Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ups Downs, highs Lows

The freakin' Mayans didn't get us. You have to start with that - everything else is secondary.We don't like to put a number by anything in a ranking order or point score (deer antlers)  unless we can help it. It is our blog though, so we will take an occasional liberty. Some great family stuff aside, we have to say that literally the highest of highs was 14070 feet atop a Colorado mountain. There was no ice ax or crampons but remember we are from 200ft above sea level.  Next year with the new Colorado law who knows what the high will be! Our backpacking trip in a blizzard AND making it out of the backpacking trip in the blizzard was also a Colorado highlight along with a bear and bull elk in our back yard. The bear in our garage also was great because he left with only a small snack and didn't act like a rock star in a hotel room when he left. Children and friends visiting made for wonderful times. I didn't sink my raft on the Gunny River and watched a Peregrine falcon watch me as I floated by. We had fun hikes, listened to rocky mountain music, and spend lots of fun times with our friends. 
      Our biggest hunting thrill came when Bobby pointed and I shot our first Blue (Dusky) Grouse. What a thrill at 11,000 feet. The meal with Rosa that night that Susan prepared won't be beat anytime soon! Montana with Susan and friends gets better every year. We are starting to learn how to unravel that puzzle we think. We have a majestic Sage Hen at a taxidermy that will be a constant reminder of the Big Open.
     The best trained dog we have ever had the pleasure of walking behind was picked up near Bismark at Oahe Kennels after a summer of training.Thanks Tom. Captain thanks you too. We then had a lifetime experience of three days of pheasant hunting in North Dakota with William and Anna. After your kids go to school and move out, any time you can all get together is a time for celebration. Kansas with another friend was tough but fun, few birds but an accomplishment when we found them.  Anna and I tried them again a few weeks later and got sent home pretty quickly.  It was still a blast.
      I hate to dwell on lows, but a few things things can't be ignored. The drought of 2012 decimated farmers and outdoor recreation over much of the center of America. Game birds took it on the chin, and recovery could take years to get back to the great levels of 2010. It was so dry and hot that around any curve in the road Woody Guthry with his guitar could not be counted out . And I lost my best setter friend Bobby. That hit all of us really hard and our favorite musician and Arkie Levon Helm took a load off for free. Nothing else measured down to that thankfully.
      Okay now for the list of our favorite albums this year: top five and maybe a few more with our favorite song from each.
        Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball. Dude still has the balls to make a great protest album and just grinds the Rock n Roll. Liberal, conservative, righty, lefty, corporation owner or occupier - buy the album. Our favorite song is "Death to My Hometown".
        Iris Demnet's Sing the Delta is next. It is the first album in sixteen years for this Arkie native and it is worth every year of the wait. Listen to it and then go seek professional help. This is a great group of songs. "Go Ahead and Go Home" is our favorite track.
       Ray Wylie Hubbard and Grifters Hymnal is a great album by another of those Austin guys that make great music when they want to. He will name check another band and will spend way too much time talking about his guitar, but give any song on this album a play.We suggest you try "Mother Blues".
      Our other favorites are Walt Wilkins - Plenty, Rodney Crowell - Kin,  Jason Isabell - Live from Alabama and Neil Young - Psychedelic Pill.
       As we are "On the Road" again soon we remind you to check out the Jack Kerouac movie in theaters near you and remember to "burn burn burn" in anything you do. We certainly try to at all times.
         As always click on a picture to make it larger.

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