Knarley Manners and I were packing in about twenty horses. We had enough supplies for two months and would be guiding a series of hunters for seven to ten day hunts the whole time. It seems like a lot of hunting pressure, but the area we would be guiding was about 1,800 square miles. There was lots of game and hunters would be hunting several different species elk, moose, sheep, goats, mule deer, black, and Grizzly.
We were fairly confident guides for teenagers; still, there is always that feeling in the pit of your stomach that makes you wonder if the game will be in the area. Animals can quit an area without rhyme or reason and then reappear at a later date out of the blue. I’m sure these mysterious events caused famine among the indians and early settlers; especially, since there are no guarantees when it comes to survival in nature or politics.
Knarley and I moved pack horses well together, we grew up as neighbors and best friends from six miles away. Since we were boys, if we wanted to visit one another it was necessary to saddle a horse and ride over to see your neighbor, hoping your friend would be home. We grew up hunting, fishing, packing, and trapping together; consequently, we always knew what the other one was doing or would do in a tense situation.
Moving twenty seasoned pack horses through the mountains, for us, was fairly routine. The horses were all tied head to tail in two different strings of ten each, except for our saddle horses. The knots were quick release knots that came undone by pulling the end of the tail of the horse in front or by pulling the end of the lead shank of the following horse. You never tie the lead pack horse to your saddle horse’s tail or to your saddle horn; unless, you figure you need a short lease on life. With that much horse power and with the dangers inherent in the mountains and rivers, a rider must be free to move quickly. No matter how careful you are on the trail, there will be an occasional emergency. Knarley and I had seen so many we have forgotten most of them and yet, we still laugh at the ones that were funny.
On this particular trip, Knarley’s uncle would be bringing in new hunters and taking out previous hunters and their trophies with a Beaver DeHavilland float plane. Of corse we needed a base camp close to the lake with plenty of forage for the horses. They would be staying with us for the next two months for better or worse. We hoped we wouldn’t have heavy snowstorms, monsoon rains, or prolonged periods of forty below. There is a certain amount of luck involved with hunting and life, if you don’t have some luck now and then, life is a lot tougher. That’s just the way it is and there is no changing that part of the equation.
We saw a nice campsite at the North end of the lake, from a high elevation, there was a long valley with steep sides that should keep the horses content with feed for several weeks and the position would give us some exposure to all the sun and warmth the clouds let through. We had to climb down a fairly steep hill side, that was no problem, but we ran into a large rock that blocked access to the last sixty yards or so, it was a huge piece of granite sitting on about a 30 degree incline. A man could walk down it, if he were cautious, but it would be suicide for horses. It was four foot high and the lateral ends were embedded in cliff sides, if we could’ figure a way around this big rock we would need to backtrack a half day to get into our camp site. Knarley quickly rode the length of the rock and found a fissure in the rock that might have been a million years old. This huge rock was split from top to bottom with a space just wide enough for a pack horse and his panniers.
Knarley rode down the trail through the rock to make sure there were no unseen problems, while I untied all the quick release knots. The trail seemed simple, but if one horse has a problem, while they are tied, they are all involved in the problem. Knarley rode down the trail without a problem and signaled for me to follow. I led one of the lead pack horses, the type that the others look up to, and I started down with a feeling of trepidation. I was barely into the fissure when I heard the pack horses crowding the entrance to follow. I talked to them in a soothing voice to try and get them to take their time coming down this trail. The last thing I needed was a stampede of pack horses over the top of me. I heard the pack boxes being smashed against the rock walls and I could feel them bumping into my lead pack horse as they kept rushing into the fissure to avoid being left behind.
With a feeling of relief, I broke into the area at the bottom and now the pack horses were coming as fast as they could through the opening. We tied the horses to trees and laughed at how we had skated by disaster once again; except for one problem, Moose, our biggest packhorse with the oversize kitchen panniers was missing. We looked everywhere, but we couldn’t find him.
Suddenly, one of us looked up above to see Moose trying to wedge himself into the fissure. His panniers were at least four inches too wide and he didn’t like the tightness of the rock walls.
