Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


  A Patriotic Look at the Cold      

What is the coldest you have been?  For me, it was 1994 when early snows triggered an enormous Yellowstone Park, elk migration.  It was difficult to get skunked that hunting season, but I managed to do so until just before Thanksgiving.  Tom, Rob and I were in the saddle all day before spotting a lone rag-horn bull on Sheep Mountain.  We plopped our backsides into the waist deep snow and began launching rounds across the canyon. Sadly, the bull dropped.  Our celebration was short, as when we rode off the trail we discovered the snow far too deep for horses.  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 dried out.  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.  Apparently, it wasn’t my time.   

Hypothermia is a killer as proven by the two patriots who succumbed to the elements on December 25th, 1776.  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!  Stay with your officers.”  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 called America.  Never forget that.  



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