SYCAMORE TREK: MAY SOUND A LITTLE FAR OUT -- BUT IT'S A PLAN [HUNTER BEAR] JUNE 20 2007 -- PLUS MANY FINE COMMENTS -- FOLLOWED BY A GREAT SYCAMORE COLLOQUY WITH GREG EPPERSON [JANUARY 2008] UPDATED MAY 6 2008
NOTE BY HUNTER BEAR:
Initially, we were not going to place this particular message -- a strong
futuristic personal hope and plan -- on this website. But, since receiving
a number of fine and encouraging messages on the matter at hand, I am now
doing so. For this significant journey, we are shooting for May, 2008.
But, in any case, we are definitely committed to it -- sooner or later.
Hunter Gray [Hunter Bear]
See The Carrot and The Stick http://hunterbear.org/carrot_and_the_stick.htm
Coming of Age: Sycamore Memoir: http://hunterbear.org/coming%20of%20age%20[western%20memoir.%20htm.ht
Grizzlies and Sycamore Canyon: http://hunterbear.org/grizzlies.htm
UPDATE MAY 6 2008 [HUNTER GRAY / HUNTER BEAR]:
ADDITIONAL NOTE ON MAY 6 2008 [HUNTER BEAR]:
I now possess an excellent -- only slightly used -- top-of-the-line full scale North Face backpack. In my life, I have had many good backpacks -- and pack boards -- but this is certainly the best one yet.
FROM HUNTER BEAR:
Aware that this, admittedly speculative, could sound far out -- given my
substantial medical trials and tribulations -- I am sending this forth "with
deliberate speed." [Some initial reactions to it have been quite positive.].
My essential social justice vision remains just as strong -- if not
stronger -- than it always has. But I am now developing a very personal
vision as well -- one which I've been mulling for weeks. In contrast to
three and almost four years ago, when day-to-day personal survival was much
to the fore, I am now shooting considerably higher. I'm planning my
second -- physical -- hiking trip through the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness
Area for some point next May [2008.] If so, my youngest son, Peter [Mack]
will go with me. It's possible that a few other family members might come.
It all depends very much, of course, on my medical situation. The trip would
take the better part of a week.
I have been taking for many weeks relatively short but very strenuous hikes
on an almost daily basis. Things have been going well. A junket of this sort
would present an unusual complex of personal challenges, it would be seen by
many as a pipe-dream, and every one of the doctors who has been involved
with me would likely crumble in horror. But it's clear that something is
changing, however slowly, for the better within me -- even to the point that
the astute Eldri sees such an adventure as being within the realm of
reasonable possibility. We will just have to wait and see. No humans, good
or bad, in there, but, remembering the Grizzly sign I saw 'way down in there
52 years ago, I'll take a 45/70 Marlin lever action. Mack is a great camera
person. More on this much later -- if things actually gel. Attached is some
relevant correspondence from me.
My relationship with the Sycamore Wilderness region has been long, pervasive, and vital.
Among other personal pieces of mine, see
To Peter [Mack] June 17 2007
It was certainly good to talk with you, Mack. The Sycamore trip is a good
possibility -- in May, after the upper snow has melted and before the summer
gets going. The cyber map is fairly good but it is a Coconino NF job and
misses some of the lower [southward] area. [The whole Sycamore region is so
big that three national forests are involved [Kaibab and Prescott are the
others]. I have a good paper map which includes all of it. But, if we were
to go, we would not need a map. It's engraved in my mind, always and
forever, and I dream about it.
As I said, I may be the only living person who has really gone down it. In May '55,
the two hermits, Dick and Jerry, of whom I have occasionally written, and
who lived in an old ranch house at the mouth of the Canyon, told me as I was
emerging [they had known me since '52] that they knew of no one else who had
made the long junket. They had lived at the mouth since the '40s at least, maybe
before. The man who blazed a few trails in the upper slopes in the '30s --
Old Man Dave Joy -- never went down in there. I had that on good authority
from USFS officials when I worked for the Coconino. Claude Wright, the bear
and lion hunter, hunted the up high regions in the '30s but told me
personally in '55 that he had never been down in. He was much impressed with
my trek -- asked many questions. I kept up well with regional things into
the '70s and never heard of anyone doing the junket. Have found nothing on
Google that's been written about any full scale down-in trip through. Most
of the people, and they seem to be few, who get into the general Canyon area
come in from the south -- Clarkdale area -- and never go any further than
Sycamore Basin which is on the far lower end. After that it gets super
rough -- and to the folks of today -- scary. None of my high school peers
ever went down in there.
