Greetings from Rock Creek!  I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I last wrote here…for all those that were wondering what I would do after closing the fly shop, needless to say, the Trout Bums crew hasn’t had any trouble staying busy.  

We closed the shop at the end of 2018, and by summer of 2019 we broke ground on 2 new cabins.  That same summer we added the Quigley Ghost Town cabins to the Trout Bums line up.  We also worked on the property on the other side of Brewster Creek (owned by the same folks) to prepare it for future vacation rental, and immediate long term rental.  We were busy with both of those projects for most of the summer.

At the end of the 2019 season, the owners of Big Hat decided to take it out of the rental pool and their oldest daughter & family made it their home.  So, if you were wondering, that’s what happened to it.  We’re happy to have their family as summer residents at Rock Creek.

Additionally, at the end of the 2020 season, the owner of Valley of the Moon Homestead decided to accept the requests from two different people asking to rent the units long term.  So for at least 2021, these will not be offered as vacation rentals.

Joe worked tirelessly on our cabin throughout 2020, mostly alone with occasional help when he had something that he just couldn’t accomplish alone.  He also took time to build a kitchen for a client and replace 3 roofs for another client up at mile 22.  All while putting up with me adding to the list of custom items to build for our cabin. 

And of course…there was COVID 19.  We weren’t sure how it would affect reservations, or if our state would be open, or a host of other unknowns that made it impossible to know how the summer would go.  Our wonderful housekeeping crew of two (Karla and Kendra) did a fabulous job of making sure each cabin was properly sanitized and aired out in between guests.  Luckily, none of us contracted the virus during the summer and the crazy influx of people that chose to visit Rock Creek once the borders were opened and the quarantine requirements were lifted.  We ended up being booked solid from late June through the 3rd week in October when we closed up the cabins for winter as we always do.  People were still asking to come…but we know that winter can hit without warning, and it did!  By October 25 we received almost a foot of snow and by the following week the temperature fell below zero.  There’s a reason we close when we do!

Unfortunately, COVID still has it’s grip on our nation, our state, and our community – but we continuously pray for an end.

Just before Thanksgiving of 2019, our neighbor AJ Michnevich had a massive stroke that had him hospitalized for 100+ days, and then transferred to a long term care facility for rehab.  He never made it out, succumbing to COVID-19 11 months and 4 days after his stroke.  He really was a fixture here at Rock Creek, and is missed.  Our hearts break for his wife Megan who stayed strong through not just his stroke, being unable to visit him in the nursing home due to the restrictions that went in place in March, and then having their home here at Rock Creek burn to the ground back in June.  Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with her as she presses on.

So, here we are…entering a new year with hope that it will offer joy.  I am learning the importance of looking for joy in each and every day, because some days it just seems like it can’t be found.  But if we look it’s there in the small simple things.  I have bird feeders outside the double glass door near our table which sometimes have me laughing hysterically.  There is a Stellar Jay that has become quite friendly…so much so that one day when I forgot to put out peanuts in a timely manner he flew to the screen and tapped on the window to let me know that he was waiting.  He follows me to the garden, and he comes when I call in the morning to let him know I’m putting out peanuts.  I have named him Blue.  Of course now there is a myriad of jays and Clarks Nutcrackers that come to my call of “Blue Blue Blue” because they have figured out that is the call for peanuts.  But I know my Blue…he comes and sits in the tree and cocks his head when I talk to him.  And I’ll ask ‘are you ready?’ before I throw a peanut for him to retrieve.  He’s the only one brave enough to get that close to me.  I consider him a gift from God, to remind me that He cares about the birds and He cares about the things I care about.

I pray that this finds you untouched by the events of this past year…but if not, I pray you will find joy in each day.  Whether in the birds, or the laughter of a child, or a beautiful sunrise – realize that God smiled on you to give encouragement.  Sometimes that all it takes to get through the day…just a little bit of encouragement.

If anything, I hope that we DON’T return to life as before.  I hope that we have learned the importance of relationships, and hugs, and the simple act of having coffee with a neighbor and ‘doing lunch’ with a friend. If anything, may 2020 have taught us that we don’t need to be so busy spending our time doing things that in the grand spectrum of things, have no real value.  May we all learn to value our time…because it’s something that, once spent, we can never recover.  We MUST invest it wisely.

Until next time…be well

Joe and Deb

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend. – Theophrastus