Last summer we had heavy smoke in the Madison Valley. The Goose Fire started by lightning strike on July 1 and stayed active until officially contained on Aug 9. The fire began in an inaccessible area near Hoodoo Pass and burned 7522 acres. Fishing guides and anglers saw the fire camp set up just above and downstream from the Lyon Bridge most of the summer. The fire burned in the upper Chain of Lakes area which includes Smith, Wade, Cliff, Otter, Goose and Hidden Lakes.

We were curious to see the after-effects of the fire and so we did…by truck, boat and on foot. We trailered the Lund WC14 into the Cliff Lake public boat launch, motored across the entire four mile stretch of the lake, beached the boat way up the narrow neck of the inlet and set off on foot. Up the Lost Mine Canyon Trail, directly through the bowels of the burn and up to Goose and Otter Lakes.

What we saw was incredible!

We saw wildflowers exploding…fireweed, lupine, wild geranium, paintbrush, hair bells, monkeyflower, one-flower sunflower, cow parsnip…bushels of cress overhanging the stream…we saw lush grasses waist-deep and flourishing…elk tracks through the burn… a cow moose with her new calf browsing the bounty of plenty…we saw birdlife everywhere, even a pair of sandhill cranes at 6500 feet!

Wildfire is a good thing. The Native Americans knew this. It offers rebirth, nitrogen-rich soil, a clean slate, a new beginning. And the cycle of life continues.

Walk The Earth. Janet & RB

Cliff Lake

Fireweed in the burn
In the middle of the burn.

Lupine and paintbrush in the burn.
Otter Lake.
Otter Lake.
Goose Lake.
Goose Lake…near wher the fire started.
Goose Lake lunch spot.
Otter Lake.
Otter Lake.
Headed home