Lots of little things have happened in the last few weeks, and among them, Emmett’s birthday! I haven’t had much time to sit and write, so here’s my Independence Days catch up and then you’ll just have to be on the lookout for pictures and such of our other happenings.
Last Saturday Rick and the kiddos and I decided to go for a hike. It had been a while since we hit the mountains, and it was really nice to head up there and get out of the heat for a while. We even took our shoes and socks off and played in the cold cold water for a little while. There were tons of wildflowers in bloom. We even found a few wild strawberries for the boys to taste.
We were up at Deer Creek, very near my grandpa’s place outside of Bailey. The boys loved it, and Henry did really well hiking and not being carried. We hiked for about three hours, and he was still rearin’ to go when we got back tot he car.
We drove over to my grandpa’s place and then met up with him and my mom and Man for dinner in Conifer. On the way home, we saw a motor-home pulled off on the shoulder on the Southbound side of 285. They had just hit an elk. Rick turned around and offered to help them and then we waited for the sheriff and the state patrol to show up. Rick asked the state patrol for a roadkill tag and then we headed over to the center median where the elk was at to salvage any meat. The people driving the motor home were from Boulder and came over to watch Rick cut up the meat, and hold flashlights while they waited for a tow truck. They had just left on their vacation, which, sadly was ruined.
Rick was able to get three complete quarters, plus most of the front quarter where the elk was hit by the RV. He also was able to take both back straps (minus just a little on the side he was hit). The elk was pretty big. A five-by-five that would have probably grown into a six-by-six or larger by fall. He was probably about 500 pounds or so. His antlers were so beautiful – still completely covered in velvet and they were so soft. Unfortunately, they were both broken by the RV, so we did not keep them (we might not have any way, since regulations on roadkill tags require you to leave a 6 x 6 or larger).
We were glad that Rick is always so prepared – he had his good knife, a bone saw and a tarp all in the car. We strapped out bike trailer to the roof of the 4 runner and put the meat in the back on the tarp. As soon as we got home we were rinsing and cooling meat down like crazy. Luckily it was fairly cool on Saturday night. Rick cut the meat into pieces that we could easily handle (and fit into coolers), while I rotated them through cold water, and kept flipping them on the tarp in front of the box fan on the drive way. I cut the back straps into steaks and got it into the fridge before we went to bed, and as the meat got cool enough, we put it into coolers with lots of ice until we could cut it into proper cuts of meat in the morning. All in all, I’d say from the time the elk was killed until the meat was cut, cooled and packed up was about the same amount of time (or likely less) as if Rick had shot it and had to drag it off the mountain.
We of course spent most on Sunday and all of Monday cutting up meat. We did have friends over for the fourth for dinner (brats and elk steak) and then we watched fireworks with our neighbor who drove us all in his ’78 Volkswagen Bus to a place a short way away from where they were being shot off. He popped the top on the bus and Henry and I were on the bed on top and watched the fireworks through the top window. It was a lot of fun and Henry was thrilled to ride in “Fillmore.”
Plant something – nothing planted
Harvest something – eggs, turnips, raspberries, lettuce, and, at the farm, garlic.
Preserve something – ELK!
Waste Not – compost and recycling, of course, scraps to chickens, etc. And well – the giant elk we saw get hit by an RV on Saturday night.
Want Not – noting that I can think of.
Build Community Food Systems – none
Eat the Food – elk, pork, deer, made a delicious spring pea zucchini risotto with farm veggies.