Back in the early 70’s we had just moved to Whitefish because my father couldn’t wait to do what he loved best, meaning hunting and fishing. Where we lived previously in Oregon, we didn’t have immediate access to the woods, streams, and forest, but in Montana, we did. My father led a double life. In his everyday world, he was a hairdresser performing cuts, curls, sets, and perms on women with violet hair, but on the weekends and downtime he was the “Marlboro Man.” He was rugged and outdoorsy and would camp and fish for days and became very proficient at both to the point where when I was 15, he was hired as an Outfitting Guide in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
My father loved everything about it, and often he was the camp cook as well. He worked in “The Bob” for three years, but the last summer tragedy struck, and it haunted him to the bone. It was a frigid chilly day with pouring rain and extreme fog. The sky was dark, and it was windy; it was muddy with horrible visibility. Then the unthinkable happened. My father was on his horse and was with another guide, and two other horses were with them. It’s a miracle my father didn’t go over the cliff too. Those two “additional horses” went over the edge and plummeted to their death. It was probably the most devastated I’d ever seen my father. Upon returning home, he sold his horse, sold all his guide gear, and never looked back. “The Bob” is a vast and sprawling wilderness and, on many occasions, not kind. -Brenda Roskos
A local Kalispell resident’s horse escaped in full gear very recently in the BMW. He put a plea out on social media should anyone see his horse, and here is the information.
“Well, back with all people safely from a trip to the “Bob.” Horses, not so much. Among the saddest ways to end an otherwise good trip into the wilderness. Good company, pretty good weather. Good riding. However, Friday afternoon, the horse I was riding, with ALL my hunting gear, rifle, binoculars, saddlebags, horn bags, a saddle pannier, etc., bolted at a shot at a grouse and just kept going. We spent the next several days looking for her. She has not turned up yet. I could use help from all Montana Facebook friends in sharing the message of her loss, hoping that someone in the backcountry ran into her and would bring her to the trailhead somewhere. Since there is still hope for this horse, I would appreciate anyone sharing to get the word out and appreciate prayer for her safe return. Several kids, as well as adults, are really in mourning. She is a black and white paint mare with one blue eye and one brown eye, so pretty distinctive. I will post pictures when someone shows up that knows how to do that. She had hunter orange saddlebags, brown horn bags, saddle, breast collar, crupper, and my rifle on at the time. She was last seen near the base of the Bugle Mountain trail in the Scapegoat Wilderness North of Lincoln. We came in the Arrastra Creek Trail.” -Larry Lautaret.
Here are pictures of Lautaret’s mare, “Sundance.” (as well as her mother “Sundae”)
We are all praying for her safe return. If anyone has seen this horse or knows of her whereabouts, please get in touch with Brenda Roskos through a message at Montana Daily Gazette, who will contact Mr. Lautaret.