Back in the days, mid 1980s, when I had the energy to trek up and down mountains hunting deer I went off to Utah with few others to hunt for the big one.
We were supposed to spent five days up there and not a one of us ever got a shot off. Of course it was the worst spell of rain to ever hit that area. It was however one of the greatest adventures that any of us had ever been on.
This trip happened right in the middle of the double tailed quarter episode that I’ve written about before. I’ll add a link to it right here:
The double tailed quarters helped to keep things lively, but there are so many other things that make that trip so memorable.
We rented a pretty good sized Winnebago Motorhome to make the trip in, from a fellow up on Mesa Drive in Austin. We took it out to our office/shop out in South Austin and hooked up trailer to haul my CJ-7 Jeep and a couple of 4-wheelers. Then we loaded the motorhome down with supplies.
I had some “important” business to take care of before I could leave, so the plan was for Kenny, Coy Foust and Rick Skinner to drive out there, and a couple of days later I’d fly to Salt Lake City, rent a car and drive down and meet up with them. Rick was a fellow that worked for The Lakeway Development Company, in which we had been doing a lot of work for. He was from Utah and knew all the ins and outs of hunting up there.
I had contacted my Brother In Law, David Jordan about going along, but springing it on him suddenly, he didn’t have enough time to get his stuff all together so he flew out with me. We knew Rick couldn’t be gone as long as the rest, so the plan was always for Rick and me fly back together and that left David to drive back with Kenny and Coy.
The trip out there started off really good. That motorhome was burning so much oil that they stopped in Lampasas and added a gallon of oil. It didn’t take many stops before they needed to change the spark plugs. They eventually laid in a good stockpile of oil and spark plugs, because the farther they went, the more oil it burned and the intervals between changing spark plugs became more frequent.
When they finally made it to the destination out of Spanish Folk, toward the Strawberry Reservoir. They pulled a way up on the side of a mountain and found a level spot to setup camp. The first afternoon they took a drive up the mountain and saw deer everywhere. That was the afternoon before season opened. There was a lot of anticipation.
Then it started raining. It never stopped the whole time we were there. David and I made it down to Spanish Fork, got our license and then headed over to our predetermined place to meet. They came off the mountain in the Jeep to meet us. There was no way that Lincoln Town Car I had rented could get up that muddy trail. We left it down at the little town and all five of us went back up, crowded in that Jeep.
That became a daily ritual to come out of there in the Jeep and all of us load up in the Lincoln to go have a big dinner somewhere. Then we’d return and all five of us would be jammed together in that motorhome. Everyone had their own bunk except Coy and me had to sleep in a bed together. I remember being nervous, sleeping in a bed with him. I had heard plenty of stories about him and his ways. As far as I know he never made any kind of a move on me.
We never saw another animal that I remember. It was so wet and miserable that we had to stay inside most of the time. Rick was due to fly back with me and David was going to ride back in the motorhome.
I talked Rick into us leaving a day or two early, which wasn’t hard to do. The others headed back after getting a tow truck to help them get off the mountain. After getting lost and going a couple hundred miles out of their way, they made it back to Santa Rosa, New Mexico before the engine blew up. They reconfigured their rig and with the Jeep now pulling the trailer, then headed home, leaving the motorhome behind. In the middle of a near blizzard, they made it to Lubbock in that rag top Jeep. Somehow they convinced David to bring the Jeep on in while they flew back on Southwest Airlines.
That fellow up on Mesa Drive never did return our deposit. A few weeks later the Winnebago could once again be seen out at the side of that guys house. I never did see it sitting out with a For Rent Sign on it again.