What is the coldest you have been?
For me, it was 1994 when early snows
triggered an enormous Yellowstone Park, elk
It was difficult to get skunked that hunting
season, but I managed to do so until just before
Rob and I were in the saddle all day before spotting
a lone rag-horn bull on Sheep Mountain.
our backsides into the waist deep snow and began
launching rounds across the canyon. Sadly, the bull
Our celebration was short, as when we rode
off the trail we discovered the snow far too deep
With daylight disappearing as fast as the
temperature was dropping, we began a single file
climb up the steep mountainside.
The exertion made Rob think he might be
having a heart attack so he dropped to the drags; a
blessing not apparent for four hours.
Tom and I alternated breaking trail and we
reached our prize about dark.
After a quick field dress, we tobogganed the elk
down the steep mountainside to our horses.
We were cold, sweat-soaked, exhausted and
still two hours from the pickup.
Were I smart, I would have built a fire and
I was not. I
placed my lariat around the bull’s antlers, dallied
up and charged down the trail.
It was well below zero when we finally
reached the pickup and after loading the horses and
elk, I began shivering uncontrollably.
Fortunately, Rob was able to drive, so I laid
on the floorboards and hugged the heater vent for
the three hour drive home.
it wasn’t my time.
Hypothermia is a killer as proven by the two
patriots who succumbed to the elements on December
After four months, death, desertion and
disease had withered George Washington’s Continental
Army to 3,000 from a high of 27,000 in August.
One-third of these starving forces had no
boots, so wrapped their feet in burlap and rope to
battle the snow.
Driven by a passion for liberty, this rag-tag
group of patriots crossed the Delaware River in a
Christmas blizzard and marched 10 miles to Trenton
to defeat the Hessians.
Washington’s only fatalities were the two
soldiers who succumbed after crossing the river.
They were starving, exhausted and his Excellency
encouraged them to “Keep moving!
They collapsed on the frozen ground to never
rise again and this brings me to my point.
Think of those two minutemen when you slide your
chair to the table for Christmas dinner.
We are nation of freedom, founded by patriots
who sacrificed their lives for a dream—the dream
Never forget that.