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Category Archives: Mountain Living

Fox Squirrel Courtesy of Pete Walker

There was a time in my life, I was a whole lot
younger and had more hair, when me and one of
my best friends went camping, packing in and
hunting a lot.  We were just teens and apt to do,
or try just about anything at least once.

When you have hiked into the wilderness with
nothing but a sleeping bag, gun, fishing tackle
and very little to eat, one learns how to survive.

I was telling my wife this morning about cleaning
and cooking squirrel.  We had a package of
stroganoff mix, added water from a stream and
squirrel meat.  Honestly, for all the work of
skinning it and cleaning it, the little guy was not
bad eating.  The smell was really not bad either.

Chipmunk, Courtesy of Michael Seraphin, DOW.

However, if one of these little rascals is all you
come across, don’t bother yourself with it.  I can
promise you my wife has already named it Fred
and it is a pet.  Besides, there really is not enough
protein in one of these.

Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Courtesy of The Washington DC Library and the DOW.

Jackrabbits are real stringy, and tougher than
woodpecker lips.  They smell pretty bad when
you skin and clean them, and so does any kind of
rabbit.  You really want to watch out when it
comes to transporting these lanky critters.  It is
not wise to drive a load of them home, inside the
vehicle with you.  We, my friend and I, were
nearly eaten alive by fleas.

Western Rattle Snake, Courtesy of Pete Walker.

Now here is a very tasty morsel, but smells
worse than two-week old dirty socks filled with
rotting meat.  Seriously, think about the way a
snake digests its food (meat).  It rots in there as
it moves on through the belly, body and all.

Whistling Marmot, Courtesy of David Hannigan.

Many years back, my friend and I hiked up a
mountain just a few miles north of where I
currently reside.  A freak snow storm hit and
our skinny back sides were stuck up there for a
week.  There was this noisy, whistle piercing
our hung over heads and we were real hungry.
Even as a kid I was a cranky old man.  We made
short work and a tasty tidbit out of that big
ball of blubber.

Yes, I am ashamed to admit it, but sometimes
a young man has to do, what a young man has to
do to stay alive.  My wife and I have a rule, if you
kill it (even by accident) you skin it, clean it and
eat it. 

You will all be happy to know I am no longer a
hunting man.  Like I said before, my wife has
named them all Fred.  She would beat me bloody
about the head and shoulders if I did any of this
stuff now.  Besides, I am getting a little too old
for all that work and I have grown to love the
wild beasts around my place.  I enjoy providing
them all with a nice safe place to live.

 Copyright 2011, by Glenn Raymond.

All Photographs are “Courtesy of” the great
people named in the captions and were obtained
from the Colorado Division of Wildlife website.

Big Horn Sheep (Male), Near Jasper, Alberta

Image via Wikipedia

There was a time, before my wife and I got
got married, when I was almost single.

This is WD0FEO, coming to you from the Colorado Queen.

Yes, it really is me (back in the day).

Did I really just say that?  Yes, I guess I did.  I
was almost single, because the woman dropped
me like moldy blueberry yogurt.

She was living alone in a buffet apartment in
Grant, Colorado.  Grant is the size of one male
Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep.  The South
Platte River (excellent trout fishing) was right
outside her kitchen window and across the
highway is the goat path which goes up over
Guanella Pass and drops back down into
Georgetown.  I could not stand the thought of
her being there all alone with nothing, but Big
Horn Sheep to keep her company.

It drove me googly-eyed bonkers.  I could not
eat or sleep, how could I when I had to worry
about how to act being single.  Between her and
the few dates I managed to scrape up now and
then, the word single was not in my vocabulary. 

I sent friends by with bags of groceries for her.
She would call me up at the Bailey Country Store
and read me the riot act, then hang up.  One day
I snuck over to her landlord’s house, right next
door to her place and paid the rent for her.  It
was not long before she found out, and boy was
she angry.  You never want to see that woman
angry.  She’s a lot like the Tasmanian devil on
steroids when she gets mad.  Needless to say,
she called the law.

When the telephone at the store rang, it went
like this,  “Hello.”

“Glenn, this is detective so-and-so.”

“Yes.”  I was thinking she jumped in the river or
something.  My heart was in the bottoms of my
Fred Flintstone feet.

“I was just wondering,” this man clears his throat
and it sounds a bit like fingernails scraping on a
chalkboard.  “If I say I will never come into your
store again, will you pay my rent too?”

Luckily I only had to show up at her door once
with a big yellow ribbon tied around my neck
and a couple of crocodile tears in my eyes.  She
said yes and within a few weeks we were married
at Olive Garden, for the Black Tie Cheesecake.

All in all, I was almost single once, but I am glad
she said yes.  I still can’t sleep.  However, I do
have access to all the sugary, chocolate, pastry,
and home-baked goodies a man could ever have
nightmares about.

Copyright 2011, by Glenn Raymond.

Polaris Ranger UTV.

A Sweet Little Tank.

My Polaris Ranger UTV, Utility All Terrain
Vehicle, is a sweet little tank.  I have to say it is
the most versatile and durable tool I own.  As a
4×4 it takes me over the roughest terrain and
through the densest woods on my mountain
property.

Copyright 2011, by Glenn Raymond

So My Wife Will Love Me.

Copyright 2011, by Glenn Raymond

She Will Love Me, She Will Love Me, She Will Love Me.

