Looking at this photo, you would really have to wonder what kind of a relationship these two could have had, but they look very happy together.
The real story is that my dad is one of those guys who will work out some way to do just about anything by himself so he doesn’t have to ask for help…and he can tell everyone later how he managed to pull off these amazing feats all alone.
In this case, he was hunting black bear on the Uncompahgre plateau in western Colorado. Back then, Tote Gotes were the poor man’s ATV. For those of you who’ve never seen or heard of one, they’re like short, fat motorcycles with no gears, little tractor tread tires, very little suspension, and a Briggs and Stratton lawnmower-type engine with a rope pull. We went just about anywhere on the little ‘Gotes.
Dad got his bear, but then had to figure out how to get it back to camp by himself. His solution was to put his orange vest on the bear to keep anyone from shooting it (or him), rope the bear’s front paws around his chest and tie his back paws to the foot pegs. Wearing his orange “Elmer Fudd” hat, and with the bear’s chin resting comfortably on his shoulder, they set off back to camp.
All went well until he met a truckload of Texans out hunting. I think maybe the Texans had been imbibing a little and should have spent more time watching the road and less time gawking, as they ran off into the ditch. Dad stopped to make sure they were all right, and then obliged them for a round of photos so the hunters could prove they hadn’t all been hallucinating.
Lucky for dad, my mom wasn’t the jealous type.