Rockskipper's Big Adventure


Dec 23, 2013
Now this is not to be confused with Pee Wee's Big Adventure. What we have here is a completely different story.

While @TractorDoc is completing his daily reports of Yellowstone's Thorofare and the Teton Wilderness, I feel that there is another story that needs to be told, or see the light of day as they say.

This story involves an abduction of sorts, with four instigators and one victim.

Early on the morning of August 8th, the sleepy community of Pinedale, Wyoming was descended upon by four scoundrels of low moral character, armed with nothing more than Jelly Bellies, a lasso, and descriptive storytelling.

The unsuspecting town of Pinedale

The plan was hatched in a quiet neighborhood in Salt Lake City, with tentacles reaching all the way to Ohio and Kentucky, and quite possibly Island Park, Idaho.

Gathered intelligence had located @Rockskipper, founder and leader of the infamous Rockskipper Gang, in Pinedale, Wyoming. This is the story of how we rounded her up and delivered her to deep wilderness in Yellowstone National Park and south into the Teton Wilderness in order to reunite the original members of the Rockskipper Gang.

Now rumor has it that Rockskipper was visited by a couple Jehovah Witnesses years ago, and after their visit, she became a nomad, traveling throughout the west, never staying in one place for too long. Some say she may even have a couple of hound dogs and a cat. Essentially, she had given up her outlaw ways. The only way we knew to get those outlaw ways back was time in the Yellowstone backcountry.

This was not going to be an easy task though with the annual mule run through Pinedale, Rockskipper could blend in easily with the jacks and mollies. We needed a solid plan to root her out.

The first step was to acquire Jelly Bellies. Those in the outlaw community new that she has a soft spot for the mini jellybeans. I flew into action, knowing that if we needed candy, then @TractorDoc was the one who could get it for us. And get it for us he did, securing a 10lbs. bag from a hard to find rural location in Ohio. But ten pounds wouldn't be enough would it? @wsp_scott knew a friend of a friend of a friend who just might be able to come up with an additional ten, located somewhere in the hills of eastern Kentucky, while some say he had to go as far south as the Smoky Mountains to get the contraband. I understood that @wsp_scott had to sing George Jones's White Lightening before the Jellies were handed over to him.

How they both got those bags through TSA I have no idea, but they ended up in Bozeman, Montana by the afternoon of the 8th.

Everything was coming together as I had brought a lasso up from SLC, and @Bob was fine tuning his storytelling.

We met up in the hills near Pinedale and soon enough were riding into town in the early morning hours in the infamous Subaru. While @Bob kept those with gazing eyes occupied with tales of the Wind Rivers and record golden trout that had yet to be caught, TractorDoc and wsp_scott laid out a trail of Jelly Bellies right down Pine Street! I wish you all could have seen it.

Soon @Rockskipper emerged from the pack of mules waiting to run later in the day, clearly able to smell the Bellies. As she ate her way down Pine Street, I was able to lasso her from the top of the Sube with TractorDoc behind the wheel and wsp_scott riding shotgun. Just like they teach you in Cowboy 101. The problem was Rockskipper wasn't that happy to be lassoed and damn near drug me all the way to Bucky's Outdoors before finally tiring out. We were able to blindfold her, tie the lead to the trailer hitch of the Subaru before heading off to get Bob.

Now @Bob's got at least a months worth of Wind River stories and tales ,and the crowd seemed mesmerized when we pulled up to get him. Its almost as if he had put them in a state of hypnosis, which was good for us in order to make our getaway. I asked Bob how long it would take for them to come to, and he responded maybe 15 minutes. His stories are that powerful.

Well, that was plenty of time for us as we made our way towards the newly explored Wyoming Range. From there we would head to Star Valley and north to Yellowstone.

The Wyoming Range

When we arrived in Yellowstone, we tethered Rockskipper to a hitching post at Lake for the night.

I won't say getting her on the boat the next morning was easy, but the blindfold helped keep her calm for the ride across the lake. Once we arrived at 5E6, we removed the blindfold. And this is where the picture story begins.

Never really getting her sea legs, Rockskipper catches her breath on some driftwood by Yellowstone Lake. It took her a bit to get
used to her new surroundings

Enjoying some wildflowers along the trail

Checking out the snack bag at one of our breaks

Getting comfortable at our first night's campsite.

Checking out the map at camp

Some rain the next morning

This meant raingear for Rockskipper

Sizing up a bear track

Time to purify some water

Which bottle should I use?

How about some ice cream.

Hanging out after fording Mountain Creek

Uh oh, Skipper has discovered the Chocolonely

Checking out the permit

At Mist of Trident Falls

Which way? At a trail junction.

At Thorofare Ranger Station

Sunscreen or hat? :thinking:

Dinner time! Skipper and Chad Mendes

At an abandoned feedbag along Thorofare Creek

She liked taking pictures

Upper Thorofare Creek

Looking for some good luck

Drying your socks?

On Majo Pass

Still got chocolonely on your mind?

Enjoying a celebratory bite at the top of Majo Pass

At the pass between Younts Peak and Thorofare Mountain

On Bob's Trail in Bob's Canyon

Found some petrified rock

Hanging out at the tent

I think I'll have the nachos.

After ten days in grizzly country was she cured of her wandering ways? Will the original Rock Skipper Gang ride again? Not sure, but after a plate of nachos she wondered off towards the Tetons. I guess time will tell.
Getting to drive the Subaru was almost as exciting as experiencing the Thorofare/Teton Wilderness. :)

I slept soundly at night knowing @Rockskipper would give a hearty double barrel kick to any wayward grizzlies entering our camp.

So that is where my missing pair(s) of socks went! It is a good thing I always pack extra. :D
@scatman misled me, the rascal. He said it was Jelly Bellies all the way down, but it turned out to be mud.

It must've been pretty traumatizing, because I don't remember much of it. Did you even notice how bedraggled looking I was there at the end? Frayed around the edges? A little bent out of shape?

I'm not done with you scalliwags, stay tuned...
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@scatman misled me, the rascal. He said it was Jelly Bellies all the way down, but it turned out to be mud.

It must've been pretty traumatizing, because I don't remember much of it. Did you even notice how bedraggled looking I was there at the end? Frayed around the edges? A little bent out of shape?

I'm not done with you scalliwags, stay tuned...

It was a tough slog Skipper. We couldn't have made it without you. :)
And Scat had to carry you on his back.......
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I never really understood the saying "kicks like a mule". Now I do, I can still see her kicking when I close my eyes
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