Guest Blog by Wayne Bruce
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! We caught two of the rare Nelson trout, not found any place else on the planet, at the same location (now the infamous Mike’s Sky Ranch) where the Nelson-Goldman Expedition camped in 1905. Todd caught the first small trout (about 5 inches) but didn’t get a good photo of it because it wriggled out of his hands when removing the hook. Eric then caught the second Nelson trout and was able to get a good photo of its unique markings.
AN EXCITING, SUCCESSFUL DAY! Four of us, myself, Eric, Scott, and Lauri, along with a lot of food and gear, drove from our lodging at El Dorado Ranch to Mike’s Sky Ranch in Eric’s Honda SUV. Lauri filmed Todd and JT on their motorcycles by standing up through the car’s sunroof. The sign to Mike’s Sky Ranch was an official green highway sign. It took us over an hour to drive the 22-miles on a fairly good dirt road. Only once was it too steep and rough for the Honda, when Eric locked it into 4WD and the transmission slipped, forcing us to stop. Fortunately, there was a bypass cut around the steepness and we were able to continue.
We arrived at Mike’s at about 1 pm. The ranch has about 30 rooms, a mess hall, a lounge, a bar, and a swimming pool full of cloudy water. Mostly concrete construction, sparse but clean rooms, and a diesel-like smell that might have been remnants from some new paint. Costs were higher here than surrounding areas, but we understand the difficulty of getting supplies to this remote area and the cost of maintaining the resort facilities. Other than one couple, we had the entire place to ourselves. The resort is absolutely plastered with stickers, business cards, and T-shirts from other off-road bikers and racing groups that have visited over the nearly 50 years the resort has been here.
We’re pleased with a day of successful filming, and are looking forward to the road ahead.