This red devil has a handy dump bed making
unloading firewood for winter heat extremely
easy.  During summer months heavy mountain
rains wash out the driveway “goat path.”  The
Polaris Ranger gets me down the road and
back with loads of “my own” replacement gravel.
I do have to be able to get my big cruiser out “so
my wife will love me.”

Copyright 2011, by Glenn Raymond.

I Think She Loves Me.

With a winch, the optional 73 inch snowplow
for the Polaris UTV makes keeping up with 
heavy mountain snow storms simple.  Afterall,
my driveway is nearly one-quarter of a mile long.
A neat and clear route for my wife insures me
dinner, so even the dog loves this little beast.

This mean creature has paid for itself many
times over.  This Polaris Ranger UTV is by
far one of the best investments I have ever
made next to my wife, of coarse.

 

Copyright 2011, by Glenn Raymond.

Modern compound crossbow

Image via Wikipedia

Our chickens tend to make all the local predators
salivate profusely.  There was a determined red fox
hanging
around quite a bit and I pursued him every
opportune moment.  However, no matter what
I did, I always missed him and I am not a bad
shot.

One early evening the usual racket from the
hutch yanked both my wife and I to our feet.
I grabbed my Horton 175 lb., Compound
Crossbow.   The 20 inch carbon bolts shoot out
of this bow at about 320 foot per second.  I had
been itching to use it and this was my first big
chance.

“I’m going to nail it this time.”  My wife was hot
on my heels as I ran for the shed.  “When I get up
there you hand me the bow.”

I swear, the darn fox is a mind reader.  It sat
down about 50 yards from the shed in clear view
and proceeded to pretend we were not even
there.  It was a clean shot, guaranteed.

Only perhaps a fraction of a milla-mother of
one second before I gently squeezed the trigger
on my crossbow, the fox scrambled quicker than
a confused streaker in a convent.  It was long
gone before the bolt ever left my Horton.
I was not a happy hunter.  Once again I had
missed and if a crossbow could have human
qualities, mine would have beaten me bloody.

Suddenly my wife was laughing so hard she
nearly fell over.  I did not find anything funny
about missing the fur ball, yet again.  It was bad
enough the little snot was off in the woods
somewhere having a good hard laugh, while 
recounting the tale of the crazy human to the
bobcat, mountain lion and bears.

“What?”  I felt bad enough, this was almost too
much to swallow.  “I didn’t flinch or hesitate!”

“You are standing on the roof of the shed in
broad daylight, wearing one blue sock, one
white one, and your tighty-whities.  Have you
ever noticed just how bow-legged you really
are?”

As I looked down at myself she laughed even
harder.  “No honey, you didn’t flinch.  That fox
was laughing so hard it had to leave before it
peed its fur.”

I ask you, how was I to know my wife was saying
prayers for the foxes escape?  

Copyright 2011, by Glenn Raymond.   

Years ago I placed drywalling on the back
burner only doing it on a part-time basis.  I
decided to buy a little grocery store in the
town of Bailey and see how things shook out.

The Bailey Country Store was a lot of fun and
work, but well worth the twenty years I spent
there.  It was the one place on main street
where everyone gathered to chat, flirt, this
is how I met my wife,
and once in a while get
free snacks.

I learned quickly that if I wanted to sell things,
I had to have product to sell.   It was very
important for me to ask the local customers
what they wanted.  Before long I carried a little
bit of everything, from a great selection of food
and household items, to electronics, hardware,
makeup and pantyhose, vitamins and over the
counter medicinal items, kitchen utensils, rolled
up feather beds, towels, Kamasutra oils, movies,
and gift items.  You name it, I would carry it
right down to the old building’s ghosts.

I love to cook and cooking requires a full array
of spices.  Not everyone likes the spices I do, so
as they neared their expiration date I would pull
them and replace them with new ones.  I soon
had a vast collection of unsaleable spices.  This
required fast thinking to keep from losing money
on them.  I came up with my own version of the
Santa Maria seasoning for beef, and a kick butt
hot Cajun seasoning blend for chicken.

I utilized my butcher shop and pre-seasoned tri-
tip roasts, wrapped them snugly at put them in
the case.  I did the same with my Cajun recipe on
wings.  The food was selling so fast I could hardly
keep up, and it was not just the meat.  People had
to buy everything they needed for the full meal.
Before I knew what hit me, I was up to my blood
shot eyeballs in alligators. 

People started coming from all over to buy meat
from my butcher shop.  Whenever someone 
asked how to cook the roasts my line was, “Just
roll it around on the grill for six to eight beers,
about forty-five minutes.  A few less beers if you
like beef really rare,” 

I hung in there for a few (twenty) years of twenty
four, seven work.  I was very proud of that place
and, as you can imagine, my recipes.  People
came and went, nothing took place in
Park County without word of it arriving
at the good old BCS first.  Life was a constant
gathering of dear friends.

I do miss the Bailey Country Store and all of the
people who stopped in.  There is a huge lonely
spot in this old drywaller’s heart.  Yet, I still run
across customers from back then and we’ll shoot
the breeze just like old times.  They always scold
me for having sold the business, because good
meat and customer care are so hard to come by
these days.  It was an honor for me to serve Park
County, and residents of Bailey, Colorado and all
those who traveled from everywhere to buy my
Santa Maria tri-tips and Cajun style wings.

By the way, this really does make my wife “The
Butcher’s Wife.”
  That is what she gets for
watching that movie so many times.  Just
don’t tell her I said it’s fine to call her that,
and you can.

Copyright 2011, by Glenn Raymond.