Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Today I met Joe Pickett, the Game Warden

so, i have to give you some background on this one.  my friend Brian, whose sister lives in Thermopolis, Wyoming, told me about this series of books/novels by CJ Box, a local Wyoming author, who writes about a game warden named Joe Pickett.  the stories center around shady characters in the town, people poaching and generally up to no good, and Joe Pickett is the guy who puts all the pieces of the puzzle together to figure out who the wrong-doers are.

so the dogs and i were on our way to yet another fabulous trail run in the Black Hills of Wyoming (yes, the Black Hills actually start, or end depending on which direction you are coming from, in Wyoming and are not just in South Dakota) and as we were driving up Forest Road 863, i noticed a large green truck stopped in the road talking to one of the locals who was on his ATV (the local waved as i passed).

i followed the truck up the canyon, past Ranch A where the fish hatchery is located, along with several hundred bee hive boxes, and realized that the truck, with Wyoming Fish and Game lettering on the tailgate, was headed to the same place that i was.  he pulled into the trailhead parking first, and i pulled in behind him.  thinking it might be rude to just hop out of my car and start hiking with the dogs and not say hello, i went up to his truck and introduced myself.  i think my heart may have actually skipped a beat when i realized i was actually talking with the local game warden.

his name was not Joe Pickett, i'm pretty sure (although i didn't see a name tag) but he had on the classic red canvas shirt and green wool vest.  his Weimaraner was in the passenger seat beside him, sitting stoically and patiently awaiting his master's word to go.  i explained that i was going to take the dogs for a walk, and he wished me a nice day (i thought to myself, "i believe i will, after seeing your handsome face... " shameless, i know).

two hours later, Joe Pickett was nowhere to be seen in the canyon, but perhaps our paths will cross again sometime soon.  i tend to frequent the same places as game wardens, after all.

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