates my efforts. Thank you for your wonderful service this summer past, I owe you, and all our crew, for its greatness.

Reach Upward said...

Lysis, I wrote the poem based on your post. It is a small token of appreciation for the work you, Jody, and Clinn did this past weekend. But I especially wanted to express what I felt as I looked at the pictures and read the post.

Anonymous said...

Delose.
I wish I could have gone with you this year. Your post reminded me of Clynn and all the advise on toilets he gave me on our long trips to Ashton. I have used that information quite a few times in the past. I am also reminded of clynsters... did they ever make it onto the camp loll menu. Chocolate pudding with a pancake on top eaten with a straw. Miss you a ton and hope to see you all as soon as possible.
Love Tatton

Lysis said...

Tatton,

It is great to hear from you. As I recall we planed a Clynster for every course. My favorite was the stew, extra chunky and topped with a potato pancake with a cream-cheese and ketchup volcano sprinkled with shreaded cheese and eaten with a straw.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

As always,

Shirlene said...

I worked at camp Loll only in 1998, when Josh Wansgard was director.
Your posts bring back so many memories. I love that place!