By Angela Peacock
Traveling 66 hours round trip to hunt elk has been a tradition for three West Virginia men since 1999.
Wayne and John Williams made their biannual trip to Dolores, Colo. from Beckley, W. Va. with their uncle, Ernie Thompson, who said he enjoys spending quality time with his family.
“I love the scenery and companionship of my two nephews,” Thompson said.
During their hunt Wayne shot a 5-by-5 elk and had it stolen, but to make matters worse the men who thieved his game ganged up on him.
“We went face to face in a pretty rude encounter,” Wayne said. “There were three of them and one of me and it turned into a pretty dangerous situation.”
Despite going home empty handed Wayne and his fellow hunting buddies said this years adventure wouldn’t stop them from planning another road trip for just the men.
“My wife said she misses me and that my dog (Rudy) is in mourning. He probably misses me more than she does,” said Wayne chuckling.
While eating breakfast at K-Bob’s steakhouse Friday morning Thompson made an impressive discovery, which reminded him just how thankful he should be for those who have an opportunity to practice good hygiene.
“While we were eating I told the guys ‘that’s the best thing I’ve smelt in two weeks.’ The waitress had on perfume,” Thompson said. “Colorado doesn’t have a lot of water out in the wilderness so you tend to get a little sweaty after a few days of not being able to shower.”
Venturing through New Mexico hasn’t always been the most pleasurable experience for the three hunters.
The crew has broke down the past two times they’ve passed through the state. Wayne said this year they had a blow out that caused damage to the rear fender of their four wheeler trailer.
Another blow out on a previous trip forced the men to wait nearly two hours for a tow truck to help get them into Albuquerque where they could purchase a new tire.
“Every time we come through Cuba we break down,” Wayne said. “But I’m still impressed with New Mexico. I wish we had more time to sight see, in fact, we’re trying to see about doing our next hunt in New Mexico.”