To Joe, Gilbert & the Elk Bros Gang, 

Just a quick update. First, I had an incredible adventure in New Mexico. Which of course is followed by, but…. I didn’t fill my tag.

After sitting through sundown Sunday, my friend Craig and I started walking the 3 1/2 miles down the canyon back to the vehicle. The first 1 1/2 miles is very steep with only game trails.

Then it happened.

I badly sprained an ankle. Thankfully not broken. But it really slowed us down moving around dry waterfalls and backtracking to find accessible routes in the dark. It was midnight before we got back to the truck. Thankfully I had ibuprofen on board as well as extra headlamp batteries and trekking poles. Once back at camp I created an ice pack and broke out the stretch wrap for the ankle, and more ibuprofen.

Craig returned home Monday morning and I went for a walk on some trails towards an evening site to intercept elk going to evening water. No elk, but again a midnight return time back at camp. Even on trails, the loose rock and downhill walking was treacherous and very, very slow.

I woke up early Tuesday and decided that I shouldn’t press my luck any further. I hadn’t fallen on Monday. Though it was close a couple of times. Being by myself, even on established trails, a bad fall could create real injury and make things complicated very quickly. I used the InReach to message my wife that I was cutting the trip short and heading home.

I met a couple of very nice hunters, spotted elk, even made a move on one. Throw in a first ever sighting of Coue’s deer, a rare horned lizard, awesome stars and some great fellowship with Craig and the trip was successful. I also learned a few things that I can apply Next Time.

Thanks again for your help, podcast, and encouragement.

Rich Straight

Leave a Reply