My Journal
All right, I said I was going to do this so I need to sit down and put it all on paper.  I wanted to do this similar to my hunt out of Kotzebue as I think it has helped a lot of people prepare for the type of hunts that you can do in Alaska and also to get the whole story out, not just the kill.  On my caribou hunt my partner thought I was crazy but I know he appreciates the look back at all the photos and can remember every minute as I documented it.  So this is to all the readers that will go on the hunt and to all the ones that have been or maybe all the people that dream of going.
A year prior:  I always get look at the forums and notice when it is time to put in for the draws.  I have been putting in for many years for the same hunts.  I know it is taking a risk and the percentages are low but the TOK area and the Delta area are great sheep areas so that is what my $5 has been going to for about 5 years now and this year was no different.  The thought was to keep plugging and hoping that it would happen one day.
After moving with the military to Spokane Washington I keep my residency as Alaska is where I will live forever, my wife feels the same way.  We would travel over the border to Idaho and hit Cabela’s every once in awhile.  After setting up the house and putting up my horns and my bear rug my wife said that she would love to have one of those white sheep on the wall, what a great wife.  She said “you should get one of those next”.  I tried to tell her that is not an easy hunt and very demanding plus the good areas you have to win a draw.  She still wanted one and then we went on more talking about retirement in the Great State of Alaska.
One day, about 2 months later, my wife got the mail one day and in it was a CD and a letter from a guide out of Fairbanks I believe.  She showed it to me and I wondered why that would be.  I picked up the letter and it read “Congratulations on your winning draw; I would love to be your guide”.  My address was an out of state one so his belief was that I was a nonresident.  I wondered what that meant and then thought back to when I put in the draw “Holy S>>T, I won a draw.  Wow, I thought this is great and not so great all in one.  I just won a draw of a life time and I am in a different state, my hunt partners are all gone from the area and I have a vacation already planned that is going to cost some money.  Man what am I going to do.  I explained to my wife what it was and how it was a draw of a lifetime.  She said “OK, if you have to go, then you have to go”, what a great wife. (I might say that a couple times).  I was in shock and started to think of what I had to do next, that was try and call for a flight in
The next day I started to call transporters and I called 40 Mile first and they were booked for opening day.  I wanted to get in early as I believe the early bird gets the worm.  I was a week behind from when the results came out so I was behind.  It was the weekend so I started to make calls to the three that fish and game listed.  I got no answers on them all but received a Monday call back from M&M Charters or Mt Hayes Air.  He talked to me about a few things, costs and dates and weight.  He told me 250lbs per person and it was $750 for the hunter and $700 for a non hunter.  When I read some of the other sites, 40 Mile talked about only taking 50lbs and your weight didn’t matter.  I was 165lbs and didn’t think that was fair as a guy 200lbs would also get 50lbs.  Anyway, Gary from Mt Hayes said he could do it, get me in before the season and put me at the Charlie Boyd airstrip for the DS204 hunt that I had.  I thought that was great and decided to commit to him as it was a good price and he was the first one to call me back and get me in at the time that I wanted.
Now was the time to find a partner as sheep hunting is pretty hard and I would need some help and company as I go on this hunt.  The hard part was finding someone that knew they would not be able to shoot a sheep due to only me having the tag.  So names starting running through my head.  I decided since they couldn’t shoot I would kick about $400 their way to pay for a part of the flight.  I picked up the phone and called my old neighbor Scott, who said he had a hunt planed to the Dalton with his son and couldn’t go.  I thought about my cousins that lived there and I knew Kevin had what it took to hike up the hills that we would need to go.  He said he would cross with his wife but calling back in the next day he had to pass.  I began to worry and think it might not happen and even thought about going by myself, my wife would not allow that.  Who next, Shane was leaving at that time and Dan was heading to the desert.  I asked my hunting partner Shane if he knew anyone that might fit what was needed.  He contacted Jeff and said he was interested but since he couldn’t hunt he would have to pass.  Shane then asked a new coworker who said he would go.  I worried as I don’t know the guy or his hunting abilities or attitudes.  A good partner is everything and can make the whole hunt.  I then shot an email out to Jimmy.  I have never been on the same hunt with Jimmy but he hunted with a friend of mine and I knew that he had both the gear and the mental mind to hunt hard.  I didn’t know what to expect with the email since he was out of the state of Alaska also.
Jimmy got back with me and said he was good to go.  I was a little shocked but real happy that I would have a partner.  I let him know the details and what I would cover and we agreed.  I also let him know the plane was booked and the dates would be around the 24th of Aug.  I started doing the research and finding out more about the area.  I looked on the forums and find anyone that had been to the area.  I also talked to others about sheep hunting and how really difficult it was.  The year prior, Shane and I did the 5 mile walk off the Dalton and though a little tough we would do it again.  I thought, it couldn’t be as hard as that..
Months went on and I kind forgot about it but had an idea of what I would need to get.  I contacted Jimmy a couple of time to talk a little about gear.  Jimmy told me that he had pretty much everything and it was all in Alaska, he even had gear for me.  This made me feel a little comfortable but I didn’t want to use all his stuff and wanted to get some stuff and contribute to this hunt.  I then started to get my gear list of stuff that I wanted to get from Cabelas.
