Jim, I'm sitting here and hoping your dream of a hunt out west next season comes to fruition. I am also grinning a bit as well, remembering my first few days walking those mountains at 8,000'+. It is an exercise in gasping!...lol. After a few days, I got more used to the thin air and actually did a good bit better than some in camp much younger than I. But, those first couple of days will be some eye openers, I can promise you that!
I am going skiing next week - Steamboat Springs, so I will at least get to breathe some of that mounting "thin" air.
I was originally planning a 2012 hunt - I am going to shoot for 2011 now.
I went to town a few moments ago to get 2 trail cams for the new lease - and changed my mind when it was time to pull the wallet out... I am going to save as much $$ as I can this year, with CO, MN, UT or somewhere like that in mind.
As I sit and glass, which is common for hunters out west, I have sort of quickly discovered something I never learned when I was younger.
In my youth I had enthusiasm and spirit. In my middle to advancing years I have creaky knees, arthritis, and I tire more easily than I used to. Where I used to sit on the cold hard ground I now look for that soft spot to sooth my tired muscles. That leads me to my tip.
Carry your soft spot with you!
In my pack I carry an air filled, ultralight, camping pad....