Here’s hoping you have a special getaway place

When the springtime snows start melting off, no matter where I am, I always get a little nostalgic for this time of year on the Wind River behind my boyhood home. I wish I could go back and visit more often.

I don’t get the chance to go home to Riverton much anymore. The day job tends to get in the way, and the kids seem to be in every activity that’s offered. Our weekends and evenings are completely packed with stuff we need to do.

But that doesn’t keep me from thinking about what I could be doing down on the Wind River behind my parents’ house this time of year. I used to spend every free minute I had down there, regardless of the time of year. But the spring was always my favorite time to head down there.

Before the water got too murky with runoff, I’d wander down there with my bow and try to get a few carp with my bowfishing rig. Sometimes I’d take the fly rod or the spinning rod and try to catch a brown trout.

When the water turned the color of chocolate milk, I’d explore the banks or the draws farther from the water, looking for animal tracks. My dad taught me how to cast tracks, and we had a collection of fox, coyote, muskrat, raccoon, and deer tracks. Once in a while, we’d even see the critters that left the tracks.

Dad set up a pretty cool archery course down near the river, too. He staked out several 3-D targets, and we had six or seven stations to shoot at each of the targets from. It was hard to get around down there before the snow melted off, so we spent a lot of time down there in the spring. It was like we were making up for the time we’d missed during the winter.

I also had a clay pigeon trap down by the river. I fashioned a gun rack on my bike, and I strapped shells to the bike’s rear rack. I don’t know how many hours I spent shooting at those clays, but it was a lot.

I need to take a break and go spend some time down there. I hope you have a place like that, too, and that you’re able to visit it as often as you can.