In the picture above we are at the mouth of a giant bowl - "where God makes the elk" - it is a place unlike any I've ever seen. I've tried to tell my friends about it but words cannot express what it is like to be somewhere so remote, so high and where no picture can do it justice. For me - it is a privilege just to be there. We have watched it, stalked it, hunted it, squeaked it and loved it.
Once I squeaked the cow call for almost an hour - from 11am - until noon - way too late to be calling out bulls. Cord was over the squeaker by then and was laying on his back in the grass - waiting for me to give up. But as an actress, I had to give it my all. I squeaked and begged and pleaded and squeaked until at last, a mighty 6X6 bull stuck his neck out from behind a pine tree to see what all the ruckus was about. Cord dispatched him at almost 300 yards. A spectacular hunt, with husband and wife working together. That bull left the cow he was bedded down with to check me out. Of course it is no easy feat to hit that small target at 300 yards offhand either. Yeah Cord - we call him the elk slayer - with all due respect for the Mighty Wapiti of course. It was a clean kill and it was awesome.
Another time we were sitting on either side of a rock outcropping watching the surrounding sidehills when a beautiful mama bighorn and her fuzzy baby came right in between us and scaled the rock outcropping - as if we weren't there and as if it wasn't straight up and down. We just held our breaths and we will never forget it. That same evening we saw Golden Eagle, Coyote and Bighorn - but no elk - an outstanding hunt.
Obviously the bowl offers much more than great hunting, it is full tilt boogy - in your face. You need to be strong and brave and embrace the wilderness around you. It is big, the stars are close, the dark is deep. The path back to base camp is dark and steep as we often leave the bowl just at dark. The horses just put their butts down and glide us over the roughest stuff you've ever seen - as if it isn't there. They are eager to get home to eat their grain and hay and to drink in the stream along the way. Then we set them out to graze all night under the stars.
"The Bowl" is a special place and I wish for everyone to have a chance to be on top of the world too - at least once in their lifetime.
This is where the angels sing.