Nowhere does the map suggest the bridge across the creek isn’t a bridge but a ford. Nowhere on the bulletin board at the entrance to the national forest, forty miles back down the gravel road, was any signage indicating the bridge across the creek wasn’t a bridge but a ford. This information would’ve been valuable for someone driving a high-clearance two-wheel drive vehicle.
It’s a hundred-mile drive around, at least; it’ll kill the rest of the day. I take a breath and take a chance and on the other side have a sandwich and a beer before walking upstream.
Wind rips through the saddle the stream has worn the past eight thousand years and I catch nothing. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s the location- too high, too exposed. Maybe the stretch gets pounded by dudes during elk season, or maybe the state’s poisoned it to restore native fish. Whatever the reason, I’m content.