I have found some b.s. on the Net that talks about sinister-type UFOs around
Sycamore. I'm obviously far from a skeptic on that general matter -- see the
ETs as friendly but cautious -- but I have never heard of ETs hanging out in
Sycamore. The same post made the bizarre claim that, in the old days, cattle
were trekked up to Flag etc from the Verde Valley thru Sycamore Canyon!
That's a profound indication of ignorance. You couldn't get cattle half a
mile up and past the hermits' old place -- it gets far too narrow and rough.
After a certain point, you couldn't take a horse. The "writer" was confusing
the Sycamore situation with the entirely different Mooney and Loy cattle
trails. These come up east of Sycamore Pass -- i.e., well to the east of the
Canyon -- in what's called the Secret Mountain region. I have hiked those
trails several times and trapped in the Secret Mountain setting. That's a
bull shit writer who probably never left Sedona.
I will always remember the bear- or lion-scarred huge black Spanish
long-horned bull that I saw crashing thru the brush to drink from Sycamore
Creek. When I spoke to him, he turned and crashed back into the brush. He
was as purely wild as a lion or bear. I -- and others to whom I told that --
have always felt that he was a wild descendant of the Spanish cattle that
fed miners back in the 1790s [the Lost Padre Mine]. But the Spanish did not
come up from the difficult southern end of the Canyon, nor down from the
very difficult northern end -- but probably from the more open western side
of Sycamore Basin, or maybe from the east via Sycamore Pass -- and then into
the Basin and then a bit up, northwise.
To put this in more cogent perspective: The Canyon comes down from the
north, opens into Sycamore Basin, and then narrows once again, eventually
emerging into the setting where Sycamore Creek flows into the Verde River.
And that's about where the hermits lived.
Anyway, just some thoughts. Let's keep one another posted on just about
Best, D [Dad]
To Peter [Mack] June 18 2007
All of this -- the Sycamore thing -- boils down to what happens in my
medical situation in the next year or so. There have been some encouraging
signs: I can "go longer" feeling fairly good later in the day than ever
before. Sun now has no significantly adverse effects. My feet are fine when
they are in my hiking boots -- not so good in moccasins. I am stronger in
all ways. On the other hand, there are feelings of acute fatigue that emerge
suddenly, especially in the latter afternoons. Mind and spirit are just
fine. Stress can be bad -- but challenges, in which I can see the "way to
go," bring out my best. It's clear now to all of us, especially myself and
Eldri, that the SLE has been below the surface since the attack in Vermont
decades ago -- and that I was able to keep it down pretty well, despite
short-lived flares, for decades. This big attack in 2003 may have been the
result of heavy, accumulated stress. It is, as the med authorities put it,
"a deadly disease." It is clear that my chances were written off by several
doctors four years ago. We will have to see what happens. I will do my best
on several personal fronts -- e.g., exercise. I do believe that, if I can
make the Sycamore trip, I'll emerge in much better shape than before.
And we will have some great stories -- and unique photos.
It's always possible, of course, that there have been those in recent
decades who have made the trek through the Canyon but, if so, they have been
far and few between. And as I say, I have seen neither records nor photos
from down in. I continue to doubt that any at all have gone all thru there. It's
too tough, too lonely, too dangerous in the eyes of "rational" folks. Locals
have never gone down in there -- it is a substantive time commitment and
wild game cannot be retrieved from the inner gorge -- and the "dudes" like
the Oak Creek/Sedona and Grand Canyon settings [and, if Sycamore photos are
sought, they are always taken from up high and afar.] The very able sponsors
of our high school and ASC [NAU] hiking clubs never even considered the
innards of Sycamore Canyon. But, in any case . . .