Moose came by his name honestly, for when nature designed the moose she might have been hung over. The head is overly large, the neck is short, the legs are long, but the moose can run twenty miles, swim like a fish, split a wolf’s skull with a stabbing strike from a front hoof, and run straight up a frozen cliff as easily as running on open ground. The horse Moose, looked like this most strange member of the deer family from a distance, but he didn’t have the redeeming qualities or at least we didn’t know of any. Knarley entered the fissure on foot to run up to Moose before he came on through and smashed the kitchen gear. I was supposed to talk to him from down below and prevent him from making a disastrous error.
Moose entered the fissure several times and tried to squeeze his way through, but he just didn’t like the tightness of the rock walls. I could see him looking at the top of the huge rock and I could see the slow moving gears turning in his brain.
Suddenly, with the grace of a Whitetail, he jumped up on the rock and stood looking to the bottom. Knarley was now at top speed and I was saying, “No Moose, don’t do it, wait a minute! Knarley will be there to take off the packs and you can walk right down like the rest of them. Don’t do it, Moose.”
All my life, people have told me I have the ability to communicate with horses, but it has been times like this that have kept me from believing them.
Moose took one step forward and suddenly came barreling down like a runaway locomotive with the brakes locked up. You could see the look of disbelief in his eyes as each of his four shoes made a fiery trail of sparks and he struggled to keep his weight over those four shoes. It was a terrifying ten seconds or so until he reached the bottom, if he would have fallen it would have probably been the end of old Moose, but he displayed a tremendous sense of balance. I could smell the hooves burning after the slide and he was picking up each hoof in a futile effort to cool his feet. I led him into the lake and the cooling effect on his hot hooves gave him a noticeable sense of relief.
I looked at his shoes later on. They were as thin as pie plates and the nail heads were almost completely worn away, but they were still on, maybe by inertia alone, but they would stay there until tomorrow when I would nail on another set of shoes.
Now at first glance, this seems to be the kind of story that two old hunters have retold many times to relive the days of their youth, but in a larger sense it is a reflection of the current administration and a continuous series of poor choices.
Recently, our president blamed the Republican party for failing to allow passage of immigration reform; despite controlling all three branches of government for two years. In El Paso, he asked if Republicans are going to insist on moats with alligators before they are willing to accept reform. While prodding the crowd, he managed to get them shouting, “they’re racists”. This technique is being used after playing the racial divide by telling Hispaics to be ready to punish their enemies. This use of vile rhetoric is a decision that is a poor choice of tactics and strategy. Even if President Obama manages to slide down the rock with his shoes sending out sparks, his derisive rhetoric and racism will mar his legacy forever.
President Obama was confused and bewildered over the sudden appearance of an extra $5 trillion of debt during a speech a few weeks ago. Perhaps someone should have written that it was a Democrat controlled government between 2009 and 2011. Perhaps his own debt commission that he ignored might have kept him from jumping up on that rock and embarrassing himself.
If not raising taxes was the plan in December 2010, why has it become imperative to raise them in the spring of 2011? This seems to be the moments of indecision in deciding to force your way through the fissure or to jump on the rock face.
The decision to vote against raising the debt ceiling was an example fiscal responsibility when we owed $8 trillion in 2006, but now that we owe $14 trillion it is unavoidable. Again, we could feel sorry for poor Moose’s indecision, he was but a poor dumb beast faced with difficult decisions.
We are led to believe that to become energy independent, we must give billions to a Soros oil company in Brazil to drill offshore and that act will lower the price of oil; however, it is environmentally dangerous for our companies to drill offshore and they wont affect the price of oil, besides Brazil will benefit from the jobs, but we wont. Again, we see Moose on the rock face and about to take that first step.
