Fikes Generations

One Foggy Morning

by Don Burke on Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 12:27pm

One Foggy Morning

When my brother Bill and I were boys we knew every trail on every mountain within ten miles of home, home being the beautiful Del Prete “Ranch of the Roses” below the tailing pile of the Sonoma County Quicksilver mine near Guerneville, California. This story begins one very early, very foggy Spring morning. Bill and I loaded our guns, and set off over the Madrone Ridge heading North East into some beautiful and rugged country between the ranch and Armstrong Woods State Park. We crossed over the saddle gap and dropped down into the next canyon barely after daybreak. As we crossed the open fields we could only see about a hundred yards through the dense morning fog that was rising from the damp ground.

We really didn’t have any plan or even know what we were hunting for, it was just another day long hike, like we often took. We had heard and seen signs of a mountain lion in seasons past, so we usually carried Bill’s lever action 25/20 and my 22 caliber handgun. We crossed the creek and started up the last steep mountain that separated the privately owned land from the State Park to the West. We knew of a hunting cabin about half way up the mountain, so we headed that way. Climbing out of a deep gully we followed a ridge which began to level out. As we began to step over a large fallen tree the woods were filled with the sound of squealing pigs. There must have close to dozen of them. A large shaggy wild boar with a black and white sow and around ten of the cutest little piglets I`d ever seen. I was so startled that I stumbled backward nearly falling, and by the time I looked back they were out of sight. Even if we had seen them first, we wouldn’t have shot them, they were too cute. It was just another hundred yards or so to Nin’s old summer cabin. We were looking around a log pile near the cabin when Bill nearly stepped on a large rattlesnake. He quickly pulled out his large bowie knife and threw it at the rattler which was right under him, killing it. If he had missed, he would have been bitten for sure. Since that was the only thing we killed that day, I guess you could say we were hunting rattlesnakes.

Having had enough adventure for any day, we headed home laughing about the wild scene of the squealing pigs running every which way.

Categories: 2. Burke