Sorry it took me so long to get this up. Work and home life have been kicking my ass lately (in a good way), and I haven't had much time for extracurricular activities.
A few months back, Cornholio and I made plans to meet at Wayne’s. The timing of this trip could not have been better, because after a couple of weeks back at work I was in desperate need of a short vacation.
Friday morning I hit the road and headed north.
Four and a half hours later, I found myself here.
I set up the bar…
…and then did what I usually do.
With that out of the way, I went down to Wayne’s and spent the rest of the morning with him, his dog, and his youngest granddaughter.
Wayne’s granddaughter said nothing when I sat down, and soon afterwards she disappeared into the house. I thought she was just shy, but moments later she returned and served me food and drink.
Providing refreshments to strangers is a custom that’s at least as old as Homer’s Odyssey, and a courtesy that's still common in many parts of the world, including Wayne’s back porch.
After she poured me a cup of tea Wayne said, “She’s not that tall, so whatever came out of that teapot is either from the toilet or the dog’s water dish.”
Made sense, so I dumped it out when she wasn’t looking and grabbed something from the cooler instead.
Then she asked, “Would you like a tattoo?”
How could I refuse?
Not long afterwards her older sister arrived and insisted we play badminton, and then this cat showed up.
The afternoon progressed and the shadows grew longer, so we cracked open the whisky and Cornholio cooked up the world’s best egg rolls.
We packed up some egg rolls, whisky, and cigars, and headed down to the river.
The water was still high, but we saw lots of bugs coming off. Then we saw a fish rise. And then another.
I went back to the cabin and strung up the bamboo rod my brother gave me last Christmas.
When I got back to the beach where I’d left Cornholio, the fish were still rising.
He said, “Dude. What are you doing?”
“I’m going to catch those fish.”
“Um… OK. Two things though. The water is way too high, you don’t have a wading staff, and you’re wearing clothes.”
I drained my glass, tossed him my wallet and said, “That’s three things. And I know what I’m doing.”
The current didn’t look that bad but proved to be deceptively strong once I got out there.
I made a couple of casts, both of which were short, and then tried to move closer to the target.
Then I went down.
I crawled back to shore, shed some clothing, and went back out.
“Dude. What the fuck is wrong with you?”
“I can do this.”
Turns out I couldn’t.
I made it out a bit farther but went down two more times before taking a short ride downstream. I lost a boot, a knife, and a big slice of ego to the river, and scratched the shit out of my bamboo rod.
Once I made it back to shore, I sat on the beach and re-lit my cigar. When Cornholio finally stopped laughing we went back to the cabin, lit a fire, ate some more egg rolls, and drank some more whiskey.
Cornholio brought enough food to feed twenty people, but that night all we ate were egg rolls.
A couple dozen at least.
Things got a little fuzzy after that, but it was a fine end to a fine day.
The next morning Cornholio cooked up a huge breakfast, (omletes, bacon, toast, coffee, juice) and afterwards we jumped in Wayne's truck and did some scouting.
Lots of water, so the rafters were happy.
We checked out a couple of different spots, but the fish weren’t very cooperative. Cornholio and Wayne picked up a couple, but I caught nothing.
Eventually we called it a day and headed back to the cabin for more egg rolls and whisky.
The next morning Cornholio cooked up another huge breakfast, and then packed up and headed home.
Wayne said he had some elderly clients on his calendar, so we went out and scouted for places that were easy to wade. We also did some trail work.
We walked down to one spot and came across six young women meditating in the river: legs crossed, eyes closed, palms extended, and all of them naked as jaybirds.
I was about to take out my camera when I heard Wayne yell, “SNAKE!”
We both turned and hustled back to the truck and spent the rest of the afternoon laughing about it.
That night we went out to dinner, and the next morning I headed home.
A big thanks to Cornholio for the great food, drink, and company.
I’m already looking forward to doing it again.