Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here!
Gather ’round and I will spin you a tale about a mountain man I met.
Yesterday, I got up bright and early. I would be traipsing off to the San Isabel National Forest near Beulah, Colorado with D.B. Achen.
I had heard legends about this man and that he was impossible to keep up with in the forest. It was my turn to find out.
Departing well prepared, my day pack contained numerous layers, firestarters, a water purification system, a stack of energy bars and trek poles. It was about 11 pounds so travel could be efficient.
The drive was beautiful and I passed the antique town of Florence and the Federal Prisons.
I was to meet up in Wetmore, Colorado at a church.
Being first to arrive, I walked around and read some signage. According to what I read, the men of the town weren’t into the whole God thing and the women founded the first church there.
I waited about 10 minutes, and a truck pulled up. It was D.B. Achen, right on time. He asked me to follow in my car and had me park at the base of a washed out dirt road. From there, we took his truck to the cabin.
It was well kept and everything had a place. The decor was rustic, complete with wood stove, a rough hewn dinner table, a tribute to John Wayne hung by the door, and a large skull placed prominently on a mantle over his father’s fly rod and basket.
Knowing he was a very private man, I did not take any pictures without permission.
“What kind of skull is that?” I asked.
“Bear,” He said simply. Opening a door to a room, he showed me the bear he had killed with his bow.
D.B. Achen didn’t have a lot to say about it other than he died quickly.
As we went back to the pickup, I saw a line of archery trophies in his garage. This man knew what he was about.
We hopped in the truck and went off to the range wondering what kind of day it would be.
Ach, pronounced “occ” was a calculated, measured archer. Many of his shots were in the 65 yard range with about a 4 inch shot group. While I am no archer, I can attest that the intermittent breeze was accounted for in the shots.
It is fascinating to observe someone so focused that recording does not phase them. He made a large number of well-placed shots with minimal error.
The hike was a place of Ach’s choosing, one of his favorites. I would have recorded it but it is his trail, and I was fortunate that he invited me.
The pace was the long gait of a woodsman, something I am accustomed to. Neither of us were prone to stopping and we made excellent time.
The area was burned out from a fire not too far back, and it reminded me of the solitary man I walked with; battle hardened from life and yet full of vigor.
As I pondered these things, Ach froze. He had heard something. At first, he thought it was rocks moving, and then pointed to a woodpecker. You may or may not see him, but he is up there.
Ach was a silent one, at peace in the forest. He had a calming effect when he did speak, and we had numerous encounters with deer and elk, at times within easy bow shot.
While I can get in rifle range like the picture below, Ach has a knack for nearly walking right upon them. I did my best to be quiet and follow his footsteps.
Completing the hike and the simultaneous stalk at a pace of a little over 3 mph, we dropped back by Ach’s cabin for a Pepsi. I did not see him drink a drop the entire way. Perhaps he is made of leather or something.
Ach was inclined to show me the area as I was not familiar. We hopped in his pickup and drove through rugged country, the likes of which I had never seen.
We turned off on a dirt road. Knowing the habits of the animals Ach showed me the Happy Hunting Grounds of generations before, flourishing with elk.
It began to grow dark and on the way back, I thanked Ach for letting me hang out with him and invited him over for an afternoon, but there was one problem….
He had not been to town in over a decade and it would break his track record.
51 thoughts on “Darryl B Achenbach, Mountain Man Brothers Campfire”
So well adapted to its environment but so distant from the rest.
I agree. He is pleasant to be around.
So many amazing people in this world I’m glad you met and got to hang with this one
Laughter is contagious. Start a pandemic
Indeed! Ach is awesome!
Wow, thanks for sharing. Sounds amazing ☺️
Thank you, it was! I appreciate you stopping by!
What an amazing adventure! Thanks for sharing the details of the adventure, the pics and the videos with us. Again, another person of great value put in your path.
Thank you Auntie!!
You’re welcome, nephew!
I would say!
Well worth the trip it sounds like.
It was quite the adventure!
Any wool has become scarse here and you unpack with merino …! 💛🤍🐑
It is scarce to me as well! Fortunately, I found it at a second hand store.
Wow is right!
“I’m a mountain man far from my home”
I’ve hiked half the Appalachian trail and have met many other mountain men. Best people there is.
It is good to have another Mountain Man around, Lance. Thank you for joining the Campfire!
Live in Florida and every single day I miss my mountain home.
I have never been to Florida. The closest is Mississippi.
All too flat
I must say I find the forests amazing. I like hills though.
Bunch of pine trees in Florida
Well, do you have to stay there?
Well no but me being in maintenance it’s going to be really hard finding a company up there that pays me the same. Just waiting for an opportunity.
I see. Is the cost of living pretty good there?
Yes. Economically you can’t get much better than Florida.
Flat with pines
See the signs
Where boughs align
Beautiful photos. Incredible. That bear head looks alive. I wonder how you feel if you lie on the bear skin. LOL.
It is a very neat bear skin.
Indeed!🤠🔥 I had a blast hanging out with D.B. Achen!
What a gorgeous day you had.
Indeed. Would do again!
Yes definitely 😊
‘Sounds like you had an amazing adventure, Ben! And I love the bearskin rub! This may surprise you, but I’ve never seen any real pictures of those rugs- I’ve only seen them in cartoons when I was growing up. LOL
Well, way cool! I got to see it up close. It was the real deal!
I did have a great time up there!
I can imagine. I’d love to see those snow capped mountains. Seeing them with the naked eye would be better than in pictures. 💕
Well, when you have the opportunity, drop by and visit the Campfire! There are all kinds of things to see in Colorful Colorado!
Oh, Colorado is beautiful! I have an uncle who lives in Ft. Collins.
I just might do that! 🙂
Good!🤠🔥Let us know!
I sure will.
What a magnificent story, loved reading it🤓Awesome
Thank you.I had a blast that day.
I could imagine☺