Author Topic: Red cliffs are good for the soul  (Read 373 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline WhistlingBadger

  • Member
  • Posts: 169
  • Future Expert
Red cliffs are good for the soul
« on: November 09, 2019, 07:25:42 pm »
Today, I got to head out to Red Canyon, ostensibly to hunt rabbits, but mostly to wander around, launch arrows at twigs and dirt clods, look for petroglyphs, confuse the daylights out of some muley does (I've been working on my fawn bleat; it still needs work), and generally let the magic of beautiful country wash the crud of a stressful week out of my head.



It is hard for some people to believe that teaching elementary music can be stressful.  I won't go into the reasons here.  Those of you who work in the current education system need no explanation; the rest of you will have to take my word for it.  It isn't like being an EMT or an infantryman; there is no trauma or horror, but little things build up over time.  For me, nothing cleans out the old attic like an afternoon in the red cliff-juniper country.

My rabbit arrows, despite being the wrong spine for my bow, were flying well.  No suicidal rabbits presented themselves as candidates for my supper, so I poked around in the cliffs, looking for interesting things.  I didn't find anything overtly amazing--no shed antlers, animal skulls, historical artifacts, or rare animal sightings.  But there were fox tracks in the snow; goofy chickadees, dignified magpies, and nervous robins to keep me company; a townsend's solitaire uttering its jubilant, slightly manic song, completely out of keeping with its somber colors; and at every turn those mysterious, intricately shaped, promise-filled red cliffs.



I can drive less than half-an-hour from Badger Manor to places where I can spend a whole day exploring without seeing another person or retracing my tracks.  I am very, very blessed.
Fall down six times.  Stand up seven.

Offline JW_Halverson

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,082
    • Black Hills Raptor Center
Re: Red cliffs are good for the soul
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2019, 08:35:18 pm »
Good for you, brother.

I am leaving at 5:00 a.m. on a 20 hour drive to Kingman, AZ to fly redtails and Harris hawks on desert jacks and cottontails. Then on to Sedona to fly prairie falcons and aplomado falcons on quail (possibly even a nightfall hunt for cottontails with Eurasian eagle owls), than on to Tucson for Harris hawks on more cottontails and jacks.

I will get to hang with three radically different falconers from three very different schools of practice.  I have oiled and re-oiled my falconry glove and backup glove until they are butter soft. I have polished the silver plating off my whistle until it is simply gleaming brass, and the soft plastic treat pouch for my belt has been scoured with hot soapy water, disinfected, and dried with care.

Come hail or high water, I need some time in the desert, too. I need to wash off my cares with sand, cactus, and the blue skies that only an arid climate can produce.

Be well, Badger.
Guns have triggers. Bicycles have wheels. Trees and bows have wooden limbs.

Offline WhistlingBadger

  • Member
  • Posts: 169
  • Future Expert
Re: Red cliffs are good for the soul
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2019, 08:52:51 pm »
Wow, JW, that sounds amazing.  I hope we'll get to see some pictures and hear some stories.  I've always had a soft spot for prairie falcons, especially.  Just seeing them on the hunt is exciting, and I can only imagine what it must feel like to actually work with one.  I hope you see more game than I did.  But I'm not complaining.  That's another blessing:  It is good to be prosperous enough that meat in the pot is a nice bonus to one's wanderings, not a requirement.

Enjoy and let us know how it goes!

Thomas
Fall down six times.  Stand up seven.

Offline Hawkdancer

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,144
Re: Red cliffs are good for the soul
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2019, 11:44:37 pm »
A great excursion for you both!  I am familiar with the teaching scene, but only as a "hit" substitute many years ago.  I am a bit hindered getting out at present, but thoroughly enjoy time "in the woods" and fields and mountains?  We are between the plains and the high country, with a wide variety of critters to observe, and pursue in season.  It is therapeutic!  Hope to see a lot of pictures, JW!
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline Azmdted

  • Member
  • Posts: 34
Re: Red cliffs are good for the soul
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2019, 06:34:06 am »
I understand completely. I lived in Arizona for 25 years before moving to Maryland for what turned out to be an unfulfilled promise.  Oh well.  Last week I had a business meeting in Arizona starting Monday, so I flew the Friday before. Headed to Flagstaff and spent time wandering around the various habitats there, enjoying awesome sunny, warm, dry air.  Went over towards Twin Arrows and wandered the flats in that area, sad to see the new casino there though.  Then down Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona. 

