It has been a great spring at Shepp Ranch. The Rattlesnake fire of 2007 left us with a scorched landscape that has grown in green and lush. The morels have been delicious and the wildflowers have carpeted the hillsides. Spring steelhead fishing brought many friends and long time clients to visit and a good time was had by all.
The elk, deer and bighorn sheep all seemed to have wintered well in spite of the deep snows. The deer are everywhere you look, the elk are starting to calf, over 30 bears have been spotted and we are starting to see Rocky Mountain Bighorn lambs along the river.
Charles has a great garden planned and partially planted. We are already eating asparagus and an abundance of fresh lettuces. Allison is busy with pruning, yardwork and keeping the 1500 greenhouse plants watered and tended. Ashley is working on cabin spring cleaning and maintenance and has the strawberry patch in the best shape ever in hopes of a bumper crop of jam to fill the freezer with. Mike and Rex are keeping busy with their “honey do” lists and Rex is trying to refill the woodshed. With the long winter and cool spring we used more firewood than normal but one benefit of the fire is that it left us an abundance of readily available firewood. Rex is learning to drive the jetboat in hopes of obtaining his Coast Guard license this year. Dave and Gini came over for an anniversary raft trip followed by some bear guiding. It is always great to have them here. Katy came out west to help with the Wellness Retreat so for a few days we had 4 Shepp Ranch cooks in the house! Rex, Charles, Katy and Gini all enjoyed visiting and telling cooking stories while filling our bellies with all kinds of delicious treats.
Darcy Williamsons Wilderness Wellness Foray was a huge success and we enjoyed all the field trips and the knowledge she shared. We are already in the planning stages of the 2009 event. The Wellness Retreat had a vegetarian menu and it was fun to stretch our taste buds and enjoy some lighter but filling fare.
Our spring bear hunts were successful with many more bears spotted than harvested. Every hunter had opportunity and went home with happy memories of their time at Shepp Ranch. We saw several sows with cubs including one set of new cubs so that bodes well for future years!
The large amount of snow still evident on the hillsides has us preparing for a high water event on the Salmon River in the next few weeks. We are gathering materials for our spring projects and will spend the next month carpentering, painting, gardening and doing maintenance in preparation for our summer schedule.
We still have summer Guest Ranch space available and a dozen or more groups of rafters scheduled for overnight stays. If you are thinking of combining a stay at the ranch with a Main Salmon River rafting trip we would be happy to work with you in picking just the right outfitter to suit your interests and the makeup of your group.