Shooting Elk

Dearest Rachel –

Don’t worry; even though I’m probably the only non-hunter in the entire group, we’re hewing to the current dictum when dealing with nature: “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.”

So, photographs it is. Assuming we can find any elk to shoot. The last couple of days, we’ve only seen a handful – while some of us have heard some ‘bugling,’ which is apparently what the bulls do when they’re on the prowl – and barely within shooting range.

And as you can see, all I got was the backside.

But today, as we left the campground to the restaurant we planned to eat dinner at, Luke had us leave a bit earlier, so we could hopefully spot some elk while there was still daylight. The bet paid off.

We came across the first one shortly after pulling out of the YMCA campgrounds, walking along the road as if he owned it. And considering that there were cars pulled over to the side of the road, and people wandering around taking his picture, maybe he did.

Further along, once we got into town, there was one literally walking across the interstate that cuts through Estes Park. It may have been a considerably smaller bull in the first one, but for walking across an interstate, I’d say he had more in the way of real cojones than the first.

But the crowning moment was finding a bull and his entire harem in the middle of one of the town’s main squares (which, admittedly, was more like a triangle, but why quibble about technicalities like that?). Luke actually parked the vehicle at this point, so we could all get out and take pictures, and we were definitely not alone in doing so. They were all sorts of people standing across the street from where the bull and his harem were resting.

According to Moses – because I didn’t see this myself – at least one of the cows was licking a statue of a bull elk by mistake. I can just picture what she might’ve been thinking:

“Gee, Buck… you’re cute and all, but your breath smells like copper.”

For her sake, I hope she figures it out before too long; this gender swapped version of Pygmalion will probably not end well otherwise.

The dinner conversation continues to turn toward business. One of the topics is about the price to charge as a speaking fee, and how it’s sometimes necessary to charge a large amount to give your potential audience the idea you’re worth it. Apparently, just as an example, Dave Ramsey (of Financial Peace University fame) charges well over a hundred dollars for tickets to his presentations. Considering that his whole business model is based off of informing people how to budget their money, my gut reaction is to think that the first thing people are overspending on his tickets to his presentation. But from another perspective, if a fifty thousand dollar speaker allows a company to be more profitable by three hundred dollars, then the return on investment is worth it.

Most of these other guys own their own businesses, and they’re quite prosperous, it would seem. Having a been an employee all my life rather than an entrepreneur (and having resolved to never tie my identity to my vocation), I feel it’s just one more way that I’m out of my depth among this crowd, or at least ill-suited to relate to them. I don’t think they can teach me anything about how to deal with my situation, and there’s not much they can learn from me in turn. At least I can grab that it is… an experience.

As we gather on the porch after supper, Luke describes the man he wants to talk about for tomorrow’s closing session. I recognize who he’s talking about almost instantly, because he’s one of dad‘s great role models, despite being relatively obscure to the average reader of scripture. Presumably, I’ll try and write to you about him tomorrow, as I recap things from the airport.

Until then, I should probably close this app and go to sleep, as we wake up early in the morning. I’ll talk to you later, honey.

Remember that I love you.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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