Written by: Glenn Burgmeier
I was a beginning grouse hunter so it was a challenge to find good covers and prepare to make the trip. I was never really filled with woodsman type knowledge and was terrified of being lost. I would scour over maps and try to find recent logging areas. After a few days of research, I’d be ready to go.
Usually it was a Friday after work. I’d come home, throw gear in the truck, get dog food and load up the dog and off we’d go. We head onto the highway and head into the big city. Usually it would be a fight with traffic, on we’d go through the city and out the other side. Then to settle into the long drive. Praying for an empty hotel room somewhere, I never planned that part much. I was younger then. Watching the sun go down, me and the dog and it usually didn’t disappoint. We’d go right on through the sunset and into the night.
Always north, maybe a little west too, but always north. I was filled with apprehension about things, wolves, bears and getting lost. But on we went. Eventually traffic thinned out. Any traffic there was seemed to be going the other way and after a while I was the only one going north. I always thought, do they know something I don’t? It seemed lonely, especially after all the deer hunters had gone home. Just me then. But we were going on. Then it was just diet cokes and caffeine and trying to stay awake through the dark night. Eventually we’d pull into the town, groggy. And thankfully, there always was a room. Maybe I had to try a couple places but I was always lucky. Then it was lugging stuff to the room and trying to get some sleep. And waking up, the first sound I made would get the dog crying with happiness, as he knew what was about to happen. He’d cry so loud I could hear the guys next door laughing. But of course, he’s gone now. There have been others since him , but he was damn good. For an amateur and beginner like me, he was ok.