By Kim Reiten

I would say it was so close, but not even a peep. Well, maybe one little gobble as it ran away into the sunrise. Considering this is only my 3rd time out and last year didn’t seem to count, I’m elated however. 
You know what I learned? I learned that I can spend 4 straight days with my husband and love him even more. I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to walk and sometimes you have to stay put. I’ve also learned a little more of what my body is capable of after recovering from breast cancer. We hunted the Gila Wilderness and even just the act of carrying a full pack with water is such a blessing. We may not have gotten a turkey, but we have memories that will last forever. We saw a lone wolf with a raven pal trot by us backlit by a beautiful sunrise. We ‘talked’ to ravens while they quorked and tried to figure us out. We found a javelina skull and complete jawbone. We even found an old cowbell that may be tied back to a person significant in Gila history (there’s even a book).

The quiet of the woods, the breeze (although sometimes a gale force) through the hair, and the smell of vanilla from the Ponderosa pines. This is what keeps me going even if that turkey runs away. It’s about learning and being present. To be a part of this natural order really ignites the passion to preserve it and has helped me heal in more ways than most people know.

Enough waxing poetic, someday I hope to have one of those buggers in a sandwich.