While in Flagstaff I found that they were holding a 3D archery shoot.  I linked up with a great group of folks and walked the course with them.  3 miles and 22 targets, beautiful. I took a 28 year hiatus from bow hunting and am just getting back into it now.  Back then I was shooting a PSE Magnaflite compound with Easton aluminum arrows, carbon was just coming out.  Wow, what a difference now.  Those machines called bows now are something. Built in laser range finders, automatically projecting a range compensated dot, 100 yard shots, carbon toothpicks for arrows.  Crazy. I respect the folks who do that, but at this point in life shooting a stave that I carved is an awesome feeling.

Nothing like a little solitude, western air and landscape to clear the head. 

Offline JEB

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,412
Re: Red cliffs are good for the soul
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2019, 06:38:01 am »
Good for you folks. Have fun out there and enjoy this great America

Offline TimBo

  • Member
  • Posts: 580
Re: Red cliffs are good for the soul
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2019, 08:16:25 pm »
Sounds like an awesome day!

Offline bjrogg

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,034
  • Cedar Pond
Re: Red cliffs are good for the soul
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2019, 06:47:34 am »
Great you can enjoy the time spent in your beautiful wilderness Whistling Badger.
My cousin has been living and working in California for a long time. His job was eliminated and he took a new job working in New Mexico in the desert. He works fourteen days then is off fourteen days. I can see it's been good for him to be working in the outdoors again. His first "tour" as he calls them he was not looking forward to. His second went by quickly and now I think he just plain looks forward to getting back to the desert.
Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline Hawkdancer

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,144
Re: Red cliffs are good for the soul
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2019, 11:38:26 am »
BJ, sounds like your cousin landed a good job!  Time to do other pursuits between tours is neat!  Ted,
I agree with you on the "sticks".  Only get down Arizona way every couple of years passing through, but enjoy the Flagstaff area. 
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline bjrogg

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,034
  • Cedar Pond
Re: Red cliffs are good for the soul
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2019, 12:37:38 pm »
Yah Jerry I'd love a schedule like that. It'd be really cool having two weeks off. Plus he gets his travel expensives paid and gets paid for the travel day. Can buy a plane ticket to anywhere he wants to go. Pay is good to. I'm thinking I'll be seeing more of him now cause he can get a ticket back here at the end of any of his "tours". His employer doesn't care where he goes as long as he comes back. He's really liking the people he's working with to and thinks they like him to. Sorry whistling Badger. Didn't mean to high jack your thread. Just agreeing how good being in the outdoors can be for your wellbeing.
Bjrogg
PS I'm pretty sure a bunch of Elementary kids, their parents and my nerves wouldn't get along really well.
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline WhistlingBadger

  • Member
  • Posts: 169
  • Future Expert
Re: Red cliffs are good for the soul
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2019, 12:39:45 pm »
No worries!  What line of work is he in?  Sounds like a decent deal, especially if he's single.

T
Fall down six times.  Stand up seven.

Offline bjrogg

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,034
  • Cedar Pond
Re: Red cliffs are good for the soul
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2019, 12:52:23 pm »
No worries!  What line of work is he in?  Sounds like a decent deal, especially if he's single.

T

Yup he's single. Working in the oil pipeline and storage tank systems. He works with the systems that detect how much flow, pressure and tank volume. Does a lot of driving in the desert on really crude roads. Seeing Coyotes, Mule Deer and Road Runners. Hoping he can find me some chert, cholla and snake skins. He hates snakes but would like to try eating one.
Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline JEB

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,412
Re: Red cliffs are good for the soul
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2019, 12:55:56 pm »
I'll bet he is finding some artifacts also BJ. If he is around Las Cruces I wouldn't mind meeting up with him this winter. Have lunch and talk about you, lol

Maybe get a tip on where do some arrowhead hunting.

Offline bjrogg

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,034
  • Cedar Pond
Re: Red cliffs are good for the soul
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2019, 03:00:23 pm »
I'll bet he is finding some artifacts also BJ. If he is around Las Cruces I wouldn't mind meeting up with him this winter. Have lunch and talk about you, lol

Maybe get a tip on where do some arrowhead hunting.

He says busy when he's there. Works 10 or 12 hours and lives in a "Man Camp". Is looking for apartment or house but everything has a waiting list. At first he said there was nothing in the desert. I told him I bet there was. He's starting to notice stuff. Now he's surprised how much stuff he's seeing. He is in Carlsbad area I think. Works mostly south and east towards Texas. Actually does some work in Texas. I'm happy for him. He was really worried at first. He's really starting to feel comfortable there now though.
Jeb I told him about you. He said it's a long drive to Hatch area. And that he wouldn't have any time unless he stayed after his tour was over. Can't do that till he can get out of man camp and have a place to stay. He's a real character. Never have to wonder what he's thinking for very long.
Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline WhistlingBadger

  • Member
  • Posts: 169
  • Future Expert
Re: Red cliffs are good for the soul
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2019, 04:06:55 pm »
Fall down six times.  Stand up seven.