[There are several Sycamore canyons in various places indicated on Google --
but only the Big One for us.]
Best, D [Dad]
This sounds terrific! Best news in years. I say that because your psychic
impulses are the most reliable indication of your inner physical and mental
being. If you have a feeling you can make this trip, then I believe it.
Best regards to you and Eldri and all of yours.
Dear Hunter Gray,
You're a battler if there ever was one! Mind over matter. Mind over Lupus!
Found some pictures on the Net of the Sycamore Canyon area. I wouldn't mind
hiking in those places myself.
On a slightly different topic, I heard the following from a friend of mine
who's a sugar-cane farmer in Australia. His neighbour was bitten in a cane
field the other year by a poisonous snake (can't remember the species). He
was alone at the time and had to get to a doctor fast. About half a mile to
walk to his car, and it seemed like curtains for him. Struggling to get to
the car, he was "fortunately" bitten by another species of snake, whose
venom works as an antidote to the venom of the first one, though havign a
lot of other nasty effects. He was sick as a dog, but made it to the doctor.
Possibly a tall story, but definitely a good one. Ever heard of anything
[Comment by Hunter: Makes one
wonder about the effect of a rattlesnake nip on Lupus.]
Martha Elizabeth Ture:
I think if you can do it, you must. That canyon has been calling you for a
long time, it comes out in all your writing about it. The place is a fount
for you, of inspiration, information, and joy. Whatever you find will really
serve you well, and more importantly, will serve the people with whom you
relate. There is something unfinished between you and that journey and it
wants to see some more of you.
In Thunderheart--which Bret and I just watched again--the Graham Greene
character comes riding up on an ATV pulling a travois. That's an option;
you could relax with your pipe while being pulled into the canyon.
Bear ate a kid in Utah. I'm thinking the bear could have been sick.
Far too busy here; scrambling to get Bret ready for his Europe trip; Sawyer
is in NDSU's basketball camp; Taylor is in Michigan with her aunt and uncle,
etc. Kids want to go to the fair. Brings back happy memories!
Peter Salter [Mack]:
We're excited. Jack's been looking for a topo map online. He priced
revolvers at Scheel's yesterday. I need to get into shape.
I is certainly good to hear that you are feeling strong enough to look
forward to a hiking trip next year. What great news! I hope that it works
out well for you and your son and that your condition continues to improve.
My book, coauthored with Stanton Friedman is currently with the printer
and is due to be released soon. It is titled Captured!: The Betty and
Barney Hill UFO Experience. You can find it on Amazon.com. It will also be
in Barnes and Noble and in many smaller bookstores. The publisher chose to
list it with Stan's name first even though I wrote all but three chapters.
They made this decision because he is well known, so I gave them my
approval. Stan and I will have autographed copies, if you wish to purchase
I'll email a promo sheet to you as an attachment.
This sounds excellent . I am also back on an exercise regime and
feeling more myself. I won't make Yellowstone this year but may end up
doing some tracking in the Grizzly maze the following year. Your journey
sounds excellent. I would be more inclined to believe that there may be
some Nature spirits in the rock faces rather than UFO's. They sometimes
come as balls of light. Good to lay down some tobacco before embarking
on your trek.
AND HUNTER TO BRIAN:
Thanks much indeed for your solid and encouraging words. Not at all
surprisingly, we are certainly very similar in our thinking. Beyond my
return to pipe smoking -- often the case in the family from which I come --
I join you in recognizing the spiritual and related dimensions inherent in
tobacco and its appropriate uses. I don't think it's necessary to say --
but I will, as per my mention of my rifle -- that we are not interested at
all in killing any bears of any kind on this proposed trip down into and
through Sycamore Wilderness. But I did see considerable Grizzly sign in one
especially remote area [actually, it's all extremely remote] on my first
time through and we much respect them and their lands, as we do other bears.
If we have to do so, a few warning shots into the air from my 45/70 will
serve, I am sure, as a relatively polite rejection of any "aggressive
impulses". There are very, very few Grizzlies in Arizona: the small
undisturbed and rather loose cluster whose sign I noted in Sycamore 52 years
ago -- and at least several in the Lukachukai Mountains in the Navajo
country, near Four Corners.