Another month went by and my wife got my tickets to Anchorage with miles and then I sent all that to Jimmy so he could book around the same days.  I planned to get there a day before and also leave 2 days after the hunt was scheduled to be over.  I was worried about getting socked in and missing my commercial flight.  The next thing I had to worry about was how I was going to get to Delta Junction, the area we would fly in to.
The family and I had the summer trip all planned out to go to Alaska and rent an RV.  So off we went to go back home.  It was a great trip and it really kept me thinking about my sheep hunt.  I tried to view them on the Seward highway so that I could practice judging them.  I didn’t see any so it was a good trip, some good fishing and then it was time to go home.  I talked to Jimmy there and we finalized the money thing and talked gear.  I also called the pilot and made sure once again we were good for those days.
I began to make a couple phone calls.  I had a friend that had an extra vehicle so I contacted him.  I didn’t get a response right away so I continued to call.  My cousin said that he would have a work truck and I could use his, which would be great and a lot of stress off my back.  That was the plan that I would think would work.
Jimmy and I continued to talk about the trip.  We used e-mail most and talked on the phone a little.  We started to get down to gear as we were sending each other pictures and kinds of gear that we had.  Jimmy had a lot at a house up in Alaska and some of it I would use.  Jimmy had most of the big stuff, tent, scope.
Back at work I called my cousin that lived in Wasilla and he told me that the work truck was in the shop and his truck would not be available.  I started to freak out at that and wondered what I would do.  I mentioned it at work and my old boss just happened to be on the phone and he mentioned I could take his truck.  That was great, so we emailed and called about the details.  He was staying home from work and didn’t need the truck.  If he needed to go someplace he could take his motorcycle or his wife’s car.
The days got closer and it was time to leave.  I packed my stuff a couple days prior to make sure I had room.  I had to find all the hunting stuff in the house that I just moved it to, what a nightmare.  I got it all and weighed it to make sure it was less than 50lbs for the airport.  Everything fit that I wanted  and I was ready to leave.  The day of the trip I had a friend drive me to the airport and drop me off early, early in the morning.  It was so early that TSA wasn’t even there to check my gun so I had to sit and wait.  Finally about 30 minutes later it was time to check the gun and get to the gate.  I had all my personal cloths in a carry on and checked all my hunting stuff and my gun.

Disclosure - This took a long time and didn't spend a lot of time proofing it, so take it easy on me.....
I made my way to the gate and grabbed myself a cup of coffee and a donut.  There I had to sit and wait.  I would try and plan out what I was going to do as I would get there at about noon and Jimmy would be flying in around 5pm.  The first plane was good, nice seats and then it was time to sit in another looking at the sign that said Anchorage.  At this airport there were tons of guys with fly rods and camo, there I knew I was headed to Alaska.
I arrived in Anchorage at about noon and Bob was there to pick me up, what a great guy.  We went back to his place and had a quick bite to eat.  We then left to go to REI.  There at REI I was able to get a topo map of the area that we were hunting and blown up so we could actually see it.  After that we took off and it was back to the house.  He was teaching a hunter safety course and I wanted to put a couple rounds through my gun so after some chatter I was headed out the door to the range.  As I was leaving, Bob made sure to throw some salmon jerky my way to make the trip better.
There I departed up to the Birchwood range trying to make it there in time before it closed.  I got there with about 40 minutes to spare.  The owner said I better hurry, and I told him I hope I only need to shoot about 5 rounds and I will be done.  I set up shop and fired away.  I shot three and they were pretty good, so I did 2 more and it was good enough at 200 yards.  I decide that it was time to go and head to the airport and pick up Jimmy. 

I packed light for the trip up
Just waiting to get into Anchorage, Can't wait.
Forget the name of the peak but this was leaving Seattle
Shot coming into Anchorage, this is Portage Glacier
Bigger shot of Portage Glacier and the lake
The range and my set-up, had to make it quick
5 shot is all I needed, 1st one is always the worse
Great truck for the trip, even if it was a Dodge - THANKS BOB!!
After loading up I left and stopped by Fred Meyer to get a couple Jet boil bulbs because I was unable to ship them on the airplane.  There were only 2 left so I took both but wondered if that would be enough.  I then made my way to Scott’s house, old neighbor, but no one was home.  At about that time I had just enough time to hit the road and go get Jimmy.  I got to the airport a little early so sat in a parking lot waiting on his plane to come down and him to be ready.  I tried to close my eyes as I was a little tired but was to excited to get on the road and get up to Delta Junction.
I got the call and it was time to pick up Jimmy.  I met him out front and it was time to head to Carl’s house to get all the gear.  The plan was to lay it all out on the ground and see what we needed, what we didn’t and pack it all up equally and get it somewhat ready to fly.  We finally got there and we put all the stuff out and on the ground, man we had a lot of stuff.  We knew that sheep hunting was going to be hard so we wanted to try and pack light.  We had all the gear out and the only thing it looked like we needed was some more food.  Jimmy calculated that we would need 7,000 calories a day.  All I had for food was about 20 oatmeal’s, 20 power bars, and 14 Mt. Houses.  Jimmy said we needed about double that as he like to eat.  We decided to eat ourselves and at about 9 we went to the Moose’s Tooth for bite to eat.  While packing we also had a bid discussion on which stove to bring and we decided with the Jet Boil.  We figured on the way back we could run by Fred Meyer and pick up some more bulbs of fuel.  Jimmy thought that we needed a bunch more of them also.  It was brand new so we didn’t really know how much fuel would be needed.  So we ate and then tried to find a store that had the bulbs of fuel but most were sold out.  Jimmy was hot on his iphone to find the closes store.  We finally found a store on Abbott and they put the last 4 to the side.  After getting these it was time to look over our gear one more time and head out the garage.  All was good so it was time to go at 11pm.

