Of town, and possibly of my mind.
When my dad called and asked James if he was putting in for archery elk with the rest of the family, it sounded like a good idea.
Let me translate that for the uninitiated: Arizona has a lottery to get a tag to hunt an elk with a bow. You put your name into the lottery in groups of four, specifying first through sixth choices of area and cow or bull. My uncle chooses the order of preferences and has a real knack for setting them up to get drawn. This year makes the eighth year in a row they've been drawn and each year they think it's more unlikely than the last, but each year they've been drawn. My dad, uncle, aunt, sister's husband, sister's husband's friend, cousin's husband, and uncle's friend were all putting their names in for archery season. That's one person short of two groups of four. Who is missing from this picture? We are!
Never mind the two children, one of them six months old. Sure, the camping area is completely in the backwoods with no facilities whatsoever. We'll rent a camper or something. It'll be fine. Never mind that you can't fly into there and it's a nineteen hour drive. We can get there. Never mind that gas is a zillion bucks a gallon and the airlines mortgage your home to check your luggage. Not to mention the crazy price tag of an out of state hunting license and tag. None of that seemed a significant barrier at the time.
And while we're at it, let's make sure to maximize James' hunting time. None of this go for a weekend. In fact, a week seems paltry. Let's make it 13 days. Yes, that sounds about right.
And invite some extra people. The more, the merrier!
Well that was months ago and now that the actual trip is looming large, I'm wondering what could I possibly have been thinking to imagine this was a good idea. We can't provide our own shelter, food, or transportation. Various members of my family have been in various states of panic trying to make it all work. We actually need three hundred plates. One hundred servings of breakfast alone. Enough clothing to dress these children in possibly freezing conditions. All the equipment and gear for an elk hunt.
I'll let you know how it goes.
p.s. It didn't seem wise to advertise our house being empty for 13 days, so I held onto this post until we were back. Not that anyone nefarious would read it. But, now, we are back. Report on trip to follow!