The wind howls and moans, bitter cold outside my cabin window.
The temperatures reach well below zero, as I slip on my slippers and snuggle my steaming cup of coffee close to my chest.
Despite nature’s harsh conditions, the wildlife is thriving here.
The whitetail bucks have shed their antlers, and the elk have all gathered, as herds in the hundred scatter the snowy hillsides.
The seasons come and go here on the Upper Ruby.
But your memories will last forever, ingrained in the banks of the streams, and the ridgelines that rise above us.
They warm the heart of this obsessed hunting guide as I dream of warmer days ahead.
I stop and I listen, and very faintly I can hear it there in the howling wind.
I can hear them now, the tales from those who have visited before.
The sounds of tribal music, and stomping feet of the Shoshone Indians that used to call this valley home. They gathered here in search of peace and prosperity, just as we do now.
Sounds from the hunters as they gather around a fresh hot meal and share their adventures from their day in the field.
Sounds of laughter come from a distant meadow as the horse you sat upon took you through fields of vibrant wildflowers.
And, there, from the Ruby River I can hear the thrill from a guest setting the hook on a beautiful rainbow trout, and it brings an eagerness to getting back on the water. To feel it on my skin as it continuously flows onward.
The more I listen, the more I can hear.
The birds sing their morning songs, the bugling elk as they round up their harem, the live music that brings movement to your feet, and the horses thanking us for another day with you in the saddle. Sounds of pure joy and the rewards of disconnecting from the world for just a moment.
The tales are endless and I continue to listen.
The wind howls and moans. No longer bitter and cold, rather filled with hope that soon you too will hear it.
Written by, Andraya Grangroth
Photography by, Andraya Grangroth