Sycamore Canyon Wilderness is, in every sense, sacred land for me. I draw
much strength from it and from all of my many recollections of my many
travels within it -- though I have only traveled its long length, in the
physical sense, just once.
In the summer of 1999, I had a dream, about which upon awakening, I
immediately told to my family members here and elsewhere. In it, I saw
Sycamore Canyon -- as I sometimes do in dreams and, near one of its rims, I
saw two white horses dancing. I knew then that that was the western rim
area of the Canyon, which has Whitehorse Lake. Then the focus shifted to
the Eastern Rim region, which I know very well. After a pause, there was
another shift and I saw an old black hearse. Then I was in this very house,
looking out our window into the night -- as the hearse put-putted to our
front area, circled our house [this house], three times and then stopped in
front of our front door. And then it drove away. I awoke with the Dream
etched vividly into my mind. Four years later, the Lupus struck with
ferocity, I went to the local hospital three times in little more than three
months -- and almost died each time. But I am obviously alive and
Your exercise program sounds very worthwhile. I think it's critical to
those of us who were/are destined to be free and wide-ranging. And one of
these times we shall get together and discuss Grizzlies and other significant
matters. . . .
We will certainly keep in contact. All the best from all of us,
Bravo - what an example you set!! I should determine to double my walking.
After all, I may be older than you, but in generally good health. Too easy
to get depressed by one's age. If I tell myself I'm 77, I feel dismal. But
if I think of my self at 57, or 47, I immediately have new energy.
Good luck with the long hike.
It sounds ambitious for you to plan for this trip but also optimistic. If
your lady thinks it can happen, well there it is. I will be looking forward to the
photographs that comefrom the hike.
Is this the same canyon with the hidden Spanish gold?
I'm glad you're looking to do this trek. Keep me in the loop on this. I just
might want to join you.
Helen: [A poignant endorsement from a great lady -- like myself, a Native victim of Systemic Lupus]
Too bad, I should add, about Taylor Cabin -- assuming it's gone
Well, we've walked the same sidewalks and back streets at Flag, gone to the
same public schools, and much more in that "urban" setting, but it's clear
our hearts and minds as well are securely in Sycamore Canyon. And there, as
I say, we've crossed trails many times indeed. I really do hope we have a
chance to meet directly at some point. That could come to pass.
We certainly wish you very well indeed, Greg. We will certainly keep in
Write when time allows.
As Ever, Hunter
Yes, you and I have crossed the same routes but at different times. So interesting that you know the the history of these places. I feel like I found the gold mine.
I've been thinking about doing a website with a forum about Sycamore I would respect your thoughts on this? I don't know if thats a good idea or bad, but thinking about it, may reap some info that could be very interesting. On the down side, how much would I want to make public? So much of this is personal, what's your thoughts?
By the way, did you ever trump East Pocket Lookout. There was one year back in the early seventies, my guess is 1969-1970 ( I was a sophomore in good old Flagstaff High) that I must have seen 20 black bears during the late summer months.
They were thick in there, until hunting season opened. We saw some really huge bear there that summer, There was a fire soon afterwards and it was not the same after that. I have very fond memories East Pocket..
There was an old plane wreck real close to the edge of the canyon, looking towards Secret Mountain, and a friend and I sat there on this ledge eating lunch when a sow and cub passed directly underneath us while we ate lunch. That was a fun year.
I think I've been to all the lookouts, I know for sure East Pocket, Turkey Butte, and Woody Mt.
You are a fascinating man! Glad I found you!
FROM HUNTER: [SOME OLDER MATERIAL]
Getting up early these mornings --
usually anywhere from 1 am to 3 am -- I
see and hear interesting things. No tangible evidence of earthquakes and --
with the exception of a very few odd and shadowy cars seen in our
floodlights -- nothing especially suggestive from the Stormfront White
Nationalist hate outfit or its associated National Alliance. I have,
however, heard close-by yowling on a couple of very recent occasions -- big yowling. I've heard it before, and odds are heavy it's a mountain lion.