In the most recent presidential scolding of big business, Obama tells businesses that they need to break down and start hiring people; while the NLRB brings Boeing into court for having the audacity to build a new plant in South Carolina, a right to work state. In a manner that seems naive, our president thinks businesses make decisions like he does with little or no thought or design. In reality businesses must make decisions that are sound and will keep a business in the black. When businesses are faced with tyranny like the suit by the NLRB, they are one step closer to taking their manufacturing offshore and giving up on the antibusiness policies of Obama.
In the new age of civility prescribed by President Obama, he has the temerity to invite a faux gangster rap artist to the White House to presumably celebrate his work that edifies a cop killer and promotes violent action against former President Bush. Another example of poor decision making by the president that accomplishes nothing, but places his integrity and intelligence in question.
Obama is literally making and changing decisions daily. Drill here, drill there, oh no drilling wont affect the price of oil unless Brazil drills for the oil or we ask the Middle East to pump more oil. He has become reliant on the media to bail him out of his changing positions and ignorant decisions; unfortunately, Obama has become the ultimate hapless bureaucrat who is throwing up ideas to see if anything helps or looks good. The inevitable slide down to the 2012 election has begun. It’s too late to change direction. The policies of the last two and a half years are all he has to reflect on, it is understandable that his feet are beginning to heat up, they will get hotter as he gains momentum. He will call out that the Republicans are racists in desperate cries, but the public is becoming all too aware of Holder’s policy of “Justice for my people” and Obama saying that the Republicans should sit in the back of the bus, but he doesn’t want to listen to them. Such attitudes reflect racial animosity that is deeply rooted within Obama’s psyche, racism that is being rejected by Americans after repeated assaults on America’s attempts at goodwill. America is tired of looking for a statesman and finding someone who thinks the police did something stupid in Boston, or hearing the “Wise Latina” comments from a supreme court nominee, or listening to the Communist rants of Van Jones in a Czar position, or the aforementioned racist rapper in the White House; all of these incidents reflect divisiveness from the man who was supposed to unify the American people in a common cause.
Obama’s dealings with the SEIU and Acorn and his unprecedented favoritism toward these Communist organization tends to leave America breathless as he starts another historic or is that hysterical run down the rock face.
A professional horseman for over 50 years, Skook continues to work with horses. Skook has finished an historical novel, Fifty Thousand Years, that traces a mitochondrial line of DNA from 50,000 years ago to the present. The story follows a line of courageous women, from the Ice Ages to the present, as they meet the challenges of survival with grit and creativity. These are not women who whimper of being victims, they meet the challenges of survival as women who use their abilities without excuses or remorse, these women are winners, they are our ancestors.
Fifty Thousand Years is available in paperback and e-book, it is getting great reviews. You can purchase a copy here; Visit me on Facebook.
Moose has taken his first steps on the slippery rock.
It is regrettable that the panniers being carried by BHO are very wide indeed, and not balanced.
It is more regrettable that his shoes are already thin.
This particular walk on the wild side will be more of a suicide plunge than a wild descent.
Too many lies, too many exaggerations, too many contradictions–these used to work, before YouTube and other storage of short videos. Once one could tell any story whatever in one town, with no fear that any contradictions would arise when a different story arose in the next town.
Remember: Moose had an instinct for self-preservation. He would always be a pack animal.
BHO belongs to a profession which simply moves on after the damage is done. Community Organizers just drop their unsuccessful communities and go to a new one.
What new community will BHO now organize?
BHO has never developed any self-preservation skills. It has not been necessary for him; the secret forces which have funded his walk through life have not required this.
What would have happened to Moose had one of the panniers let go?
Or if he had slipped on the rock?
It is an ugly thought.
In order to get the sense of how hard this struggle (2012) will be, I suggest reading “Lone Survivor”, by Marcus Luttrell, a SEAL who survived what few others have- an attack by literally hundreds of Taliban, and how he and his other three teammates fought them off in Afghanistan. The whole key was to NEVER give up.
This is going to be like that, but harder- because, much as we might like to, we can’t just shoot liberals.
You build your society with “engineering”. You destroy your society with litigation. Google KenDavis Industries, a precursor of the hit series “Dallas”.
