We did it again, we had an overnight babysitter and took off to go hunt again.
We packed up our car late at night and took off around midnight on a Thursday. Yes, midnight. We looked at each other with smiles in our eyes and careless laughter as we embarked on our second hunting vacay in as many weeks.
At about 2 am when we switched drivers, we were excessively less jovial. In fact, we were downright solemn. I was anyway. I'm sure the pillow, blanket, and snoring from the passenger seat kept the full weight of the boringly, long drive from sending me over the edge. It's amazing how someone can be so peacefully at rest while another one enviously watches them through side-eye glares.
I wasn't actually ticked off, but I was a bit jealous even though I had just woken up to take over the driving responsibilities. Come 3 am and I was beginning to question our last minute strategy to leave and drive through the night. Come 4 am when we arrived, I was really wondering where our sanity went as we got our gear on to go for a 5 hour hunt. Gah. If you will remember, coffee and I really enjoy our morning time together. This was not exactly an option the local coffee shop took upon themselves to accommodate my inane cravings.
Yet, we carried on as though our brains were fully functioning. By carried on, I mean we attempted to carry on. My legs weren't moving like they should. Sleep deprivation and hiking were clearly not a positive combo, nor one that I would recommend. Plus, we weren't even able to talk the whole drive there, what a waste of all those quiet hours in the car without the blissful earplug worthy little yaps from the backseat.
We moved a lot slower this time though and proceeded with a wait and see tactic where we parked our behinds down where we thought they would magically appear. Looking back, it may not have been the wisest strategy. Dusty took a picture of me though, "How sweet", you say. I had other thoughts after I saw it.
If there was a deer that kicked me in the stomach and spit on my face I would not have noticed nor cared. I was in my own blissful hibernation. Eventually I woke up and it was at this moment that it struck me: We. Are. Old. Traveling all night at 30+ with 4 kids and expecting to stay up the entire day was nothing short of madness. We were nuts. Nothing else to it. And we were already up on the mountain, so we decided to embrace it.
We trekked up to the spot where we had witnessed our one proof of animal existence (aside from the random bird or furiously angry chipmunks) from our prior hunting trip. One chipmunk climbed up a tree to get to our eye level as we were sitting near a cliff, stared at us while squawking furiously, this lasted for a good couple of minutes straight before we told it to stop, because reasoning with woodland creatures is what happens when you're old. I can still imagine his little fist shaking at us. He was seriously mad, too. The deer must pay them off in some way for sounding the alarm when they see humans, because that little sucker was loud. Dirty little bribes happening in the underbrush.
We hiked, and hiked, and hiked some more.
Then we drove to go eat and HAVE COFFEE. Finally. Priorities were being set in their proper place again. We stopped at the local hunting shop first to chat with the owner and he shared that the deer still have not come back to the area since the fires and the smoke. Sigh. He told us where he did see some awhile ago so we wasted no time and headed straight there.
After, of course, we got a coffee for the road.
Our trip took a bit of a turn as my hunting partner literally blazed his. own. path. As in, I hunkered down in the truck to sleep. He searched and searched while I slept and slept.
When that was over we went driving to see if we could spot any from the road as I was still content in my seat. It was at this time that Dust started to yawn. Keep in mind, we were still 4 something hours away from home and hadn't left yet. We had "been up" for longer than any normal person ever should be. Staying the night was not an option because of the deadline we had for our babysitter.
The drive back started well enough. By well enough, I mean the first 23 minutes where the truck didn't traverse over the turtles or truck gates rattling me awake went well enough.
I asked Dust how he was doing and he openly shared that his eyes seemed glued shut. Guess it was my turn. I was surprisingly awake, and am assuming I can attribute it to my continual cat naps throughout the day. So I drove pretty well all the way home until the last hour when we switched again.
After the first 4 minutes of his newly acquired shift he realized he was still too tired to drive, we switched again. We finally made it home--Dusty made a beeline for the bed while I chatted with our babysitter about how it went for her.
The next morning was a soccer game at 9, it honestly felt like I was ripped from bed at 3 am by a tiger shark.
On Saturday, we spent a good deal of time nursing our wounds, sleeping, and utilizing screens for the kids.
Moral of the story: We are old. Really old. We will never do that again.