Elk Camp 2014 – Part One

Elk Camp was very unique this year.  Every year is special in its own way but this was one for the books, I think there may be a poorly rated, low-budget Lifetime movie in the works someday soon but until then I’ll just give you the pleasant high-lights and leave the rest for your imagination.  Since I took well over one thousand photos and we were gone almost 2 full weeks I’ve found it impossible to condense the trip, in all it’s glory, to a single blog post.  So we shall have a mini-series, consider it a prequel to the ‘made for tv’ movie.

Part One ~ Getting There

Getting to Colorado from Texas is a feat in itself.  Toss in the fact we live on the south-east side of the state and we hauled 5 horses, 5 riding saddles, 2 pack saddles, 4 panniers, 7 saddle pads, 5 full-body horse blankets, 5 water buckets, 5 feed buckets, 5 feed bags, 2 canvas tents plus metal frames and floors, 2 wood burning stoves, 5 cots, 5 sleeping bags, 4 rifles, 600 pounds of horse feed, 2 bales of hay, 5 coolers, 3 camp chairs, 2 tables, 6 pillows, 2 first aid kits (one for the horses and one for the humans), a 4 ft. long stuffed catfish, a small child, a friend and ourselves plus all the coveralls, boots, wool socks, mittens, toboggans and thermal underwear 5 people could possible need and you start to get the picture.

So off we go into the wild blue yonder…….3 hours later than planned.

And Rob couldn’t find his sunglasses so he borrowed mine and pretended to be Elton John.

rob

He DOES perform ‘Crocodile Rock’ rather well……

We always drive to Amarillo first and stop at the Big Texan.  While the food has improved over the years (Thank God) the main reason we come here is for the horse turn-out pens and water.  They are free if you eat there and for the first time EVER we spent the night.  Despite getting there at 1:00 in the morning we all awoke after 5 hours of sleep feeling fresh and fine and ready to go!

texan

“Hi Everyone!” from me in my room at the Texan….

rachel

Even though the entire place is tacky, garish and touristy the rooms were very nice and exceeded my, admittedly low, expectations.

Or maybe we just got there at 1:00 in the morning and I was happy to be anywhere but the cab of a truck.

???????????????????????????????

So the horses had breakfast while we had breakfast and it was time to hit the road again……

elk

This is me and this is Pokey, he is waiting his turn to be loaded…..

rachel

And we are off again!

With a 4.00 sucker that lasted for DAYS.  Never again.  Never ever.

addie

See the giant catfish, lurking over there on the left?  This is his third trip to Colorado.  Where Addie goes overnight, he goes too.

texas

We saw miles and miles of Texas……getting out of Texas is the hardest part.  Of the 19 hours it takes to get to elk camp, 13 of those are spent getting across our great state.  Sigh.

texas

A mound!  This means we made it to New Mexico.

Gotta grab some fuel….

rob

….and a hug.

rob

More of New Mexico….

new mexiconew mexiconew mexico

This is Capulin, an old volcano that is also a state park.  You can drive up to the top and see the entire world, at least that is the way it seems.

The first view of the mountains, my favorite part of the drive!

new mexiconew mexiconew mexico

I love the mountains.

new mexico

Colorado at last!  Rough and Rugged and totally Beautiful.

colorado

I love this picture, check out that cloud!

coloradocolorado

Still lots of color on the trees!

colorado

Almost there!

rob

We finally arrived around 5 in the afternoon and were met by our good friends from Tennessee, they hunt first rifle season each year and we always spend a day or two together at the cabins before they head home and we head into the wild!

elk

Getting the horses settled for the night before going inside to cook some steaks and potatoes.

rob

Good friends and good food and a warm kitchen make for a perfect evening!

rob

Lots of stories are told that are mostly true, sometimes.  Maybe.

The Catfish kept everyone in line…….

elk

And the next morning Jerry, another friend we see each year from Mississippi, came over around breakfast and we talked maps, sightings and strategy.

rob

I burned the biscuits.

This was a sign.

To Be Continued………

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