Moose is America on the slippery slope. Secure your country and your economy or go down with the slip and fall lawyers. Right now oil production is your best bet. You folks are blessed with everything and could become an energy exporting juggernaut.
Get rid of your community rabble rouser. Rid yourselves of this administration that is polluted with trial lawyers. You can fix stupid( Reid and Pelosi). Stop the EPA from regulating without Congressional approval. Void the Czars. Appoint judges that follow your awesome Constitution. Elect business leaders. Sanitize Washington. Live your Republic with more States Rights. Save your dollar. Take your country back.
I enjoyed your post Skookum. Good analogy. And “Oil Guy” you are right on the money in my book. But I would like to add another analogy. Ever heard the old saying” Its hard to remember that I came here to drain the swamp when I am up to my butt in alligators!” When I look at all the external, and internal problems that face America, I wonder is there really a man/woman out there who has what it takes, to take on all of these problems. I have no faith at all in any of the so-called professional politicians who have led us all to the brink of the cliff. All of them had ample opportunities to take on the left, but chose to go with the flow. We did not reach critical mass overnite. Its taken years. We need an individual for president who will not fear the left, who will be willing to make extremely tough and unpopular choices. While our side has been compromising, the liberals have had there way.
I just hope its someone who will emerge in time for the election.
When I was a spry young man of 50
I watched my youngest son sail along
on a skateboard looking oh so nifty
Teach me how, I begged with song
I fear nothing, save fast water and ice
a laugh and a smile, he held my hand
and I mounted the silent infernal device
On four tiny wheels, I readied to stand
long, curving, downhill driveway so nice
With but a word of warning and sage advice
He said this might not be such a good idea
Then laws of physics made claim so precise
machine and I were away on a concrete sea
the feelings of freedom soon gave way to terror
A damned machine with no steering or brakes
I gained terminal velocity, no option for error
Hear that eerie scream of bearings to a wake
A wheel locked and away I flew
To roll on concrete and grass
I made a hundred yards, I knew
Before I fell and busted my ass
To a short career and a cold brew
Like old Moose, once is enough for me and you
Gary, I think most politicians in Washington find themselves on the rock face and gaining momentum. They are afraid to stand for the principles they espoused to win their positions, at least those who were elected on Conservative principles with measures of integrity and honesty thrown in to the meaningless campaign rhetoric, that amounts to little more than a popularity contest. Consequently, we are left with two parties that stand for the same platforms with little or no difference; we have Liberals in the Socialist European tradition and we have the anemic Liberals parading as Republicans to get elected.
They seem to forget that the anemic Liberal policies of George Bush alienated the American voter and set up our election of the Marxist in silk. If they could embrace the Conservative principles instead of the failed European Socialism of the 80’s, America would embrace them for decades, but no they must only pretend to stand for principles of accountability and fiscal responsibility. They stand under the umbrella of Socialism like women in dresses during a spring shower, for they must not ruin their appearance or compromise their most Liberal voters; and once again, they are losing the support of conservative Americans, who are holding the Constitution to their breasts with rears in their eyes.
@Gary G. Swenchonis:
There are many, in my opinion, and some of them comment here regularly. As for known politicians, they have a problem. Essentially, it is the fact that both parties seem to be run by liberals, whose progressive attitudes lead them to believe that more, and more central government is the answer. Listen closely to the GOP candidates, and you will get a very good idea of where they stand on this. Romney, for instance, by defending his passage of Romneycare, believes more government is the answer. Newt, by his support of cap-n-trade, is another.
I am going to sound like a racist, or a sexist, in saying this, but I will anyway; If you want to see what the future of the Republican party SHOULD be, listen to the women and the minorities. People like Palin, Bachmann, Cain, and Rubio have the right attitudes. Unfortunately, they are already behind simply because they are not part of the establishment politicians leading the GOP.
Completely agree Skooks, and I have been saying as much these past few weeks.
