Monday, December 08, 2008

A sunday stroll

Kev and I went out hunting yesterday. I didn't go to "The Hill" because there are some rifle hunters there, and I didn't want to be in their way. So, instead, Kev took me out to the ranch where he got his deer.

The Ranch belongs to the D family. They are a big land owner in Clark County, with farming and ranching operations. Daddy is in charge of the ranching end, cause he don't do farmin'. He's a cowboy through and through.

Anyway, they have several Mule deer who stay on their property, so we thought we'd try it. Kev and I sat for a while in a little hole down in a draw near the wheat and Milo fields. We scared out 2 does when we walked in and that was all the deer we saw.

Around 8:30 a.m., we decided to go check out some canyons. Mule deer like canyons. They can bed down on the side of a canyon and be out of the wind. On cold days, they like to bed down on the north side so that the sun can warm them all day as they sleep. Plus, the wind usually blows from the north, so they get the added bonus of being out of the wind.

Kev drove me over to the east side of the Ranch to some canyons he's been watching and it's an area he thinks is pretty as well. As we drove in, we saw a couple of antelope does. Can't shoot them, but it was nice to see them.

Then, we got to the canyons. Kev wasn't kidding; it's beautiful country. Made me wish that I had a camera along. Folks, if you think Kansas is flat, then you need to get off the Interstate and drive to our area. Canyon after canyon after canyon as far as the eye can see. Not little canyons either, but deep canyons. Some are deeper than 100 feet and are rather...vertical.

We parked the pickup near an autogate [insert lustful sigh] and walked about 1/4 mile over to one canyon. We didn't see any deer, but decided to follow the canyon around to the east and then circle with the canyons to the south and then we would walk back west to the pickup.

So, we angled down some, and around and walked and walked and walked and walked. I had my hunting gear on; my coveralls and my coat and was carrying my bow. It was a fun and beautiful walk. We not only looked for deer, but we enjoyed the beauty of the rocks and the canyons and the creek running through the bottom.

After about an hour of going up and down and around, we came to the Southeast corner. Somehow, even though we weren't at the bottom of any canyon, we were now closer to the bottom than we were to the top. And it was great, it was fun. I was enjoying myself until we turned the corner and saw the way out. To get back to the pickup, we had to walk back up hill, all the way. And it was a rocky and steep trip. We had to climb up several hills and sides of canyons, and it was pretty steep, and, and...

I got tired. Really tired. Tired enough that I stopped several times to rest and I was tired enough to really resent my coveralls. And my coat, my sweatshirt, and my bow, and especially my husband. Who at one point said to me, "You are really out of shape." Of course, he wasn't wearing coveralls. And his coat was lighter, he wasn't wearing a sweatshirt, and he wasn't carrying a bow either. And...and...well, maybe I am out of shape. But he didn't have to rub it in. I think this was about the time when I suggested that he go get Dad and a horse. And then I mentioned if he fell and broke something, I was just going to have to leave him to die, cause there was not way I could get him out of there. Of course he wondered why I'd warrant a horse, but he'd be left to die.

Even when we got out of the canyons, we still had an uphill trek back to the pickup. And I was tired. And besides being tired, my hands hurt from carrying my bow, and I was very sweaty. My t-shirt was rather damp next to my skin under the sweatshirt and coveralls and coat.

I talked to my Dad later on the phone and told him what we'd done and where we were. When I mentioned how steep it was coming out and how tired I got, he laughed and said "You can drive down there to the bottom on the far southeast side, but when you come back up, if you've got anything in the back of the pickup, it's going to slide out." Usually, he just goes horseback down there, it's easier. I know why, but I'm not sure exactly where you'd drive down.

But, I loved every minute of the walk. It was beautiful. It was refreshing. It made me thankful that I can see and appreciate the beauty of this area--even when I'd tired. So, if you think Kansas is flat, stop by and we'll just go hiking to the bottom of a canyon. Just leave your coat and coveralls and bow at home. You'll thank me later.

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