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Wind River and Dad

As I look at the Wind River picture on this day in September; I can’t help but remember its significance to me, as well as my family.

By this time, hunting camp would have been set and the first pack trip of the season across the Wind River Pack Bridge would begin. This was just one of my dad’s passions - taking big game hunters into the Gospel Hump Wilderness to try their skill and luck at bagging an elk.

On these pack trips dad always carried a long barrel.44 with him into the back country. The first round was buckshot, handy for dispatching the occasional rattler and as a good warning round. Dad carried it for its ‘shock and awe’ affect - he wasn’t worried very much about the four-legged creatures he might encounter as the two-legged ones.

We held dad’s memorial on the Wind River Pack Bridge not long after his


passing. There, along with family and close friends, we saluted his memory and his love of the River of No Return, the Gospel Hump Wilderness and the Frank Church Wilderness by pouring his favorite, a Coors, off the bridge into the river. We shared a few memories and then seven of us, all with .44s - including his long barrel - lined up and gave him the 21 gun salute his honorable discharge from the service allowed. Each of his three children took a turn and shot his pistol in the salute. I still have and cherish one of the 21 shell casings from that day.


Richard James Cook, my father, passed away peacefully in his sleep on the 22nd day of September 2004; you are dearly missed. I love you.

Published September 2019 | ©️All Rights Reserved

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