That alarm clock at 1:35 a.m. sucked so bad.
A. left at 2:00 a.m. to go big horn sheep hunting. As I type this, I realize I never posted about the results of his first trip. (Because you care!)
He and his four hunting buddies were out for a week in very rugged country at 10,000- and 12,000-feet altitude. He did see some rams--some of the largest he's ever seen--but didn't manage to "harvest" one. (I hate that word, "harvest." Let's face it: there is something very different from harvesting corn and shooting a breathing, moving, arguably cognitive animal dead.)
Anyway. A. learned that the very instant one of these sheep see you they are running. They don't take a second or two to process what they see. They just run. Bolt and run! With the agility to cover rocky, unsteady ground that they are born with. And A. had a hard time chasing them with his silly human feet and wobbly ankles. He took two shots at a running ram and missed. Bummer. The guys came home sore, covered in blisters and stinking to high heaven.
So. He and C.R., one of the guys who originally joined him, headed out again. C.R.'s uncle and cousin are meeting them near the area. They've brought their horses, so at least the guys don't have to carry their 50+ pound packs (and hopefully a ram!) for 13 miles each way. With a change in elevation of 3,000 to 5,000 feet. Jesus.
I am fidgety and antsy, like always am when A. is hunting. My tummy just won't relax, and I can only focus on the tasks at hand in a really half-assed kind of way. The last remaining influence of my Catholic upbringing is urging me to light a candle, but I don't want to burn the house down while I am at work (or do I? There would be a lot less cleaning.). Thus, I feel like I am not doing my part to influence The Universe to make sure A. has a safe hunt. Since I do not have a lit candle burning all day I worry that I single-handedly am putting him at risk.
Catholic guilt and questionable mental health do not a happy Artemisia make.
I think of all the things that can go wrong, from a car accident to slipping on the side of a mountain. Bears. BEARS. A sudden blizzard. Yes, in these parts and at that altitude this is a completely reasonable fear. Really. Even in September.
I am also anxious for this hunt to go well for A.'s sake. He's put a lot of time and effort into it and I'd hate for this opportunity to have come and gone without a reward. He's anxious to have the hunt over so he can focus on school, but I am sure he'll be disappointed if the season closes without a ram.
I hope he comes home soon. My stomach lining hopes so, too.