Every year, Travis’ parents come out in October for elk hunting. We go up to the same area, stay in the same wall tent and hunt the same mountains (well, the hunters do. I don’t hunt!). Last year, we got nothing. This year, we got 2 elk on the first day!
Shooting an elk on the first day, let alone 2 elk on the first day, has benefits and drawbacks. It takes the pressure off for the rest of the week, but it also enables the hunters to be a bit more lazy. You get to pack the animal out when you’re fresh, but you’re sore and tired the rest of the week. But nevertheless, it’s always nice to get one so there’s no complaining!
This year, Travis’ parents, nephew and his brother all came out. Along with one of Travis’ friends from Denver, it was quite a group. Emma and I stayed behind after everyone went up Friday morning. We picked up Travis’ brother from the airport Saturday afternoon and headed up then. We arrived at elk camp just as everyone else was getting back from packing out the 2 elk they had shot.
Packing an elk out is hard work. We estimate that 1 hind quarter alone weighs 75-80 pounds. Times that by 4, add 4 front quarters, 2 backstraps and a bull head/rack and you have a LOT of meat.
Anyway, we ate dinner and then Beth (my mother-in-law), Emma and I headed back to Frisco, where we were staying in a hotel. We were planning to go straight to bed but Emma had another idea. She had fallen asleep in the car on the way to the hotel but by the time we reached our room, she was wide awake. It took her over an hour to settle down and then she had a horrible night. She woke up every 1-1.5 hours. She’d fall back asleep right after I picked her up and I could put her down after 10 minutes or so, but she’d be up again in 60 minutes. I thought maybe she was teething but once we got back home, she was back on track so it must’ve just been the new surroundings that were throwing her off.
The next morning, I was definitely tired but didn’t feel horrible.
We went out to breakfast at Butterhorn Bakery, which has become my tradition whenever I’m in/near Frisco. (Seriously, they have THE BEST FOOD!) I had a waffle with strawberries, blueberries, walnuts and syrup. Mmmm… Emma had sweet potatoes for breakfast – it was easier than bringing her oatmeal cereal along to mix up. Beth had an egg scramble that also looked delicious.
Stuffed to the gills, we went back to the hotel for Emma’s nap. I held her while watching How I Met Your Mother via Netflix on my phone. After her nap, I fed her and we went shopping at the outlet mall. I bought a few plain long-sleeved shirts from Ann Taylor Loft, Beth bought a cardigan from and a sweatshirt from Nike, and then we shopped for a couple dresses for Emma. We got a couple of cute ones from Oshgosh B’gosh but their sizes run really small, so we bought one 9-month and one 12-month sized dress (but I ended up exchanging the 9-month size for another 12-month one).
Shopping complete, we headed back up to elk camp. We hung out in the tent for a while, playing. I had brought Emma’s playmat and bouncy seat, but she didn’t really want anything to do with either one.
So we just played on Daddy’s cot.
Around dusk, the guys came back from hunting and we ate dinner. Since the previous night had been so rough with Emma, and Travis had already tagged an elk so he was ‘done’ hunting (he couldn’t carry a gun anymore), I convinced him to come with me to the hotel so that we could trade off with Emma. That was a huge help!
We left for the hotel around 7 pm. Emma fell asleep again and got back to sleep fairly easily after I took her out of her carseat and nursed her in our room. She was up about every 1.5 hours again, but it was really nice to not have to get up every time!
The next morning (Monday), we packed our room up and checked out. We grabbed breakfast (and a pumpkin spice latte for me!) at Starbucks and then headed back up to elk camp. Emma took a nap in the car. We got up there around 9:30/10 and hung around camp. I fed Emma, we played a little more, walked around outside, I held her for a nap (while I struggled to stay awake myself!).
After lunch, Emma started getting fussy because it was time for her next nap. So we packed the car up and took off for Denver, since I was going to work on Tuesday.
I was worried about staying awake on the drive home all by myself, but I put on some good singalong tunes and sang the whole 2 hours home. No problem!
The rest of the clan stayed up in the mountains until Wednesday, when they packed up and headed home. Our tradition is to go to Buffalo Wild Wings on Wednesday night after elk hunting and this year was no different. But unfortunately, this year it also coincided with an elementary school fundraiser so the place was really busy and packed with lots of kids. It took forever to get our food! (But they nicely comped 50% of our bill.) One good thing was that Emma sat in a highchair for the first time!
I took work off on Thursday to hang out with everyone while they worked on butchering the elk. I helped vacuum seal for about 30 minutes before Emma woke up from her nap, and went to the store for some supplies. But otherwise, I just took care of Emma. Which is fine, because I could not cut up elk meat anyway! Eeeww.
And that was Elk Hunting 2013!