Beware of Storytellers!!!
When I was in the Black Hills, I met an old man at Wall Drug Store who told me a secret. Tall tale perhaps. We were high up there in the mountains, after all...
Secret Fishing Hole. 10"x13" archival ink drawing on 11"x14" Bristol Board.
This is one of five drawings I started almost four years ago. This one was inspired by the Black Hills,where there is a little known tale about Trout Lake. It's not really Trout Lake, the real name of the lake is some obscure Indian name which translate to "The water hole below two mountain witches."
According to the old man, the mountain witches were once two beautiful sisters who constantly fought and bickered and did not want to do anything with each other. One day they were fighting so loudly, it irritated the mountain god who turned them into stones immortalizing their angry faces. Now they look at each other day and night unable to say anything to one another. They are surrounded by their posses of even uglier friends. But telling that legend is not my intention. Instead, I am going to share a secret. You see, according to the old man, Trout Lake cannot be found anywhere on a map. The only landmark is the humpback tree by the road after the second Needle in the wildlife circle. There are no entry ways. Cars cannot park on the side of the road because there are no shoulders and so the fishermen have to walk for 45 minutes from the nearest parking lot. By the humpback tree, the fishermen have to descend from the main road by climbing down the boulders. I think there are snakes...
There are no trails. However, one fisherman's clever wife left a Fiesta carafe along the path pointing the spout towards the right direction. Sometimes, some mischievous fisherman would point the spout to the wrong direction, so instead of going down the river, the other fishermen end up in a campground by the First Elephant Hall. When they see the rock walls, they will understand why people call it such. Very few fishermen ever find this fishing hole. Everyone wants to be the lucky one.
Sometimes there are Boy Scouts hiking from a campground farther west. When the canopy becomes thin and the sky is visible, the lucky fisherman knows he is near the lake but dangers abound. There are wild animals living in dens, one wrong turn and he ends up in their territory.
Worse, he gets in the middle of gunfire during hunting season. When he finds himself in the hall of the second elephant, he can start relaxing for he is well on his way...
But all is not clear. There is another den just off the Calavera. Otherwise, congratulations to him. He found the perfect fishing spot.
Now, I cannot really vouch for this story because we had to leave the next day plus I did not want to spend on a fishing license. Plus that old man kept on referring to the masculine gender. Hmph!