SUBLETTE COUNTY – By the time you reach the newly renovated and remodeled Sherman Guard Station, 18 miles down Horse Creek Road and within earshot of the powerful, rushing stream, you know you’ve arrived someplace special.
The Sherman Guard Station is the Bridger-Teton National Forest’s most recent renovation project and the July 1 public open house brought together a variety of involved people, from the Sublette County Historic Preservation Board to the Sublette Centennial Committee to the Big Piney Ranger District.
The open house kicked off the Sherman Guard Station’s new life as a destination, one of a number of renovated stations and fire lookouts now outfitted for overnight guests.
The log buildings, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933-1934, are painted, the original fence surrounding them replicated – and with a nod for mod cons and future guests – equipped with bunk beds, simple rustic furnishings – and bathrooms.
Many who participated in its rebirth celebrated there July 1 with an informal burger BBQ lunch and self-guided tours for the public to peruse its many historical photos and artifacts.
Carmel Kail turned fascinating historical tidbits into laminated posters that inform a great deal about the national forest system and how the people worked at the far-flung guard station.
One antique photo shows the original rail fence surrounding the compound with cutout panels of pine trees. Richard Kail always likes a project, so he volunteered his time and shop space to duplicate the pine cutouts for the new fence, finished just before July 1 grand opening. In honor, Carmel baked and frosted green pine tree cookies for the casual lunch.
Another couple from Spring, Texas, was also delighted by the completed renovation that they said they’d waited years to see.
Duane and Connie Brandt spend three months a year traveling the West for good fishing – often staying in guard stations and Forest Service cabins, she said. That week they’d been staying at the Hoback Guard Station in Bondurant.
“Duane is a lifetime fly fisherman and he’s been coming up here for 25 years,” she explained.
He and his fishing buddies had learned that some of the best fishing is found is some of the more remote places in the mountains. The tradition of staying in a Forest Service cabin, often a work in progress, carries on with the couple and their dog Hudson.
“We try to fix something up while we’re there,” she said. “We stay a week, then move on for three months of summer.”
The Brandts were first to reserve the Sherman Guard Station, which can sleep at least 16, for a week by themselves and another upcoming family week for her birthday.
For more information about renting the Sherman Guard Station, one cabin or the complex, or other remote Forest Service cabins, visit www.recreation.gov.