The pile of food we had and we needed more
Some of the essentials
More gear, notice the beer in the background
Jimmy trying on his pack... Feels good... Lets roll
The plan was to drive all the way to Delta and sleep and be ready for the plane in the morning.  Problem with that was that I was up early to get the plane and didn’t sleep any.  I was good driving but knew that I had a passenger and also the truck wasn’t even mine.  I made it to just outside of Palmer and pulled over.  Jimmy woke up and I told him I had to sleep a little, maybe 2 hrs.  I set my alarm on my phone and was out quick.  The two hours went off and the first words I heard was “go back to sleep” so that is what I did for about 1 more hour.  At that time I knew we had to go and I was doing pretty good.  I popped the Rock Star drink that I had and was on my way.  The longer it went the more the sun started to come up and the more we were headed in the right direction.

23 August 2009
As the sun came up you could tell it was going to be a nice day, a little wet but this is Alaska.  There were tons of rabbits on the side of the road and it was only a matter of time before I hit one.  It only lasted about 2 hrs of daylight and bam, right with the tire.  We were now running a little late but we knew we were close to Delta.  Got a call from Gary in the on and off reception on the phone.  We were suppose to be in town and at his house at day break, he had a busy day.  We let him know we were 30 minutes out and we could head to his house.  He told us to go to the diner and get some good food and he would take us after that.  So that is what we did, headed into town and then made it to the diner.  This would be our last good meal until the return so I had the Garbage Omelet with a cup of coffee.  I am not sure what Jimmy had but it was big.  The food was good and Jimmy was eating and playing on his iPhone.  On the way in we thought we saw the valley that we would go up but it was the wrong one.  This valley was about 20 minutes out of town and it was straight up.  I think it was at this point that we started to realize what we were getting into on this sheep hunt.  We were both a little worried at that point.

We made it to Gary’s after a phone call and there was the plane, right out in front of his house and his driveway was the airstrip.  We chatted a bit and finalized the payment for the trip and we were on our way.  We loaded Jimmy’s stuff and the gun in the plane and Jimmy would fly from the house and I would take the truck to a rondavoo spot near the Johnson River, about 40 minutes away.  So Jimmy tucked in the plane and I took some photos and he was on his way.   I jumped in the truck and headed out of Delta on the Alaskan Highway to the Johnson River and the airstrip that was there.  It took about 45 minutes and started to put my close on while listening for the plane.  Just about the time that I got all my hunting cloths on I could hear the plane.  I locked up the truck and waiting.  Gary landed and it was time for me to hit the air.  It was a good day for flying and I was pretty happy that we were going in on the same day we planned.    The Airstrip was empty as this was the 23rd of Aug and the season opened up on the 26th. 
The meal was great, a garbage omlet
Jimmy's ready to go, he goes first from the house
Runway along the driveway
Jimmy getting the mission brief
This is a landing at the strip at the base of the Johnson river, time for me to go...
I was in the air for about 15 minutes before we landed at the Charlie Boyd airstrip.  Along the way Gary pointed out all the other strips along the area on both the Delta Management Area and the TOK area.  We landed on the strip, nice and soft and there was Jimmy at the end of the strip waiting for me.  He had all his cloths on by now and had stuff all spread out so we could equal the weight in our bags.  It was about 1130 when we watched Gary fly off.  We took his number so we would have it with the Sat phone if we wanted to come out early.  So there we were, 3 days to opening day and directions that Gary gave us, “up the river as far as you can go into Ram country”.  We really didn’t know what that meant but we had plans and energy to do whatever we needed.  We got the bags packed, Jimmy’s had the gun as he at the sweet pack that held it well (Elderbrock).  We figured each pack was about 60lbs.  I know this is more than what most would carry as we did have the 22lbs of food but we were hunting from the bottom, per Gary’s advice.  We figured we would set camp on the bottom of the grass and then hike up daily when we saw sheep, this sounded easy.
From the strip we could see sheep, little white spots as high as the clouds, no rams but it gave us a good feel.  We started up the riverbed in what we could see was a wash that had no alders and looked pretty easy walking.  We kept going this way trying to find some type of trail, but all we found was rocks, rocks and more rocks.  It was a little bit before we hit the bottom of the glacier but couldn’t really tell as it was really dirty.  We walked all day trying to stay just to the bottom of the grass and alders but staying above the big cliff to the bottom of the glacier.  We did finally find some game trials that made it easy walking but it was right on the edge and was a little scary at first.  We would walk to a wash out and then stop and try and figure them out.  Most of the time we had to walk up the edge to find a path or an area that didn’t have steep banks to cross.  Most were really dry or some small streams.  While on the top of, I think the second there were some lambs coming up the other side.  It looked as if they came up over the glacier and were going back up the side hill to the grass.  We did stop along the way many times to spot up and see the sheep on the side.  They were very far up there but it was good news for us.
me ready to go for a long, long walk
Plane getting ready to go back for me
Looking up the Johnson Glacier, DMA on the right and TMA on the left.
