Thursday, April 6, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 87th Installment

things, rolled them up in our bed roll and headed into the mountains. Tommy had told us about a mountain meadow that was several miles up into the mountains, and had described landmarks to follow to avoid getting lost. He told us that the Head of West Camas was a few miles above the meadow. When he mentioned the word ‘lost’ we worried a bit, but he advised us that going up was away from home and going down was toward home. The adults in our world didn’t worry about us much, and for that we were grateful.

We took off hiking early one frosty morning. We hiked up into the mountains and were at the tree line by noon where we ate the apples we’d carried with us. Late in the day we figured we’d covered about fifteen miles and should have reached the meadow by that time, unless, of course, we’d taken the wrong mountain ridge. This led to an agonizing discussion on which way we should go. Ultimately, we decided that ‘freaking out’ in the direction we were going was superior to ‘freaking out’ in the direction where we’d been. To our great relief, a few miles later, we broke through the trees into the prettiest meadow anyone could imagine. We knew it was the right place because of the small lake nestled near the middle. Here, we agreed, would be a perfect place to set up camp.

It would be dark in an hour or two so we decided to catch a fish to cook. We had brought a small fishing reel and a couple of hooks but no pole because nobody wanted to carry a fishing pole. We snelled the hook to the line and then realized we didn’t have sinkers to add weight, so we couldn’t fling the line out very far. After tossing it only a few feet several times, we knew we wouldn’t catch anything in the six inches of water by the bank. If we waded out, we wouldn’t catch anything either; the fish would scatter mainly because fish are not that stupid, or they’d be extinct. “I have a great idea,” Russ finally announced. “One of us will walk the hook and bait around the small lake while someone else holds tension on the reel.”

All right, I’ll give you that one,” I reluctantly agreed. It was hard to give Russ credit for anything. Amazingly, there was enough line in the reel, and Russell walked around and dropped the hook, line and no sinker in the water. I started to reel it in slowly. First try – we caught nothing. Neil took the hike around the second time. Second try – we lost the hook to a snag reeling it back. Don took the baited hook around. Third try – we lost it to a snag plus most of our line. No fish fry tonight. Sarcasm about catching stupid fish was the

500 more words tomorrow

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