I’ve just returned from 6 very enjoyable days of moose hunting and camping with my daughters family and her husbands family. It was a scenic 7 hour ride from Eureka, on the Glenn highway, back to their camp on the Big O’Shetna River, a place I’d never been before. Randy, Jenny’s husband, and his brother Ben picked me up at the trail head on Tuesday afternoon after they’d phoned me on Sunday saying they’d broken a leaf spring on Randy’s Surburban. I found a replacement in Anchorage and was more than happy to accept the invitation to spend a few days at their camp when I delivered it on Tuesday.
When I arrived Dakota had already bagged a nice bull moose and it was hanging near camp. He was a very happy young man. It was good to see my other grandchildren, too, and I think they were glad to see their Grandpa, even though he always seemed to have a camera in his hands.
During the time I spent with them we bagged two more moose, both much smaller than Dakota’s, and by the time Saturday rolled around we were out of room in the vehicles and had to quit hunting. But that was all right because it gave me some time to take a few hikes looking for interesting pictures to take.
We headed out of camp at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, fully expecting to be back to the trailhead by 4 or 5 o’clock, but because of some difficulties and mechanical problems along the trail it was after 8:00 in the evening when we reached our destination. Needless to say we were all pretty tired by that time. It felt good to slide behind the steering wheel of my pickup and feel that soft, comfortable seat cushion beneath me as I made the two hour long trip back to my home in Wasilla. I was ready for a hot shower, a warm comfortable bed, and other modern conveniences, if you catch my drift.
Following are a few photos from this wonderful adventure.
We passed through many mud holes on the way in and occacionally had to stop to clean the windshield on the buggy, which belongs to Randy's father, Roy. Here Ben, Randy's brother, gets the job done for us.
Randy and his dad Roy, enjoy the warmth of the campfire early the next morning before the rest of the crew got up.
A bit later Destiny rushed out of the tent to visit with her Grandpa. She's relatively clean here, but only because it's still early in the day.
Firewood was running low so we took a short drive with the buggies and found plenty more. Brittany is on the left in the red sweatshirt. Ben is using the chainsaw while Randy and Roy load the wood.
Brittany, looking cute as always, at the firewood stop.
Later we traveled up the Big O'Shetna River to a favorite hunting spot. That's Ben riding up on the top.
Randy glasses a hillside for bull moose. Both of the young bull we bagged while I was there were taken near the sunny area on the mountain.
My grandson Dalton.
This was our camp on the Big O'Shetna River. We spied several nice moose from here on the mountainside across the river.
Brylan, another of my grandson's, and Ayden, Ben's son, anxiously await a buggy driver so they can go hunting.
This was Aydens first experience at the moose hunting camp and he thouroughly enjoyed himself, even though the temperature was a bit nippy at times.
Roy looks over a bull moose he's spotted in the distance.
A cow moose crosses the river on a frosty autum morning.
Destiny looking pretty normal after a few hours into the day.
I took some of the kids on a short hike one evening. Finding a big boulder overlooking the river I let them clown around on it for pictures. Brittany, Dalton, Ayden and Brylan.
A nice campfire scene late one evening. I told them I was going to take their picture and that they needed to hold perfectly still for about ten seconds. In reality the exposure was nearly 40 seconds. Some of them couldn't quite hold still that long and I'm not quite sure who they are because they became blurred. Left to right: Julane, (Randy's mother), Jenny, Destiny, Brittany, Randy, Brylan, Don't Know, Roy, Ben, Dalton.
A night shot of the tent we slept in, complete with smoke coming out of the wood stove's chimney. They called this the Big O Lodge.
Randy, Destiny, and Dalton enjoy good times around the campfire.
Jenny and Randy's family gathered at the fire. Left to right: Dalton, Randy,Destiny,Brittany, Jenny, Brylan, Dakota.
The younger boys watch intently as Randy finishes field dressing a moose.
Destiny smiles sweetly from the cab of the buggy while she waits for a moose to be loaded into it. She would smile for me but would never sit on my lap around the campfire.
Brittany has become grandpa's number one model. Here she's sitting across from me at an old table left at a nearby camp.
Near the river we found this big rock which looked somewhat like an easy chair. Brittany is trying to look comfortable in it but I'm pretty sure she wasn't.
Same chair rock but this time a close up of her face. I think her Daddy will be worried when he see's this.
Brylan standing beside the Big O'Shetna River......just being Brylan.
Dakota and I took some short hikes together. Here we're upstream from the camp, just goofing off and talking.
Brylan and Destiny.
Everyone gathers around the campfire to enjoy a much anticipated treat, fresh water mussels dipped in melted butter.
On Saturday evening two rigs drove by our camp on their way to another location. Although everyone gathered around and had a nice chat I never did discover their names. In the center from left to right are Randy, Destiny, Dakota, Brittany, Julane, Jenny, Ben and Roy. The man on the left and the three people on the right are unidentified.
Typical campfire scene every evening. Here Jenny is preparing chicken for our dinner while Brittany, Randy, Destiny, Dalton, Ayden, Roy and Dakota look on.
For entertaiment when things got boring we always had the kids to look forward to. Here Brittany pretends to be something she isn't with food containers from the kithen tent.
I don't think Dakota really liked my idea for a picture of him and his moose antlers, but he was a good sport as usual and let me do it anyway.
Sunday morning, making our first river crossing after we'd packed up everything and headed back to the trailhead on the Glenn Highway. Roy is in the passenger seat while Ben drives.
Taking a break after a couple of hours on the trail. It was a beautiful autumn day and the scenery was spectacular.
Dakota's antlers mounted on the front of the Surburban drew lots of attention from the other hunters we met along the trail.
The quarters were tight but comfortable inside the Surburban. I rode out seated next to Destiny, she even let me rub her feet occasionally.
Julane rode most of the way out seated on one of the chairs atop Roy's buggy. When I saw the beautiful clouds in the sky I was quick to grab a wide angle lens to make some dramatic pictures.
Another rest stop along the way out to let the kids run, stretch, and otherwise use up energy.
We're at the top of a mountain called Monument here. Climbing it with the buggies is the last real challenge, and probably the most frightening part of the long trail home. From here it is an easy hour and a half to Eureka and the trail head.
Thanks for sharing this adventure with me. If you would like to leave a comment for me just click on the word link at the end of this sentence. [Link]