When his business was thriving, Paul had an invitation to attend a caribou hunt with a friend of his. Things were going well and he a had some time off, so he took his friend up on it. There were months of preparation time. He read up on the territory they’d be hunting and researched as much as he possibly could. It was nothing like he expected and even surpassed his expectations. The two men would be flown into a remote area of Alaska and led by a guide and a cook through the tundra in search of these magnificent animals.
At first glance, Paul noticed that his guide had lots of piercings and some tattoos, which he didn’t hesitate to ask him about. He said if were going to spend a whole week with this guy, he wanted to know as much as he could about him. He wasn’t necessarily making judgments – just protecting himself – and yes, he was making judgments.
The first few days required great stamina as they traveled by foot over the liken covered, scruffy looking trees. They didn’t see a single caribou. About half way into the week, they thought this was a waste of good money and time. On that day, a giant herd appeared on the horizon and Paul had a clear shot. He fired and the gigantic beast crashed to the ground.
“Dances With Wolves” had not yet been made, but if you remember the stories around the campfire and the exaggerations, you’d have a sampling of what took place that evening. It was then that the guide accidentally bumped his firearm and it discharged. The ammunition spun within a quarter of an inch of Paul’s ear and he thought for sure he’d been hit. The guide was extremely apologetic, but Paul’s suspicions about his character were seeming to be coming true.
The guide spent the rest of the trip catering to Paul’s every whim. He would do almost anything to get back in his good graces. Then it was time to leave, but a heavy fog had suffocated the landscape and there was no way a plane would be able to land there, nor take off. The first night in the wilderness wasn’t too bad. They had plenty of meat to feed them. By the second night, their fuel was depleted and the trees in the area weren’t able to sustain a decent fire, so they resorted to using cigarette lighters to cook their meat.
During those few nights in the darkness of night, they could hear loud explosion sounds in the distance. I don’t think they ever actually found out what the sounds were, but it was enough to get them thinking that war had broken out and they were the last living souls on the planet.
That proved to be false as well. Eventually the plane was able to fly in and rescue them, but during those trying hours, Paul called on God for protection and safety and of course He delivered.
By the way, the head of the caribou now resides in a bump out of the garage, which is now called the Caribou & Antler Shed. The ceiling is high enough to house the gigantic antlers and I don’t have to stare him in the eyes anymore.