Several are often around here, especially in the late fall and winter when
the really up high country is locked in snow and the deer and elk have come down into this region. A lion recently wandered into the large Pocatello suburb of Chubbuck -- and then left in leisurely fashion.
Now we're into November and its winter rains and snow and I always remember Another Time. A Teen, whose parents somehow avoided worrying about my many adventures, I had left my camp on the edge of Sycamore Canyon at night and was planning to head to Flagstaff and home. The roads were really not roads much of the time but my '29 Model A coupe could always handle them nicely. Soon after I started the long very dark trip back to Flag, I saw coming toward me, two horses with their riders. They turned out to be Ken Fox [a cowboy and rodeo man not too much older than I who I'd met a year before] and a slightly older friend of his, Joe MacBride. They were planning to hunt mule deer. Upshot was, we tossed in with each other. We now headed away from the direction of Flag, toward Buck Ridge Cabin -- a line shack on the Sycamore rim used by cowpunchers. Joe, who was not in good physical shape,
rode with me. When we came to a barbed wire "horse trap" [corral] into
which we put the horses, we built a fire and camped right there in the rain.
My buddies, with bedrolls, had a fifth of a caustic whiskey known in those
days as Four Roses and consumed a fair amount before turning in. They were soon soundly asleep. I slept under my big wolfskin robe [we still have it here in Idaho] which, as always when wet, smells like an old dog.
I awoke suddenly shortly after midnight. A lion was yowling, maybe a
quarter of a mile away. I reached for my 30/30 Winchester, not too
surprised when -- suddenly! -- the yowls came only a few yards from the
horse corral. The horses were now frantic. I stood up and, yelling, fired
one shot into the air. My buddies arose sleepily but the crisis was over
and the horses settled. The next morning, Joe again traveling with me, we
continued to the Cabin where we saw a huge wild turkey running across a
clearing. I shot it at a hundred yards, Joe cooked it inside on the Cabin's
wood stove, and we three ate it and some of the Cabin's grub for a couple of days before the rain and snow passed. [We left a few dollars on a shelf with a note.] Then, Joe with me, we headed back north/northwest, 20 miles or so at least on obscure roads which went around the head of Sycamore -- to Ken's folks' ranch house.
If I have any tinge of regret, it is that I sometimes wish I spent my life
[so far] in the woods, hunting in emulation of my Great Hero, the legendary
Ben Lilly, "Last of the Mountain Men." But I did not, although I've often
returned to the wilderness in many capacities and still do, of course,
whenever and however I can. I did turn down offers to join the business
side of my Mother's family; I did not consider attending the proffered
Wharton School of Business [University of Pennsylvania] which later became a well known think tank for Phelps Dodge Copper [horrors!]; and I turned down a management slot in one of the western Bell affiliates [before the divestiture.] The ghosts of my Native ancestors -- John Gray et al -- would have never allowed those heresies. [My father would have been much displeased -- but would never have interfered.] I may not have devoted my life [so far] solely to the wilderness -- Audubon's "perfection of
primitiveness" -- but I am satisfied with the activist trail I've taken and
faithfully followed -- as I always will.
Anyway, here is a bit on Big Kitty with mention of Ben Lilly.
SECOND POST [March 5, 2002] Hunter Bear
Note to RedBadBear List: This is
being sent to the SNCC list in connection
with the discussion of the origin of the Black Panther logo for the Lowndes
County (Alabama) Freedom Party.
Panthers were traditionally found all over Dixie and are still much around
in several sections of the Deep South -- and, by other names, they're in
much of North America. A broad term for the animal is puma. In the general
Southwest, they're called mountain lions; in the Pacific Northwest and
environs, it's cougar; in Mexico, they're called leon or pantera. And in
the South, it's panther or pantha. There is a slight variant in the Florida
Everglades, but it's the same basic animal. The general color is
yellowish -- varying with season and geography -- but occasionally one is
born dark. In the West, those are called "blue" lions [or blue cougars]
and, in the South, "black" panthers. They can easily weigh anywhere from 150
pounds to over 200. A range of a lion [being from Northern Arizona, I use
that name] is substantial -- 20 or 30 miles is not unusual and it can be
much more than that.
