I finally moved from the Black Hills of Wyoming to an area that feeds my wilder side. The Big Horns. I realize they are not Alaska or the bear trodden, wolf prowled, west side of this amazing state but the vast forests and room to roam feed my soul and spark the steel of my heart to the flint of the wild that I've missed since I left my Lake Superior country raising. Each new sunrise finds me thankful to live here amidst pronghorns, mulies, and elk. New friends, new territory, new horizons to ramble toward and mark each day against miles traveled and country explored. Elk tenderloins and blue grouse grilled over lodgepole coals taste like tomorrow's adventure and yesterday's memories mixed with high country air and down south bourbon at the end of the day, make me yearn for September's Song and the High Country chill that comes before an autumn dawn.
"The Rocky Mountains are the marrow of the world," and this child has known no better place. I've wandered Kodiak's lonesome beaches and ragged peaks in search of the stout Sitka blacktail, gunned geese in picked corn fields, gleaned whitetails from the fat of a mid-western farm, but nothing feeds my divinely created self like a mountain morning with fresh dew making fog over a high drainage with wapiti bulls screaming thier lust to a bloody sunrise at the cieling of the continent. Rifle or bow, doesn't matter, what matters is the chase, the being there, the pounding of my heart, the catching of my breath, the rugged ground under foot, and the feeling of a heavy pack and a light heart at day's end. All of it is fuel for deep winter's dreams. The next autumn is only a fleeting moment away and before we know what has happened we are telling our tales to the next generation of young hunters whose hearts beat for what we have known. Each season, each day, each moment, stitched indelibly into the flannel fabric of our hunter's hearts to be recalled around fires whose timeless flames bring to mind the first hunts of beasts long forgotten but often remembered and dragged up from the chill ridden cellars of memory from which we never forget the dayswhen our backs were stronger, our desires keener, and our aims truer than what we, through foggy visions, never forget. May we never forget; may the hunt, the high places, the elk, the mulie buck, the sheep, the grizzly, the mountain man's spirit forever be with us all. Long live the West!