@Skookum: Skookum I hear you loud and clear! One day my wife and I woke up, and realized that both parties were one in the same. Only the names were different. It’s good to see OBi election galvanized conservatives, even if it was after the fact. But we still have a split party bigtime in my opinion. I agree with Johngalt too, just look at the minorities! Palin, Cain, etc… I do think that if we don’t get a strong conservative person for president this time around that our country’s unraveling at the seams will only speed up.
Its odd in away, we have strong people like Cain, Palin, Rubio, and Bachman who are willing to speak out, and stand up for conservative values. And they are all minorities! And nothing wrong with that. Yet You would think that the so called professional politicans would figure it out! But then my wife thinks that they all sold out so long ago that they have forgotten what they got elected for years ago. Which I agree with. If only the republicans could grow some backbone and realize that many Americans can now see the writing on the wall;, and are hoping and praying someone to take the Bull by the horns.
johngalt. I agree with you, and your observation is not racist. The facts speak for themselves! Maybe white male politicians still feel that if they speak out like Cain and Palin that they will lose their jobs. In all reality they would have even 8 years ago. But not now. All they have to do is turn their TVs on and see the thousands of Americans practically begging for strong leaders! Or look at the Polls. The majority of Americans are sick and tired of all the BS, and the games. Or look at the trends! Some governors taking on the Fat Cat Unions. I had given up hope that anyone would ever do that. Yet it’s happening, and the State Fight going on out in Arizona! Finally! Americans are just waiting for the right leader to show up and lead! Good point though!
Gary G. Swenchonis, hi, good points. SKOOKUM IS A MASTER IN EXPOSING THE WRONGS. I feel that the one who will rise in front, will sprout up later,
because like you mentionned, he will be coming with all the TOOLS TO DEFEAT HIS OPPONANT,
and for this to happen, he is most likely at this time, studying all the angles, and the lies,
and the faults, and the incompetence move of THE opponants to be exposed AT ALL LEVELS,
THIS TAKE SOME BRAIN POWER TO TAKE IN, WITHOUT LEAVING NO SECRET MACHINATION OF THE OPPONANT BEHIND,
SO , the name of the game here is a person with brain capacity to remember and outspeak and expose all the failures of THAT PARTY WHICH WILL BE UNEQUIPT TO USE THEIR RACE CARDS NEITHER THEIR DIVIDE
AMERICA’S CARD, HE WILL COME LATE BUT a hunter he will be, to leave no beast behind, and show the miserable opponants to the AMERICANS ‘S VOTERS FOR WHAT THEIR AGENDA WILL RENDER THE NATION TO SUFFER FOR, AND HE WILL WIN BECAUSE HIS TRUTH WILL PREVAIL OVER THEIR LIES
Until there are people like Cain and Palin, who call a spade a spade, (and do not beat around the bush), we are going to have weasels-We need a “Long story short” guy, who doesn’t wrap it in BS, just to be warm and snuggly.
Blake, hi, yes you say it better,
Gary G. Swenchonis, hi, you are a wise man, for I see it in your comments, and
on your 4, yes there is , but the one we see strong is as strong as the support he can get from his crew plus us, all over the BLOGGOSPHERE WHICH IS VERY POWERFULL
MORE THAN WE REALISE, AND because of the power being given to this media by the readers,
entitle us to support those righteous strong leaders to be able to take on anything, the devil himself, if they know to be supported by us, and it give them an increase force to carry the incredibly long and tiresome task to seek the highest seat in AMERICA, given to that special PERSON,FOR HIS ABILITYS
found to be worthy of the people’s votes, not for anything less or diffrent, physicaly good looking is
not a PROBLEM for the job as high as this one, but intelligent mix with love of the NATION that have nurture that person way deep down from the roots that became over the time strong enough to resist any forces of destruction to have growned with wisdom and knowledge to percieve their ennemies
deepest thoughts. that person will need us all to teach the ignorants that it is the right one
to rebuilt the AMERICAN DREAMS.
@Blake: Amen to that Brother! I am so sick and tired of the “feel good language”.!
@ilovebeeswarzone: Thanks! I just hope that you are right!!!!