Monday, December 05, 2022

Fun up the North Fork

| July 13, 2022 7:00 AM

I have had an action packed fun filled time on the North Fork for the last two weeks. I hope everyone else has too.

First, Ralph Barnaby’s grandson visited for several days. After his father, Andy Thompson, died unexpectedly, he and his brother spent several summers with me on the North Fork. He returned with his three boys ages 10, 12 and 15 and we had a ball—floating, shooting , campfires and looking at old pictures. I was sorry to see them leave.

Their visit was followed by the Fourth of July and so many celebrations and parties that I am sure no one could attend them all.

The Parade at Polebridge was renewed complete with an aerial flyover and a one-way parade instead of the usual route from the Merc to the North Fork Road and back to the Merc. There were fewer floats than usual but the length of the parade was extended when the new Polebridge diesel fire truck ran out of fuel in the middle of the road. The road was cleared by Wes Martin with his historic military jeep. He hooked on to the massive fire truck and towed it into Polebridge accompanied by the cheers and clapping of the crowd. The parade and crowd were smaller than in the past but just as enthusiastic and I suspect that the parade will grow in the future.

There were also multiple parties before and after the parade. Lots of hot dogs, burgers and side dishes.

With any luck Covid 19 is history, at least as far as serious illness and deaths are concerned.

Also included in the activities was the memorial for Alice Caldwell. That event was truly a celebration of her life as relatives from all over the country joined her North Fork friends and neighbors filled Sondreson Hall to capacity. Her husband Jan, remains on the North Fork in his family home with his little dog and continues to brighten our days. His family presented him with a new bright yellow side by side so that he and his little 150 pound dog can get out and cruise the area and go to Polebridge for coffee.

And, we are just getting started. Summer residents are mostly back, the river is fast and clearing, floaters are speeding by — I counted 17 boats on the upper rivers on Saturday, trails are opening, Red Meadow and Trail Creek Roads are passable.

Dan’s great hamburgers are available at Home Ranch Store, and the Northern Lights and Merc are in full swing.

Only dark spot is the Upper North Fork Road with its mud, large pools of water, ruts and potholes.

It is almost if the County is trying to recreate the Chain Lakes on the valley floor. Maybe the Interlocal this Wednesday will give some answers.

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