Friday, December 24, 2010


 Sometimes you descend to the feet of the mountains you just busted hump upon for the better part of the Sun's Fun Run and you have nothing to show for it, save a few crushed Pabst Light cans where the birds should be.  Then the dog gets stoked, but not birdy, it gets Wabbity.  You and your hunting pal share an agreeing glance and start busting brush on the valley floor.  "It's for the dog, she needs some gratification after a day like today.." is what we'll both spout in different forms over the fire, knowing damn well we needed ours.  In Nevada, you can shoot jackrabbits all day long.  But one is enough, and after deciding a rabbit crossing our bitter paths at that restless hour was anything but lucky, we left it's feet for the coyotes.
 Sometimes your dog is knocking it out of the fucking park.  She's on every bird, she's not losing her cool and running them out of deer rifle range.  You just sit back, keep reloading, and she keeps handing the birds to you.  It doesn't seem fair.  It doesn't seem legal.  It's art.  She loves it, every second of it.  The ecstasy on her face is more pure and intense than any of us two leggers will ever know, will ever see again.  This is what she was bred for, what she was trained for, what her true purpose is.  If only we could find that combination of fate and predestined purpose more often in our race, the assholes would go extinct and the entire world would be elevated to a population of Jordans, Woods, Shaun Whites, and Cormac McCarthys.  These dogs are living precision machines, and we can only marvel at them and what they do.  We can only feel lucky for having a relationship with such intense, passionate beasts.
Sometimes at camp you find yourself in some surprising and almost unseasonal weather.  December my ass, who needs a tent?  The whiskey lubes up the tales and the chili cans get rotated out to cool.  The stars shine intensely in the center of nowhere, opening the truck door and dome light blindness sobers the magic for an instant.  The day was typical chukar, a few thousand hard fought vertical feet bring us to post-chili-dog-coma syndrome and the whiskey is starting to go mute.  Bed rolls produced and it's a summer affair - Warm, no tent to hide the stars, and dry.  An hour later we were too stunned to set up our tents when the monsoon arrived, so we scrambled to the unexplored mine shaft 100 yards below the truck.  It was wide enough to sleep shoulder to shoulder with our heads at the entrance; the interior being occupied by several large fecal producing rodents and the entrance being the most level, but not quite level.  The dog jumping off of us every 5 minutes to get the rodents, to keep us awake.  Rain stops, I leave Jesse in the cave and try my luck outside.  Finally start to doze off.  Monsoon returns, it was just the eye sucka!! AHAHAHAHAHA!!!  Pissed.  Tired.  Still not setting up my tent.  Passenger seat of the truck with Moby Dick for entertainment and Jimmy Breeze to knock the sleep in to me.  The outcome was predictable: I watched the sun come up and nearly polished a bottle of Beam and read about 100 pages of outdated whaling.  

Sometimes it's always worth it.