There is every reason to believe panthers could easily have been in the
Lowndes County region in the 1960s -- and still are to this very point. And
they would certainly have been seen there.
Actually, after having been relentlessly "thinned out" in many parts of the
country, they're now returning -- and in increasing numbers. As a rule,
they are very shy and don't bother humans. The rare exceptions almost
always involve the very rapid expansion of Western mountain cities into
traditional lion hunting terrain: e.g., Boulder, Colorado. Two lions -- a
large male and a smaller female -- often come within two hundred yards of
our house here in Idaho. Nice to have them around -- along with all the
bobcats, coyotes, deer, moose, and much more.
Lions can be, in defense of their families and their interests, quite
fierce. They are a very worthy totem -- or, in the non-Indian context,
As Ever - Hunter Bear
THIRD POST [March 6, 2002] Hunter Bear
They are all the
same animal -- simply different names from different
geographical and cultural traditions. As I mentioned, the Florida
Everglades has a slight variant -- but it's still the same critter. Other
cats -- with which city folks sometimes confuse the
puma/lion/panther/leon/pantera/cougar -- are the wildcat or bobcat [15-25
pounds] or the Canadian/Siberian Lynx [40-60 pounds.] The South has plenty
of bobcats but it's doubtful that any rural person would confuse a bobcat
with a panther. From extreme Southern Arizona down into various parts of
the rest of the Hemisphere, one finds the Jaguar [tiger, tigre.] These are
often 150 to sometimes 250 or 300 pounds, yellow tan background with many
black spots -- and, like the lion or panther or pantera [Mexican for
panther], there are occasionally dark Jaguars.
I began learning these things when I started hunting from early childhood
on -- and then, for a time, trapped extensively. [I once had about 200
Number 4 Victor double-springs for large animals -- but I now have only one,
hanging on the wall. I can set it -- as I always have -- with my bare
hands, on my knee. If something goes wrong in that ritual, I'll then have
two thumbs and seven fingers.]
More to the point here: There's an excellent book, The Ben Lilly Legend, by
the late Southwestern writer, J. Frank Dobie of Texas [Boston: Little, Brown
and Co., 1950 and many more recent printings.] I bought my copy as a 16
year old at a Santa Fe bookstore almost as soon as it appeared. Dobie, BTW,
from an old Texas ranching family, was a consistently courageous liberal: a
supporter of union labor and full civil rights who always vigorously backed the
Southern Conference for Human Welfare. He was a very fine writer who
taught at University of Texas [and England's Oxford] and fought hard for
academic freedom over several generations. He was also a very good friend
of the late Jim Silver, who was, of course, the courageous History prof and
human being at Mississippi's Oxford -- and who wrote the classic,
Mississippi: The Closed Society, 1963/1964 and 1966. Jim told me that he and
Dobie gave each other every book they wrote.
The focus of this particular Dobie book [ he wrote many very fine ones]
is Benjamin Vernon Lilly, the great lion and bear hunter -- "Last of the
Mountain Men" -- who was born in 1856 in Wilcox County, Alabama, grew
up in Mississippi's
Kemper County, hunted extensively in the Deep South and
eventually went down into the Sierra Madre of Mexico, and finally came up
into the Western New Mexico/Eastern Arizona setting where he was active for
decades until his death at Silver City, NM, in 1936. There is a monument to
him in the Mogollon Mountains. Lilly was a Southern hunter -- who always
referred to the cats we are discussing as "panthers." One fascinating
chapter of Dobie's book is Chapter 9, "Ben Lilly on Panthers" -- which is
based heavily on Mr. Lilly's manuscript, "What I Know About Panthers." And
he knew a lot.
A ranching family in the remote Blue River/Bear Mountain country of extreme
eastern Arizona, at whose home I occasionally stayed in the late 1950s and
1960s especially, had two gunny sacks of possessions that Mr Lilly had left
there during his "last trip through" -- in the early 1930s. Everything was
kept just as he had placed it: home-made hunting knives, clothing, spare .33
WCF cartridges, etc. Ben Lilly was highly respected and is to this very
day -- a top authority on bears and lions. And he always, in the best
Southern tradition, called the latter "panthers."
