Hello again everyone.
We were attacked by a million and five deer flies this afternoon and had to run for our lives. Straight Bill (who likes to call himself Dollar Bill and not to be confused with Curley Bill) recommended that we go to Flagg Ranch and take the Grassy Lake trail over to Pole Cat Creek. From there we were instructed to park the wagon and take the foot path from there – destination huckleberry hot springs. So we did as instructed.
Part of the way down the trail we saw a warning sign. That should have been reason enough to turn around. But no, we would not be so easily deterred.
We continued down the trail where we encountered the Pole Cat Creek again. Rojass suggested we caulk the wagon and float the stream, but of course we did not have the wagon with us. We locked arms and forded the stream on foot. That is when we first experienced the deer flies. They landed on your legs, arms, heads, etc. (The Fabulous One may recall a certain Nez Perce Trail in Yellowstone where we encountered a similar type of fly many years ago.). They land, they bite, they fly away leaving you bleeding.
We managed to swat the first barrage away and encouraged by our early success continued our journey down the trail. We were taken by the beauty of the place, and we were intent on not being discouraged by a few biting deer flies. So on we went. Finally, we came upon a place where it appeared many before us had cone … and died. There was a hot springs stream and a large area of trampled grass. It appeared as though those who arrived here before us were confused and knew not the way to go. We found ourselves in the same dilemma.
That is when it happened. All at once a million and five deer flies attacked us from every direction. The skies were dark with deer flies, swooping in on us, landing, biting and flying off for another attack. All of us were dancing and swatting madly to fight off the attack, but it was useless. If we did not retreat immediately, we would surely be overcome. I issued the order for an immediate retreat. Jane and I retreated first. Back to the stream that we had forded before, and from there to the wagon. Thankfully, we were able to outrun the flying devils.
But what of Hollywood, Rojass and the old lady? Where were they? Why were they not with us? Jane and I could only assume the worst. We imagined that the flies concentrated their attack on the old lady and that Hollywood and Rojass stayed behind to help her. Had they all perished under the attack?
We considered taking the wagon off the trail and going back to rescue them. But the way was blocked by a fence, large rocks and a fallen tree. We thought about putting out a mayday call, but had no means to do so. Our hearts were heavy with grief when just all hope was lost we saw the old lady stumble around the corner on the foot path. Then came Hollywood and then Rojass! All had survived.
We were mad with joy! Jumping up and down, yelling and screaming and such. It was a fabulous experience. We headed back to base camp lucky to be alive.