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I knew it couldn't last. It's 77 degrees at 5pm. Entirely too hot for man nor beast. Time to get the hell out of here.
Mike Hendrix told me about Wind River Canyon in Wyoming, on the road from Buffalo through Thermopolis to Casper. Think I'm gonna mosey out that way. I've got another 10 days.
But you can't trust the critters around here. I got my wool socks wet while at casting practice yesterday. You'll notice I didn't say fishing. I think fishing has something to do with catching fish.
Anyway, I was laying the socks out by my sneakers on the picnic table to dry in the sun, when I noticed somebody was lashing the lake down below. Since this was the last day on my 3 day license, this struck me as a good idea, so I put on my other sneakers, grabbed my rod and fishing vest, and went on down.
I think he became aware of me when I caught a flower on my first backcast.
"Hell of a storm last night, eh?" he said.
I thought back, and shrugged. I could vaguely remember it.
"Yeah. I guess so. It does that every night up here."
He took that news with a grimace. Greg is from Houston, about 45, recently divorced, and on a whirlwind tour of the Black Hills. He'd been planning this trip since reading about the area in the Houston Chronicle back in July of 1999. He showed me the article, folded and refolded and kept in his kit. The storm had made more of an impression on him because he set his tent up on a slope, and the runoff came in and soaked his sleeping bag.
"That sounds uncomfortable."
"Oh, you just scrunch up."
This lake was getting us nowhere with fly rods, because neither of us could cast a line much past 25 feet. At least not without heaving the rod after it, which occurred at least to me.
"I guess fishing is your best chance in life to learn patience..." I said pontifically. I had read that somewhere.
He laughed. "Yeah, if you don't count getting married...."
I finally gave it up around 10 am. I mean, I could see the bottom as far as I was casting, and there was nothing swimming around down there but bait anyway. But there's a lot to be said for casting practice. It may come in handy someday.
I climbed up the hill and checked my socks (remember them?), and went in the trailer to fix chicken fried steak, corn on the cob, and salad for lunch. I offered some to Greg, but he was shaking stuff out, repacking his car, getting ready to leave.
Groaning a bit under the load of eating for two, I lay back on the couch to read one of Jeff Shaara's Civil War novels, and fell asleep.
I awoke to find that Something had shredded my socks. Unraveled them down to a mere tangle of threads. What's left looks like Don King's haircut. I suspect birds. Aren't they always looking for nesting materials? Or else they just ate them.
They left the shoes, though. For now.
Thank God I didn't nap outside. They might have pecked out my eyeballs, or left me entirely too publicly nude for a man of my age and dignity.
I know they suspect I'm not Francis of Assisi. I told people about all the deer and turkey wandering the roads up here. Hunter-type people. That's the problem with cell phones. Sometimes you inadvertently talk in front of the animals.
So I can expect no mercy.
What if I didn't have the RV? What if I was in a mere Tent? The Horror! They're out there now. Watching. I know it. Why isn't there a Witless Protection Program for campers?
O yeah. There is. Motorhomes. "Where camping means you never have to go outside." :o)
Like I said, time to get the hell out of here. I'm bored, and that's dangerous.
During the night I was awakened by the usual barrage of thunder, lightning, and wind-whipped rain. I thought briefly, sleepily, smugly, about Greg and his tent. Then just as I was smiling to myself and sinking deeper into my warm dry bed, under my thick down comforter, I remembered that I had gotten the little honda generator out to charge up my batteries in the afternoon. And when I was putting it back in the tool box it was still warm, so I left the top open for it to cool...
So I got up and went out in the rain to shut the damn tool box. And yeah, everything was wet in there. Duh. There's no such thing as being so well equipped that stupidity can't catch up with you. Now, in the morning, instead of drinking coffee and listening to the goddam twittering wool-crazed birds, I've got to haul every single thing out of the tool box and wipe it down with an oily rag.
At least nothing was obviously missing.
And that's what I mean about my luck. Good luck would be if I didn't get lost in a book and forget about the tool box. BTID luck (Better Than I Deserve) means I still have stuff to wipe down. Don't try this in a commercial campground in, say, Houston.
Once again, time to get the hell out of here.
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