About this time of year, every year, I get a stirring. I know it’s the bears voice, waking from his slumber. He knows what time of year it is without a calendar or google app. He’s anxious, yearning for the mountains. Eager for the hunt, yearning for the trees, the mountains, the crisp fall air. How I long for the solitude.
This past weekend I got to spend some valuable time in the woods with my brother. I got to share one of my “spots.” When I’m hunting this trail I leave camp a couple hours before first light. It’s a slow climb in four low, back my truck into the trees off the road. Then I hike. It’s a steep drop right off the corner of the road, through thick pines and fallen timber, makes me think of a spilled matchbox. I go slow, trying to walk silently, pretending I’m walking in the steps of the Ute’s that used to roam these mountains. There’s a small creek to cross, stones placed in just the right spots. The pines give way to aspens and the smell of elk is present year round.
My spot is in a big open meadow, surrounded by aspens and pines, big old pines. There’s a beaver damn that spans half the meadow, making it tricky to cross. The swampy dry grass conceals small ditches and holes. Once across, there’s a few spots I like hunker down, and wait. I set up like I see the sniper’s do in the movies. I prop my Father’s gun up on my pack, ready for action. These are some of the best times. My time with God. This is when feel alive, free, closest to God. I always wonder to myself, why do I wait so long in between?