All the best to your wife. Hope things work out.1 maybe 1.5 days left to go. Coming together now. Making calls to various stores confirming licence sales options and their store hours. Likely will stop for that in Limon, CO.
I am circling back to ditch some excess gear that I don’t need for shorter trips, like complicated food prep. Basically it will be Cliff bars, instant mashed potatoes, heat and serve rice, fruit cups, chicken noodle soup (add boiling water), instant coffee, sardines, walnuts, almonds, pecans. No dairy. Don’t need to bring butter, eggs, oil, fresh fruit, bread, items requiring refrigeration etc. I’ll survive fine for 5 days. Losing a few pounds to get to fight weight would be a good thing. Still want to have energy though.
I’ll be taking some chances with less “what if” gear in this trip than usual. But still a basic tool kit, 2 spares, 5 gallons of gas. Maybe charge up a spare battery, it actually saved me a BIG headache having one last time. Was like a nascar pit stop!
Processing gear will be limited to knives, cutting boards and gallon ziplocks. Crude chunks until I get it home.
If anybody sees me in the woods I’ll be wearing super cool () prescription safety glasses that I had hoped never to need in public. no time to replace my normal eyewear, packing my scratched up glasses as my spare. Luckily I am going solo so the chance of paparazzi posting any candids is nil. So vain am I.
Not bringing a spotter. Hunting timber mostly.
And so on…
An important issue at home is on my mind though, my wife is going in for some tests tomorrow, she has some unexpected health issues that have come up. Not sure what the test/imaging will show. We hope all is fine. But if she needs me here, that is the only reason this trip plan would change at this point.
The drive will be the biggest risk of your trip. I am driving back from NM currently and saw a few accidents in Kansas City on my drive through there this afternoon. Absolutely avoid Chicago whenever possible.I am BEAT. About 7 hours sleep over past two days. Not the best way to prep for a trip departing soon.
The long haul can be intimidating when going by myself with a tight window of opportunity. I may take the southern route to avoid any Chicago area traffic issues. Adds only about 15 miles. Worth it.
Also, while perusing Google Earth, it dawned on me that I am 1000 miles (1000!) closer to Hudson Bay polar bears and caribou and about 500 miles closer to Havana, Cuba, and 200 miles closer to Greenland than I am to my Colorado elk spots. I’ll have plenty of time on the drive to chew on that perspective.
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Hmmm. Blood pressure history and "not feeling good?" I'm not feeling good about encouraging you to do this solo. Don't push the envelope. You've got nothing to prove. Take it easy and have a good time.I pulled up into camp a little later than I had hoped, about an hour before dark. Happy I had some light but no time to look around. I took a few shots with the bow to check it - all good. As I am setting up the tent and pulling gear, it starts to lightly rain. Perfect! Just enough to get everything damp.
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I’m camped above 10000. Feeling a little light headed if I bend over
or stand suddenly. I am trusting that the overnight sleep will help
acclimate me. Usually does, but I am far from in mountain shape. I literally did nothing to prepare physically for this trip. Partly I wonder if I may die from this. It’s not out of the question! My blood
pressure has been running high, and I have not felt that good lately. Truthfully, this is one of the reasons I wanted to do this trip…. to conquer the fear that I couldn’t pull it off anymore.
I settle in for the night, and the rain increases and goes all night, tent holds up but there is water seeping in from beneath. I think I might have heard some cow chirps at some point in the night. Faint. Maybe squeaky trees. But sounded like chirps. The rain stops before dawn. I head out into the misty fog.
I started down a closed logging road (a la Randy’s trick) and shortly veer
off as I make my way up and up. Lack of preparation be damned, I am going for the summit above 11K.
It’s foggy and everything is wet and quiet. Wind in my face. Halfway up I find this:
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It’s steep, I’m hurting. But one foot in front of the other….
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Only a few hundred more feet to the top and it’s only the first hour or two…
Back in my Army days we had a name for those hideous govt issue things: Birth Control Glasses. Now I see they're all the rage among the young gals. Almost as dopey as covering their bodies with tattoo ink. Yuk!View attachment 195323
Bull bugling within 200 yards on 1st day? Is this my happy face? No. It is not. Digging the safety glasses though!
1) It’s noon
2) Wind is towards him
3) I am out if food
4) I am too far from the trail to get him out myself.
So I leave him for somebody else.
Best. Decision. Ever.
That hike out was tortuous. Probably about 5 miles given the landslide crevasses and stream ravines and just general western stuff. Day 1. Too much. I was hurting and struggling to make out before dark. Thankfully I didn’t wait on the bull and try to do it in the dark. Let alone if I had to pack meat. By 4:00 I was daydreaming about food simply because I badly needed fuel. Anything. I nibbled on rose hips, which actually helped my mood. I crawled out to the trail around 5 pm. Another 1/2 mile to the truck. Onyx says it was a 9.4 mile day. Felt like 20. Wolfed down sardines, made some rice, ate other snacks. Crawled into tent and slept for the next 12 hours.