Across the Devils

On Tote Gotes in 1973

By Loris Addington

“Hi, honey. How would you and Craig like to take a Tote Gote trip through the Seven Devils?”

At first I was too surprised by this offer from my dad over the phone to be excited. Many times I had heard Dad and my brother speak of strange-sounding places such as Horse Heaven, Emerald Lake, Black Lake, the He Devil, and the She Devil, as they related their most recent tale of adventure. In those days, they would pack our little burro and hike to these exotic-sounding places, but that was years ago and now it was 1973, and I lived in another state with a husband and son. The last thing on my mind was a trip through the Seven Devils Mountains.

As a young man, Dad had spent many years in the Seven Devils, walking sheep to the mountains every spring and walking them back out in the fall. His father owned a sheep ranch and used the Seven Devils as open range for his two bands. Dad packed supplies to the various sheep camps all summer and would stay for weeks at a time in the mountains. There was little he didn’t know about the area. Years earlier, he had shown his son the country and now, as an older man, he wanted to see it one more time with his daughter and grandson.

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