Wink coming in, DMA on the left and TMA on the right.  The plane is heading up towards the glacier.
Cockpit is small but effective
All the ups and downs in the washes was tough and all the weight was wearing on the legs.  The weather was good and cool and no rain so it made for good walking.  We finally got to a point where the trail led us straight into the alders and that shit was tough.  Don’t ever try and do that.  We made it a little way and found a camp from prior hunters.  We called this camp the “Underwear Camp”.  It was a pretty nice landing surrounded by alders and a nice spot for a tent.  There we found a lot to toilet paper that looked like it was picked threw by birds and two pair of underwear.  We figured the hunters got a case of the Beaver Fever and didn’t want to take them back.  We also found two bottles of salt that were perfect.  We figured we would leave them there as I had a pound already and we could use it on the way back if we were lucky.  We didn’t get very far past this and decided to drop down the steep bank into the glacier and wall up there.  This was all loose rock and it was a bitch to climb down.  Once again at another wash we saw more sheep and decided to keep going up the glacier, this was about 2 miles in from the head of the glacier.  We decided to stay low and keep walking on the rocks with no trail.
Starting up the glacier, stay above the alder
Our trail, we took many but staying on the edge is the way to go
Looking up the Johnson Glacier, it is a long way up there.
Looking accross at the TMA side of the Glacier, the valley is where 40 Mile took some people
Just starting off, walking sticks a must, Charlie boyd in a distance
Jimmy sees something early, I think he wants a break
One of the many drainages we had to manuver around
Sheep below us, coming from the Glacier, not sure why
Drainage that we must cross
Jimmy on the trail, it is like walking a high wire
Hillside below the tent, this is the trail we came down the next day in the fog
We got to a huge drainage and decided to go up and around.  When we peaked on top there was a huge grass flat and there were about 20 sheep.  We decided to rest and put a scope on them.  Jimmy looked and thought at least one was full curl.  We saw this and said, I think this should be the spot.  We had been hiking for about 7 hours now and our legs were pretty beat.  We found a spot on the rocks that was sheltered a little from the rain and pitched the tent.  Jimmy did some excavating with his foot to level it out and the space ship fit right in there well.  It looked like we did that just in time as the rain started to fall, not hard but steady.  We boiled the water that we had and had a Mt. House for dinner.  We then decided we needed to find water and stock up for the morning.  It wasn’t too far and we started to pump.  The whole time we chatted and looked up at the sheep and thought this was going to be a good trip.  The rain stopped a little so we broke the bags out and made a game plan for the morning.  It wasn’t opening day so we would hike up the drainage and get as high as we could and find some rams.  Once back at the tent we again spotted more sheep on the hills.  It was great to be here.  It was about 9pm and we climbed in the tent and hit the hay.
August 24th 2009
We woke up at about 830 and the GPS read 37 degrees, but it actually didn’t feel that bad.  We shook the tent from the rain last night and busted out of the tent hope to see the sheep on the hill but we say nothing after about 50 feet – FOG!!!  Wow, was it thick, we couldn’t see shit.  We decided to have a little breakfast hand wait it out a little.  We figured as the sun came up it would burn off and we would be good.  After all that for the breakfast and nothing happened to the fog.  We had read in books that if there as fog, don’t try and do anything as it isn’t worth it, stay in the tent.  Well, it wasn’t a hunting day so we got the bags ready and decided that we would go as high as we could and hope the sun broke the fog by the time we got there.  At that point we could have nice views and we would have peaked a mountain maybe.  We packed the bags with snacks and 1.5 liters of water each and left most of the stuff at the tent.  We were thinking that 40 mile would be flying someone up today but with this fog I don’t see it happening. 
We started up the riverbed where we got the water and that would take us up pretty far.  We decided to hit the grass and as we decide to climb the bank, there stood two lambs moving across.  The see us but don’t pay us attention to much but we are headed right for them, so they slowly continue the path and move out the way.  We walk up the moss and grass to about 4,200 feet.  We decide to sit a little as we are now higher that the grass and this is all rock.  The fog is still there and isn’t going any place.  There is no rain at this point but the terrain is still steep and tough on the legs, even without our packs.  I eat a trail bar and we split some of the cashews that we brought along the way.  After the hour of sitting it is time to go, stand up and legs are tight.  Man this is going to be a rough trip if my legs are already hurting.  We get to about 5,200 and decide that the fog probably isn’t going to lift and decide that we don’t have much else to do so we would continue to climb.  We decide to take this hill, it is straight up, very painful and slow but there is a point that we must make, and we are almost there.  We finally get there, 6,250 feet, and look back and know that we are crazy.  We still can’t see far but we know the grade that we just came up and it is pretty steep.    We sit and rest, Jimmy walks over the edge and comes running back; he just got within 50 yards of 2 lambs.  My legs are really jello at this point as I try and get up and move.  I get there and we look at them for about 10 minutes and then they get spooked and run off into the fog.  As we sit there the snow starts to fly and we realize it isn’t going to break.  There is no accumulation but it is pretty cool for day one.  We decide it is time to go.

