Things are so quiet around here, I thought I would tell you another story....
While down in the desert this winter, I took Mrs muley out in the jeep where I grew up and visited some of my old favorite places where I used to hunt, fish, prospect, etc......mostly just grow up.
First a bit of background....While doing this growing, my dad left some of it in the hands of a life long friend of his who he hunted with in the same desert all his life. Old Jim used to take me hunting deer and quail out there when my dad couldn't. We would spend a weekend or more covering our favorite hunting areas which might be 30 or 40 miles apart in his old Ford jeep. I learned as much about hunting from Old Jim as I did from my dad because they hunted together all their lives and did things the same way. So, I was getting a double dose of the same lessons.
Old Jim was a huge man, probably 250 lbs and 6 ft, but he could walk down a gravely wash and hardly make a sound. Something I never could master, although I tried all my life to do. He tried to teach me to watch where I stepped but also to be aware of things going on around, but it was hard for a kid to concentrate on two things at once.
One time I was stepping lightly and proud of myself and stated to him that according to the absence of tracks that there hadn't been any deer in the area in months. He just smiled and pointed ahead to a bunch of does and asked “What are those, Jackrabbits?”. So, my first lesson of to be aware of things around was learned.
Anyway, I got away from the story.....Old Jim loved his wine. But, his wife wouldn't let him drink at home. So, Old Jim, being kinda resourceful and always out in the desert, used to hide bottles of Thunderbird wine all over the desert in various locations that he could visit easily while on hunting trips or when he was out there. He would hide them in holes in Ironwood tree stumps, PaloVerde tree stumps, holes in rocks on the sides of washes, just anywhere that he could come back to and would be semi permanent.
He had a dozen bottles stashed away that I knew of over a 30 mile radius because sometimes I would go with him on a run to put a new bottle in those places.
This winter, I took Mrs muley up one of the little washes and backed up to a hole in the side of the wash where I had seen Old Jim back so many times before and reached into the hole and brushed away all the cobwebs. Then, I brought out an old dirty wine bottle. It didn't have a label anymore and the cap was rusted on. Then, I told Mrs muley the story.
All in all, we found three other bottles that day in six locations that I could remember. Only two bottles were found in Ironwood tree stumps because the stumps just weren't there anymore. I guess they were used for firewood.
The four bottles that we found were empty and I figured that Old Jim had finished them off long ago. Old Jim passed away back in '69, but he might still be visiting his bottles, so, I carefully placed them back where I found them. Maybe I'll go back again someday........
I love the smell of Hoppe's #9 in the morning.