Soapweed's Ranch Ramblings
The writings of a Nebraska Sandhills cattle rancher!

Frome's Hunting Camp
July 16, 2005

When I worked on Frome's hunting camp in 1971, sleeping accomodations at base camp on Turpin Meadow consisted of an old school bus with bunk beds. The caretaker of the camp was about 80 years old, and his name was Jim Romero. He was a good ol' feller, and his pedigree was 3/4 Swede and 1/4 Mexican. He lived in that bus with the bunkbeds, and there was a cook stove in there, too.

When I'd get to base camp with a pack string, my first duty after tending to the horses and mules, was to haul the elk meat into Jackson to the locker plant. I'd go to the KOA campground and pay for the use of their shower first, and would end up eating supper in town, then back to base camp to spend the night. I'd get bedded down in that bus, and it was much chillier in there than it was sleeping on the ground. The cold air would come up from underneath. About the time I'd drift off to sleep, ol' Jim would feel nature's call, and he'd pee in a Butternut coffee can. This would sound like an alarm clock going off, and wide awake I'd get. Sleep would once again overtake me, and Jim would have to get up and go again.

This arrangement was tried the first couple nights I spent at base camp. The next time I arrived with a pack string, I decided to sleep in the feed tent. It was a wooden-floored arrangement with wooden walls up about two feet. A canvas wall tent made up the rest of the feed tent. It was certainly warmer than the school bus, but mice ran rampant and danced noisily throughout the night. On one occasion, I was sleeping soundly when a mouse decided my hair would be a good warm bed. That brought me to full attention in a hurry. After that, the tarp was over my head for the remainder of the nights, with just a tiny hole to breathe through.

Jim would cook me breakfast on the mornings I was there. The menu never varied, and it darned sure filled a feller up. It was always fried eggs, hamburger, and Old Home white bread. Pretty good stuff.

Oh to be young and adventurous again.






Copyright © 2005 Steve Moreland
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