Kickass, the doorstop dog, comments that it is not as if the keeper runs so short on memories that he must constantly recycle them, it is that some of those memories seem to somehow gain status with the passage of time and demand repeated attention.
All of which is by way of heading north, to the remote Bad River deeryard where the keeper spent a solitary 30-below-zero night in a down-filled sleeping bag on top of four feet of snow as trees exploded from the cold, deer shuffled quietly by on their deep trails and a pack of coyotes announced the morning with a noisy chase of either a deer or a snowshoe rabbit.
Transported the three miles back into the deeryard on a friendly DNR employee’s snow machine late in the afternoon, the planned overnight outing quickly took on its own commanding dimensions. It demanded the keeper’s total encasement in the heavy sleeping bag with only a breathing hole for observation and listening.
The result was one the most fascinating nights of the keeper’s life, made more memorable because he had left his mittens out on the snow and in the morning cold hands made it impossible to buckle on the snowshoes he needed to navigate the three miles of deep snow where his car was parked.
There were tense moments, obviously ending well as the snowshoe trek took the keeper finally out to his vehicle which, of course, would not start without the assist of a nearby resident.
Such is the status of a precious memory on this day of Jan. 22, 2024.
(These and other memories are part of the keeper’s book “Treeson, an APOLOGIA To Trees,” used to print his “drivel.” Available thru Amazon of from him at billstokesauthor.com.)