Our morning view of Johnson Glacier, WHERE???
Full shot of the tent and our wind barrier hill
SCREW IT.... We came to hunt and hike, lets go
View looking up, it will clear up for sure...
SNOW???  FOG???? it will clear up at the top
Hill we had to climb to get to the top
Jimmy climbs to the peak to see the tent and anything below, JUST FOG!!
This is the route up and maybe over to the Spur, not today
this is the route up, it doesn't look that bad from here
We head down, straight down towards camp, not the way we came up.  I think this was the wrong move, but thought it was right before we did it.  It was real steep, real steep.  I had to wait till Jimmy was about 150 in front of me before I would go because it was just falling rock.  A few times down the trail I thought, man, I could easily break my leg on these huge rocks.  It was a little nervous and hard on the knees but slowly we made it down.  Looking back up we were pretty stupid but once you start you can’t go back up down another way.  We hit the grass and there are some Ptarmigan running on the rocks.  Jimmy picks up a rock and wants dinner.  He tosses a couple and nothing.  The third rock makes feathers fly and some fly away.  We start to run down the hill but it also starts to fly.  Pretty good shot I think.  As we hit the grass the snow turns to rain and then we hit the low lying brush which pretty much soaks our legs and feed.  I only have nylon pants on today and they are pretty much soaked through.   We are a little off on our direction in the fog but we are close to the riverbed and close to camp, just a little more brush to walk through.  We make it back to camp and it is 4pm.  Coming down the hill it was very disoriented.  The glacier below us looked huge, the river bed that we thought was flat, looked to bank towards us and it was very weird. 
Back at camp we decided to cook some Mt. House and relax as that took it out of us.  We really had to think again if that was the right thing to do.  The season doesn’t start until the 26 and this is the 24th so we still have plenty of time.  We figured we got to know the land a little but worried that we walled right down through sheep country.  We eat our meals and then decided to poke around the glacier a bit and relax our feet.  We had boots but packed our camp shoes.  The thin soles on the shoe created a massage effect on the bottom of our feet, which was nice.  It starts to rain a little so we climb in the tent and think about walking the ridge light to see what is on the trail ahead of us.  Rain and fog keep us inside and we tell ourselves that a nap would be good until 6:30 and then we would move.  We fall asleep and don’t wake up until morning



August 25th 2009 – One day left until we can shoot.
Woke up at 6am since we went to bed early and it is still raining.  Jimmy goes to take a piss and the fog is worse than yesterday so we decide to hunker down for a bit and listed to the eye pod and dose off.  My legs aren’t that bad, a little tight but that might be from sleeping on the ground all night.  It also might be from the 600mg of Ibruprophn that we had the night before.  We sit in the tent and snack on some jerky and look around.  Everything is still dry from the rain last night so we are doing pretty well.  My gloves were a little wet and Jimmy talked about putting them in the bottom of the sleeping bag and that would dry them out.  I realize at this point the under armor that I have on, REALLY SMELLS!!
0930 the rain is slowing and we see sun on the fly and bottom of the tent.  We decide to go out and look.  There is still fog but we can see better but still not great.  We still have not heard a plan come up the valley.  The fog is worse up the valley and it is almost perfect at Charlie Boyd as we can see down there.  We walk around, jump and try and loosen up the muscles that we used yesterday.  I climb back in the tent to write a little while Jimmy pokes around.  I hear Jimmy says he thinks the sun is right above the clouds.  We both agree that we are not doing what we did yesterday but we may walk up to see more in the next two drainages.  We won’t be able to see far up in them but it is a walk.  We have a little breakfast, oatmeal in the pack.  We think the rain has stopped for good today.  It hasn’t been a hard rain, just a mist that doesn’t get you wet if you are out for a little bit but if you stand out there for 3 hours it will.

August 25th 2009 – One day left until we can shoot.
Woke up at 6am since we went to bed early and it is still raining.  Jimmy goes to take a piss and the fog is worse than yesterday so we decide to hunker down for a bit and listed to the eye pod and dose off.  My legs aren’t that bad, a little tight but that might be from sleeping on the ground all night.  It also might be from the 600mg of Ibruprophn that we had the night before.  We sit in the tent and snack on some jerky and look around.  Everything is still dry from the rain last night so we are doing pretty well.  My gloves were a little wet and Jimmy talked about putting them in the bottom of the sleeping bag and that would dry them out.  I realize at this point the under armor that I have on, REALLY SMELLS!!
0930 the rain is slowing and we see sun on the fly and bottom of the tent.  We decide to go out and look.  There is still fog but we can see better but still not great.  We still have not heard a plan come up the valley.  The fog is worse up the valley and it is almost perfect at Charlie Boyd as we can see down there.  We walk around, jump and try and loosen up the muscles that we used yesterday.  I climb back in the tent to write a little while Jimmy pokes around.  I hear Jimmy says he thinks the sun is right above the clouds.  We both agree that we are not doing what we did yesterday but we may walk up to see more in the next two drainages.  We won’t be able to see far up in them but it is a walk.  We have a little breakfast, oatmeal in the pack.  We think the rain has stopped for good today.  It hasn’t been a hard rain, just a mist that doesn’t get you wet if you are out for a little bit but if you stand out there for 3 hours it will.
