(Dubois, Wyo.) - "I have never laughed, cried and played so hard in one weekend," said Mills resident Linda Parkinson with a big smile.
Linda Parkinson with her fishing guide and her catch
Parkinson was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2015 and battled back to complete her recovery in April of 2016.
"I am proud to say I am now cancer free," said Parkinson proudly.
She recently joined another thirteen ladies, dealing with similar struggles, on an adventure of a lifetime.
"The group at Wyoming Oncology saw me looking at the brochure for Casting for Recovery, they talked me into applying, and I am so glad I did!" said Parkinson.
She continued to share that sixty-two other Wyoming women applied, and she was one of the fourteen women selected.
With bags packed, she headed North to Dubois in late July for some fly fishing and fun.
She was joining the 6th Annual Wyoming Casting for Recovery a program that puts breast cancer survivors in the water for fishing and healing.
The group met at the Absaroka Ranch, fourteen miles from Dubois.
Parkinson shared, "When we arrived, we were treated like royalty, we had great cabins to stay in and ate great foods. Everything about it was just awesome."
She had fly fished a bit in the past, but nothing like this experience. The ladies were geared up with professional fishing guides where they learned to tie their own flies and work their casts.
"So, I had the spaghetti cast, which is bad news," joked Parkinson, "But I still caught four fish, including a seventeen inch rainbow!"
Linda holding on tight to her catch.
With her pink flies, Parkinson caught four fish over the weekend trip.
The ladies rose early each day for the "Greeting of the Sun," a morning wake-up routine which included greeting the sun, throwing stones in the creek to release their worries, and stacking rocks to show the groups' unity.
Then, it was on with the waters and into the water.
Parkinson shared that the group fished the Wind River, the Lazy G Ranch and other hidden spots she would not release.
It was anticipated that the group would fish Lava Creek, but the recent fire had other plans for them, the group split off into smaller groups to visit some more remote spots.
Following the day outings, the ladies reunited at camp and reflected on their adventures.
"I loved it, beyond believe. There are no words to explain the experience. I would recommended it to any woman dealing with breast cancer."
Would she do it again?
"In a heart-beat," concluded Parkinson.
The group is to re-unite next year for a reunion of survivors.
Click the link to learn more about Casting for Recovery in Wyoming or in other states.
Photos: h/t Linda Parkinson and Mary Turney/Pitchengine Communities