Tales of an Incompetent Adventurer
Great Turkey Rescue Caper
by Ram

... was a failure! My respect for those skunk rescue boys has grown. Could have used them fellows.

After a four–hour overland approach, gambel oak slicing and dicing the exposed skin, we arrived at the big–wall entry. Down we went. The canyon also had an even bigger grand finalé rap at its end, with ten other rappels in the middle. There was a fair bit of snow and lots of areas where snow had just melted and a ton of water, both pothole and waterslide. Not much ‘strolling’ country. Far as I know, there is no walk–in, or walk–out route. So you will understand our lead fellows’ surprise when, coming around a corner, they came face–to–face with a large and quite territorial turkey. From the rear I stroll up to observe what all the fracas is about. I note the beastie. We are talking an UGLY face—well, maybe not to another turkey. Anyway, my partners try to cajole the fellow out of the way. The turkey would have none of it. It was perched on a log we needed to build an anchor on, flappin his wings, making aggressive gestures, and threatening to bite.

I mean, how did it get here? What was it going to eat in this water–filled slot? How would it ever get out? Now, I’m no expert, but they can’t fly, except for very short distances, can they?

5,10,15, ... 20 minutes passed by and the humans and the turkey were still at a standoff. My turn to try. With ski pole extended, I approached and nudged the shoulder, kind of pulling him back. He dipped a shoulder and resumed his stance. I tried again. Same result. En garde!! I got a little more insistent with the pole and off he flew the four feet to a ledge—for a second anyway. FAALLLLIIINNNG. He flapped his wings and descended in slow motion, 15 feet to the pool below. Out the pothole he swam. He looked just like a duck when swimming—quite graceful.

OK, who wanted to be first down in case the dastardly bird becomes an attack monster? I don’t remember who went, but it wasn’t me. Cluck, cluck, gobble, gobble. When my turn came, down I went and three potholes down, off to the side, in the sun, he stood, staring intently. Transferring human emotions to animals is probably not fair or accurate. I am, nonetheless, pretty sure the guy didn’t like me much. If looks could kill!! On we went. Good luck, my friend. I don’t know what awaits you, but a Thanksgiving platter, it will not be.


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