Time to wake up and what do we see.... FOG
Look down the Glacier and we can see the strip but no planes
View of camp as we sit and wait
Lunch from the JetBoil... loved it.. THANKS JEFF!!
The drainage right next to camp
Looking down the drainage towards the glacier
Jimmy standing next to the tent
Our water source
Jimmy's turn
Our view for hours and hours
It's tight in the tent but comfy
SCREW IT!!! We have to go some place...
We left at 3pm due to the fog and went towards the glacier to see if we could see rams and the second airstrip that 40 mile air uses.  We get to a big drainage with a nice flat grass spot and there are rams in site.  They are way high in the clouds.  We can’t find the airstrip so we go for the “bullshit” 5 mile point.  This is the point we could see from the airstrip and Gary told us “head to that point, it is about 5 miles from here” try more like 7.  We get to that point and go up and over.  We find some pretty good trails and they have a lot of bear sign on them.  We walk up to the 7 mile point from Charlie Boyd.  It is now 37 degrees and cold.  We notice termination dust on the mountains in the valley.  We finally get to a point that we can’t go any further without a lot of effort so we decide to turn around and head back to camp.  We make it back to camp by 830pm and go and do the pump for water which takes about 30 minutes.  After that we had some food and went to bed.  We both had some crazy dreams that we heard voices and people were camping close to us, pretty freaky….
Looking down at camp,  This is the route we took looking for the bullshit 5 mile point and the second 40 mile air airstrip.
Jimmy standing tall for the first bit of sun
Looking up the glacier past the 5 mile point, Gary said this was real RAM country but hard to get to
Looking across the glacier at another valley up
Jimmy checking the side hill for alders, stay away!
Looking up the glaicer, no airstrip in site.
Going back home on the game trails, lots of bear sign but no bears
Resting and figuring a way around the alders
the sheep walk, man it was a little scary
Breaking out into the field, there were a couple of camp sites here.

26 August 2009
Ok, its opening day and we wake up.  It is a little rainy and foggy.  The fog had lifted from the past two days and we could again see the lambs on the side of the hill when we walked up originally.  This time we climbed a little above the tent to look the tent side of the drainage and we could see a loan ram.  We talked a bit and couldn’t really tell legal so we decided to get our bags and head in that direction.  We knew it was up and that is where the rams would be.  It is all grass above the tent, knee high brush and that is a pain in the ass.  We try and figure the best way up and we end up getting split a part.  I am about 50 yards from Jimmy.  He looks like a German mountain man climbing the hill.  The sun is out and I am hot.  Jimmy does much better going uphill.  It is still 32 degrees but feels like 60 as we move up the hill with a purpose.  We get within sight of him and Jimmy puts the range finder on him.  He is about 125 yards and walking straight away from us.  He meets up with a mom and baby as they are coming from over the ridge.  With him walking straight away it is hard to tell legal and I do not have a good shot, but I do have him in my scope.  At this point, I am thinking that if we kill him, this will be an easy trip.  We are at about 4,300 feet.  We decide to go up further.  Jimmy spots rams so we creep up and they are gone.  I should have been next to him as he said they were real close when he came up over a rock mound.  We decide to stay on their trail as he swears that he saw a legal ram.  We are getting high now and there isn’t much grass any more.  We stop for a bit and now we are looking in the drainage on the other side.  We can see rams on the other hill side so I take some pictures with the spotting scope.  We also see caribou in this drainage just moving along.  We head back up the ridge and we climb over top of a mom and a baby as they are eating below.  They don’t see us but we can see them.   We don’t know what we are doing at this point so we continue to climb up.  We can see the ridge that we climbed on the first day… Boy that looks sick, what were we thinking.  We continue to where we think the rams were going.  We are now on a ridge where we can see both bowls.  Looking down on the left side we see sheep and they are on the other side, I would count about 8.  Jimmy meets up with me and looks through the scope and they are all females.

We decide to keep going higher as it is about noon.  We are walking right on the peak of both bowls and it looks pretty high.  As the day is going great we start to feel the snow.  I am a little low on water as I don’t do uphill well.  I stop to eat some snow and we find some wolf tracks.  They have to be pretty fresh as the snow is falling.  We think we pushed him up.  At this point we can’t go any further as it starts to get to steep.  We think this might be a way to get over to the spur glacier but we don’t want to attempt it.  We are trying to figure out what we are going to do, head down the left, our drainage and go back to the tent for the day, or head right and try and put a stalk on the rams that we saw, not know if they were legal.  We have nothing better to do so we decide to drop down in the right bowl, climb around to the other ridge and then walk that line and sneak up on them.  Sounds pretty easy but man that looks far, especially in the fog and snow right about now.  Our peak at this moment is 7,125 feet.
Spotting right above the tent, what do we see
Spot something, time to travel after it
Our hillside from the other ridge, not much
Going after the lone RAM
Grass is tougher but we must go high.
