They may go deer hunting! And you know what happens then!
My hunting partner is my neighbor. Late buck season in Washington was November 17 thru 20, 2022. A mutual friend of ours loaned us his Jeep for the trip. My neighbor is a damned good Jeep jockey – one of the best I’ve ever seen – and this Jeep was decked out – everything you could ever want for an off-road rig – and then some. It has everything – 6 speed transmission, lockers front and back, big motor, – I mean everything.
Google it up if you like – we were hunting in Gifford Pinchot National Forest – a great big patch of Forest Service ground south of Tacoma. You can drive Forest Service roads forever – there is a lot of country out there. We saw a ton of elk, but not many deer – such is the game.
I can sum up this hunting trip with one word – COLD!
We take this Jeep out hunting – we found a road off the FS 23 road called “Lone Tree” – the road goes up over a bit of a “pass” and then comes back down to FS 23. Between about 3400 feet and 4000 feet, snow, and ice. It got a bit dicey a few places, but we made it over. We were coming down the back side of this pass when we saw a lot of evidence that people had – well – trouble. We ran across a patch where tire tracks indicated someone had some serious trouble – actually, we ran across about 6 places like that. We eventually ran down (almost) out of the snow, and this is the point at which I really wanted to start this story.
We just barely got out of the snow, and we rolled up on two vehicles off to the side of the road. We started to wave (customary) and a rather attractive blond lady walked up to the edge of the road and flagged us down. Well, naturally, a pretty gal in camo will tend to get your attention – so we stopped.
We were lucky she wasn’t a red head, the brakes on the Jeep may have locked up at that point.
She said, “You guys know anything about Toyotas?” We didn’t of course, but we said we’d have a look. There was another vehicle parked there and there was a grey-haired older gent there. At first, we thought the gal and the older gent were together – maybe father-daughter – but as it turns out, they weren’t – he had stopped to help as well. He was (according to him) 81, she was maybe 50 – and actually I think she was more like 40’s.
She was out there all alone – at least 20 miles from cell service or any kind of help. Her fortitude was a match for her looks. She was not defenseless though; she had a rifle. I didn’t ask her name, let alone her age – did I mention she had a rifle?
Well – this young lady had a flat tire – and she had about everything she needed to get over that. She had a jack, a lug wrench, a tarp to kneel on, she had it all under control and didn’t need any of our asses – except, she couldn’t get the spare out from under the bed of the pickup. The older guy had been there for hours trying to help – they were reading the manual that came with the pickup but couldn’t get the tire out from under the bed.
We figured it out – got the spare out, got the flat tire off, put the spare on, all good.
This older gent I’ve been talking about, well he was a little more than just someone that happened by to help a lady in distress. He was a veteran – he did 20 years in the Army. He was 81 years old and one hell of a good guy. He’d been up the road we just came down – and he was one of the ones that got stuck. He had a four wheel drive pickup and had chains on all four – and got stuck on that road for 6 hours by himself. As we started putting tools and jacks away, he was telling us about his trip up that road. He said he lost a tire chain up there that he had since he was in the service (tire chain was about 50 years old). We had seen a tire chain laying in the road on our way down – and we told him about it. He said if we were willing to go back up and get it, he’d pay us for it. We said we’d go get it – so we wheeled around and up the road we went. Well – the tire chain was about 4 miles further than we thought – but we found it and brought it back to him. He was very thankful – but we refused to take any money or anything from him. He was a good old boy – salt of the earth – had stories – had served – we were the ones that benefitted by meeting him – not the other way around.
I don’t know his name, and I don’t know her name – and neither of them know our names. If she tells this story, we will forever be “two guys in a red Jeep”.
We talked about other hunting trips, she hunts around Loomis, we hunt near Republic in the regular season. The older gent hunts up near White Pass – Packwood WA. We traded stories about deer we (or our group) had taken. No one did or said anything untoward – we were just deer hunters helping one-another out (did I mention she had a rifle?).
The pretty blond lady got her tire changed and went on her way. The 20-year Army vet recovered his tire chain and went on his way. And we put that old Jeep in gear and went on our way.
That is what we crazy 2A people are up to when you all aren’t looking – that is what we are all about. We’re changing a tire or recovering a tire chain – you know, blood thirsty shit like that. Scary stuff, isn’t it?
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