Sitting right here by my computer is my one-half Bobcat cat -- making it
clear she resents my devotion to the computer and is now ready for a morning
walk. She consistently gets her way with me.
Yours - Hunter Gray [Hunter Bear]
I have read almost everything I
could put my hands on that had
anything to do with hounds, then later just any kind of hunting. I
have read Dobie's book on Lilly, twice. Great writer, I especially like the story about Lilly marrying a gal
down south, she nagged him to kill a chicken hawk ( I think ) and he
came back a year or so later. She asked him why he was gone so long, his reply, the bird kept flying!
Classic.I read another book called Puma, Mysterious American Cat, and read
some of Lilly's hunts around the Pine Mountain Wilderness area. Great
Years ago I met a guy named Ed
Hartwig, Ed was maybe late sixties when
we met, and he told me of stories hunting grizzlies and huge black bear
with his buddies the Goswicks in the Pine Mountain area. The Goswicks
are still around. Not sure I'm spelling their name right though.
I've also read the book ( my brother has it ) and I think it was
called The Greatest Guides? Not sure about the title, but it was about
the Lee brothers.
I loved the hound hunting, just as
dogs died out so did my ambition
for it. A lot of work, especially for a guy trying to support his
After the dog thing, I got used to
glassing the scrub oak benches over
looking sycamore for bear. Was pretty successful over the years, and a
whole lot less work and easier on the body. I soon found out why some of those
old hound men like Lilly were so tough.
I have spent several cold winter
nights in Buck Ridge cabin. My
brother and I were hunting lions and we stayed there a couple of
nights as it was handier than going
back to town. Had the wood stove stoked up and kept comfortable. The
mice running all over me gave me the creeps but that was the worst of
Buck Ridge cabin is in pretty good
shape as you can see from the
pictures. I was really surprised when I went back and took these
pictures it hadn't been ransacked yet.
Maybe too far out of the way. Whatever the reason was glad to see it
was still standing. I did not know its been around that long.
You are a fascinating man, sure
glad I ran into you.
[AND THIS SPECIAL INSERT FROM QUICK BEAR [BRET SALTER] 1/01/08]
I think I might take you up on the option name -- Anything....That's VERY
mystical. . .
Seriously, what a treat to get your letter.
I'm amazed that the main site gets 2 to 3,000 hits a day . That's phenomenal
! On the security end, I'm mindful of the flies still in the air around any
fisher of trout. I've just started to look at the Sycamore link, and will
be correlating the narrative with the Sycamore section of a book on" The
Meaning of Trees" that Michelle gave me for Christmas. The book, by Fred
Hagender, is subtitled Botany History Meaning and Lore. . .
I'm not even going to start on the political corner tonight , except to say
I feel the same enormous need to get a good, bright, capable leader to
follow the incumbent. That's an understated comment.
Please give my regards to Eldri, Maria, and Josie, my goddaughter and social
Be open to just getting down to Sycamore Canyon in the Spring. You don't
need to hike around like a 20 year old to make yourself available again to
it's spirit. It's presence will come to you regardless of your degrees of
physical engagement. You're certainly aware of it's openness and welcoming
when and as The Creator, your intuition and your common sense approach the
I'm baked for the day and am heading for some sleep.
It's a real delight to be in correspondence.
We can even look forward to a phone visit in '08.
Peace, and solidarity
AND THIS OBSERVATION FROM HUNTER BEAR [JANUARY 15 2008]
HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
Check out our Hunterbear social justice website:
[The site is dedicated to our one-half Bobcat, Cloudy Gray:
In our Gray Hole, the ghosts often dance in the junipers and sage, on the
game trails, in the tributary canyons with the thick red maples, and on the
high windy ridges -- and they dance from within the very essence of our own
inner being. They do this especially when the bright night moon shines down
on the clean white snow that covers the valley and its surroundings. Then
it is as bright as day -- but in an always soft and mysterious and
remembering way. [Hunter Bear]