View back down at the glacier
RAMs on the other ridge, so far away can't tell for srue
Just chillin, no threat
Caribou low in the valley, I couldn't imagine hiking one of these out
Up high and going higher
Jimmy with our day one trek in the back ground.  Now there is no fog we can see how crazy we were.
We spot sheep below but hard to see in the snow.
As we make our way down it is like snowboarding on the rocks, they all just slide out from you.  It is a good think that we have the walking sticks, don’t leave home without them.  We get to the bottom and it looked pretty flat but once there it was up and down and up and down, I guess being that high makes things look different.  So now we are on the bottom and we start to go diagonal up the side hill to get to the ridge.  We want to make sure we are above them when we get there.  We keep going and now we are on the top and can look into the other bowl.. Holy shit!! There is like 20 sheep down there, no rams but man there is a lot of sheep up here.  We keep going down the ridge moving slow.  We get to a point and I think we have missed them.  They were laying here on this hill about 4 hours before and they must be gone.  Jimmy says no, next hill so we keep going.  That is when it happened
Looking down the bowl towards camp
Were at the peak, tracks go up, we think this is a way to the Spur side but can't see what is past this
Jimmy at the top deciding which way to go.
Jimmy squats and hits the ground, I follow suit.  We are on our belly and we back up a bit.  I wispher to him and he says “Sheep,,, Ram”  I slowly put the gun in front of me and get ready to low crawl.  We move a little forward and Jimmy is looking through the binos.  He is now up on elbows and can see the sheep… “not full curl, ¾” . I want to know what he is doing.  Jimmy says “Shit, he is staring right at me, don’t move”.  The wind is whipping up the hill and it is probably 35 degrees, my hand is freezing.  Jimmy says “it’s a stare down”.  We don’t move then Jimmy says “What, he just closed his eyes and now he is sleeping”  We decide to move back a little and take a low approach since we know there should be more below him.  We do this, and then when we come lower we are spotted by him again but he does nothing.  He is still laying down and doesn’t know what to make of us.  We now can see the sheep below but they are looking away, towards the glacier.  We are standing low, not knowing what to do at this point.  This sheep is about 60 yards away.  Jimmy suggests that we just start walking towards him.  We walk about 10 yards and he stands and moves down the hill.  Now they all stand and get together in a large group.  At this point, I sit on my butt and rest my gun on my knee and I am waiting for the call from Jimmy.  I have 2 sheep in my sites and am ready to shoot.  I ask for legal and Jimmy says, “first one, first one, first one”  Just as he says that a third sheep comes in the middle and I can see one horn that is real big.  Jimmy now says “NO, SECOND ONE, SECOND ONE”.  They are all close but I have the scope on his shoulder and don’t want to miss.  I also don’t want to go through him and hit a second.  I ask Jimmy let me know when, he says “any time, any time”.  They aren’t moving so I decide to squeeze and BANG!!!  All three leave the group and one starts to tumble and role down the hill.  Knowing that we are going to have to carry him home I wish he roled all the way down.  He is down, I turn to Jimmy and it is high fives and excitement in the air.  I can’t believe it, all this hard work and now we have a sheep down.  I run down the hill to look at him and make sure what we saw in the binos was right.  It was, this sheep was clearly a full curl on one side and the other side was broomed.  I pumped my fist in the air and started screaming; man this was a good day.  At this point I run back up and grab our bags and take some photos.  I also range it out and it was about an 80 yard shot.  Man, we are happy… Hard work, Hard weather and Hard Alaska and we have a sheep.
the trail to snowboard down
Were on the other ridge trying to find the rams that were in the spotting scope,
Distance we came, from snow patch in back
Looking into other bowl, sheep all over the place.
There he lay, with the Glacier behind him
At this point it is about 5pm and now we know we have the work ahead of us.  We watch the other rams as they watch us from a distance.  There is still a legal ram in that bunch but we will leave him for another day.  It is about 33 degrees at this point but the sun is out.  We break out the knives and go to town.  Jimmy does most of the cutting.  I hold and break out the bags to put the meat on.  The cape is good and we tried to keep the blood off but it was very hard.  I ended up hitting it in the high shoulder and then broke the back.  It was a good shot and we also found the bullet.  Cutting is going good but for time sake we decide to leave it on the bone and head down the hill.  We take pictures along the way to ensure we are doing everything the way it is suppose to.  We take some pictures with full packs and head straight down the hill.. We figure we have about 50 lbs of meat on our back each.  We get to a real steep part and figure we don’t need to carry the meat up the glacier to the tent and then back down to the airstip tomorrow.  We decide to stash it and then on the way to the strip we could pick it up and debone it.   I take the cape with me as we want to wash it out when we get to water.  We end up going straight down the hill to the glacier and then back up to the tent.  We were going to stop and wash it but it was getting dark and we did not have our head lamps.  It wouldn’t have been a problem, I really don’t think you could get lost up in there as the drainages would tell you the way.  We finally made it home, it was dark at that point and figured we missed it but we popped right out under the tent.  We were hurting but good sheep blood on us made us all feel better.   Now it was time to head and pump some water and wash the cape.  It took about 30 minutes to pump and wash and then it was time to eat some Mt. House.  After all that was done, we climbed into the tent and that is when it started to pour.  We talked for a bit and made plans to walk the sheep down to the airstrip and then walk back to the tent and pack up the next day.  We had a couple sips of whiskey and then hit the hay.
