Our first blog post comes to you just days after our return home from a six day chukar hunting trip. I am still day dreaming of the birds, dogs, and adventures we had during our time in Cornucopia.
The definition of Cornucopia comes from Greek mythology; a goat’s horn over flowing with fruit, flowers, and grain, also known as the horn of plenty. Our Nevada Cornucopia holds a special place in our hearts, and was named such by the first generation of hunters. Three generations have hunted and still hunt this wild land for those ever frustrating birds…Chukar.
We arrived to a muddy camp at 8:30 pm Sunday night, after two hours of struggling to get one of the trucks unstuck. Monday morning we woke to a foot of fresh snow and the bird hunting couldn’t have been more impressive. Tim shot his limit in an hour, his Benelli barrel never even got hot.
Tuesday we found ourselves walking into a blizzard. The wind and blowing snow was crippling as we hike to meet up with our family, who were further up the ridge. Lunch was a cold and fast one, I covered our shivering dogs with my Marmot windbreaker. That evening, we celebrated our arrival at the warmth of the wall tent and wood stove.
Wednesday and Thursday were beautifully sunny days, almost t-shirt weather. Trigger our 10 month old GSP was pointing a retrieving like a seasoned dog. I’ve never been more proud of a pup.
The fifth and last day, four of us hiked into what Tim calls Castle Bluff. If you’ve ever watched Lord of the Rings, it looks like the rocky lands of the orcs. Half way up the draw, as we stood there discussing our lunch location while the dogs ran around us impatiently; birds got up. The day officially started at this point and from there on we were unwavering on our goal.
What’s beautiful about Nevada, is you can pick basically any mountain range and it will be completely different from the one to the east or west of it. There is mining heritage and history scattered throughout the state, in the most desolate locations. The Santa Rosa’s, Toiyabe’s, Independence, Ruby’s are glorious mountains here in Nevada and what even better, is there are more… waiting to be explored.
Something happens to the soul somewhere between the accent and the peak of a mountain. Standing at 8,000 feet looking back at where we came from provided me with an overwhelming feeling of sanity. Probably one of my favorite quotes comes from Everett Ruess in his last letter to his brother “as to when I shall visit civilization, it will not be soon, I think. I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and the star-sprinkled sky to a roof.”
There is something about the wild that allures me, and something very special about the wild we always seem to find in Nevada. It fills our hearts with bliss, our minds with adventure and our freezer full of meat; we do our grocery shopping at 8,000 feet.