Wednesday, March 30, 2011

27-29 March, 2011 - Calling coyotes and putting up with the wind.

These are our final two days on the Virgin River access road on Gold Butte.

Susan brought four of last year's pumpkins from our garden.  We had to pick them green when the vines were killed by frost.  (They were all very small.  Last year was a cold summer for gardening.) One of them rotted before we could use it but she cut this one up a couple of days ago.  We noticed that one of the seeds had sprouted while inside the pumpkin.

Susan wanted to try grinding grain with stone tools so she found some suitable stones and gave it a whirl...
We had to set up the folding chair for a windbreak.

The first batch was corn and it ground up very well with minimal effort.

Next she tried barley.  (We didn't have any wheat with us.)

The barley grouind up okay but it was a lot more difficult than the corn.

The morning of the 28th I decided to try calling coyotes again.  The wind had finally died down some so I headed off on my bicycle.

This is the spot I tried.  It's about six miles from where we camped.  I called in one coyote in this spot.  He was one of the biggest coyotes I've ever seen and I missed him clean.  He was facing me at about 125 yards so I tried for a head shot.  The bullet went to the right. I never got a chance for a second shot.  I may have grazed his leg but it wasn't serious at any rate.  I tracked him for about 100 yards and there was no blood nor any changes in his gait or tracks.  I checked the zero when I got back to camp and my sights were off a bit.  It was hitting about four inches left at 100 yards.  I said some naughty words (again) and adjusted the scope.  I've used this rifle to shoot gophers with head shots at 100 plus yards so I was sure surprised when I shot and the coyote ran off!

Tht bushy stuff in the foreground is about ten feet high and very thick.  We got lost in it last year and spent about two hours getting out of it.

This is a picture taken from the ridge-top a couple of miles east of the place I was hunting.  The clear places you see are sand flats along the river.  The rest is hundreds of acres of brush.

This is the edge of the brush.  It gets very thick the farther in you go.  Once in it you can
t see any landmarks to get your bearings.  If you go the wrong dairection you'll be parallel to the edge and you can go over a mile before getting out of it.

Susan made Tacos one evening.  The lettuce is some she planted in a bucket before we left Montana.  Fresh lettuce was a nice addition to the canned cheese and venison.

Susan put a sleeping bag on top of the camper so she could sleep out there ... then the wind came up and blew it all off.

Susan already had her sleeping  bag and air mattress set up on top of the camper.  There was no wind so we started a campfire and made smores. After the fire burned down we went in the camper to watch a movie and about half-way through it we felt a gust of wind then more wind.  We rounded up the sleeping bag and found the air mattress about fifty yards away.  The wind wasn't too bad and we debated whether it would be safe for Susan to go ahead and sleep on the roof then decided against it.  It's a good thing we did.  She have been like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.  It was a night of some of the worst wind we've had.

The next day the wind was still blowing but not nearly as hard so we went for a bicycle ride.  We took a different fork than the one I took the day before and rode down to the Virgin River.  The dog was really happy to see the water and waded, drank, laid in the water then drank some more.
I went to put some more air in my tires for the ride home and saw a bubble in the sidewall.  Somewhere along the line I scraped the tire against something and tore a hole in the sidewall.  It made it back to the camper but I'm going to have to buy a new tire.

The road goes through canyons almost all the way.  It's about 6 miles to the river from where we camped so it was about 12 miles round trip.  The canyons are beautiful and there are hundreds of them.

I took my rifle along figuring to try calling in some more coyotes and see what happened with the dog along as I did it.  Odie tends to sing along with the calls whether rabbit distress calls or coyote barks, howls and whines.  We wanted to see if it kept the coyotes away or brought them in.  We ended up not calling.  I should have left the rifle at home.  I need to find a better system for carrying it on a bike.
I had three quarts of water with me and a bottle of tea in the bike bag.

Susan had water and tea for her and we brought water for the dog in the bucket on her bike rack.

One of our shaded rest stops on the way back.  It was a slight uphill grade all the way back but about half of it was on loose sand and gravel.  A lot of work on a bicycle!

Susan had put the cut pumpkin in the solar cooker and cooked it.  Now she's cutting the rind away.  We'll be having pumpkin bars or pumpkin pie soon.

I decided the rifle needed cleaned so I took care of that chore as well.

We broke camp later and headed back into Mesquite in preparation for coming back to Overton.

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