27 August 2009
Woke up to sun.  Popped out of the tent and there was fresh snow on every mountain, it was beautiful..  It was probably the clearest day since we go here.   There are still some sheep on what we call our hill but we still could see others in the distance, you can see farther today.  We have our oatmeal and plan to go and bone out the meat.  We figure it is 6 miles each way, 12 miles round trip and 14 miles with going and getting the sheep.  So we headed out very lightly packed and headed straight up the wash to where the sheep was.  We finally get there about an hour later.  We bone it out in the sun and there are flys everywhere.  We try and trim it out also by taking the fat off.  We know this trip is going to be a bitch so we don’t want to carry anything we don’t want to.

We pack up and head down the hill, not as heavy as yesterday but still heavy and going straight down is rough on the knees.  We have to cut some pretty bad alders to get down to the sheep trails but we finally make it to some easy walking.  We keep walking and staying on the trail. We look for familiar sites and we are looking for the “underwear camp” so that we know where are on the right track.  This trip is long and the worst part is knowing that we have to come back this same day.  We try and find the best route out so we drop way down to the glacier water and that wasn’t the best idea.  It was real rough down there and we really couldn’t see where we were going.  We were going straight for the alders and didn’t stay high enough.  We break our way though and find the landing strip.  When we get there we drop packs and rest for a bit.  I get the SAT phone out to call Gary and Jimmy builds a rock mound to put the meat out as we will leave it down here.  I went also and fond all our gear that we stashed and put a fresh pair of socks on.  Jimmy had problems with the horns in the alders and he lost a good deal of his water so we have to share on the way home.
We head back and it is a long tiresome trail but we are light.  It is bad knowing that we have to do it again in the morning but it will be for the last time.  The trip takes about 5 hrs and there isn’t much stopping along the way, we are on a mission and that is to get home.  On the way home we find a dead sheep in one of the drainages, a good reason why you don’t drink from them without a filter.  We then find the underwear camp again and know that we are on the right track and we are good to go.  We finally make it home, only to pump water once again and eat some Mt. House.  There is no way that we could have carried all our stuff out with the sheep and we didn’t want to leave anything behind.  We have some whiskey and then hit the hay
28 August 2009
The journal is getting shorter by the day… We eat some food in the morning and the weather is still nice but don’t think it will be as hot as yesterday, it got to 60.  We pack everything and head on out.  Again it take us about 5 hrs to get to the airstrip.  There we call Gary and he said he will not make it out today but be ready at 7am as we will be his first flight.  We set up the tent and look forward to some of the sheep stakes that we have.  We were lucky and no animal got into it.  We set the tent and I start to gather wood.  We put the fire on the other side of the strip and then I find all the rocks I can to make a wall around it.  Just as all that was getting done, it started to rain again.  We climbed in the tent and didn’t know if we could get a chance for a nice fire.  We cooked some food and I had some coffee from an MRE that I stashed at the airstrip.  Just about then Jimmy says “Hey, you hear that, I hear voices”  We pop out the tent and there in the rain are two guys that have just come off the mountain and are setting up their tent on the other end.  We mentioned to them that when the rain stopped and it got dark we would have a fire if they wanted to get warm.  They said just yell and they would love that. 

So later the rain stopped and we got out to have some fire.  Jimmy broke out the big bottle of whiskey that we stashed at the airstrip and we tried to split it, he had more than me, it was rough…  We started the fire and then made our way to the end of the strip to their camp.  We had scoped it out before and found some bullets, underwear and a pink water bottle.  We thought that once again someone had problems with the water.  It turned out to be these guys that were shedding weight before they headed up the hill.  They came down, grabbed some wood and we had a nice fire.  We were able to tell our war stories and then it was time to hit the hay.  Before we went to bed and after they left we broke out the sheep and put it over the fire on a nice grate that we found.  Man that was great!!!!
29 August 2009
We woke up to the sun and started to pack.  Just about time we got the tent down we could hear a plan in the distance and we knew that was for us.  The guys that were on the other end flew with 40 Mile and they wouldn’t be there until the afternoon.  Gary landed and it was time to head home.  I went first with the sheep so that I could have the truck ready for Jimmy.    I landed and then Gary was off to get Jimmy.  By the time he got back to me I was changed and ready for a Garbage omelet in Delta.   When Jimmy landed we said out thanks to Gary and headed out.  We got our food in Delta and then headed to Anchorage and that long drive.   When getting there Carl met us and we started to do the meat.  It didn’t take long for the meat and were able to split it all up.  I had to head out as I had to get to Fosters to drop off the cape for a shoulder mount.  It was going to be nice and Dan has done good work for me in the past.  I would have to wait until Monday to get the horns sealed by fish and game but after that I would be off to the Airport and a wonderful trip. 
Thanks again to Jimmy for being a good partner and someone that would push me to success.  Sheep hunting is hard and a good partner would mean everything.  Other thanks go out to Bob for the use of the truck, without it, I don’t know what we would have done.  And last, the biggest thanks goes to my wife for allowing me the time and money to make this a trip of a lifetime.