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#699945
THURSDAY, JULY 30

The next morning I slept in while Harry and fsb ran the shuttle.

After they’d left I paid a visit to the outhouse, cleaned up camp, and made myself a sandwich for lunch.

When I’m home, my wife does most of the cooking, and as a result we tend to eat pretty healthy. No takeout, lots of salads, fruit, vegetables, etc. In the past, whenever I went on a fishing trip, healthy eating went right out the window, and my gut would always pay the price. I wouldn’t say I ate healthy on this trip, but I did make sure to have some salad every night, and it made a big difference.

Across the river at the put in we saw a cow moose eating the leaves off a tree. She looked at us as we floated by, as if to say, “What are you looking at? I’m a motherfucking moose, and I’ll stomp your asses if you come any closer.” Then she went back to eating.

The previous day’s storm had left us, and it was a beautiful morning.
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Harry wanted to row, so fsb took the front of the boat and did what he loves to do: throw streamers.
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Successfully, I might add.
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This river reminded me of some that I fish in NorCal, so I tied on two of my go to flies: an orange stimulator and a royal wulff. They proved to be more successful than the chernobyl ants, but I still had to work for every fish I brought to the boat.

The highlight of my day was when a raft with a couple of fishermen passed us and I hooked a nice brown right in front of them. I immediately thought of Lando, because he loves it when that kind of thing happens.

It was still early when we finished our float, so we ran another shuttle and floated a different stretch of the same river.

Fsb found some swinging water, which always makes him happy.
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While he was doing his spray pole thing, I shared some of my sandwich with Sheldon.
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At the end of the day we headed back to camp.

We were running low on water, so fsb and I jumped in the truck and headed to the fly shop. The shop was closed but there was a hose outside, and next to the spigot we found an electrical outlet. Fsb used that to briefly charge his phone while we filled up the water jugs. After that we stopped at a bar for cigarettes and ice, and then headed back to camp.

For dinner that night I served sausages, onions, applesauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, and my colon’s best friend.
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After dinner fsb cleaned out his boat, while Harry watched me do the dishes.

Harry.

There was definitely something about Harry.
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He claimed to be terrified of catching the virus, so much so that he’d recently quit his job and taken early retirement. He told me it would be a couple of months before his pension kicked in, and that since he’d quit work he’d been living off of his credit cards. Whenever we ran shuttle, he’d put on not one but two masks, and always insisted on riding in the front seat with the window down, yet he never wore a mask when we were in the drift boat or sitting around camp. He wouldn’t use my dishes and silverware, presumably because they might be infected. Instead he’d heap whatever food I’d prepared in my apparently sterile and virus-free cookware into his personal pot and eat out of that. I called it Harry’s dog bowl. Once the evening meal was through he’d sit in his chair at a safe distance from everyone else and tell stories about Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea: anything to avoid washing the dishes. I wondered more than once why someone who was flat broke and that fucking frightened wasn’t hunkered down at home hiding under his bed, but the answer always eluded me.

Once I’d finished the dishes I sat down next to the fire and spent an hour or so sipping on some brown water, then kicked Sheldon out of my tent and went to bed.
User avatar
By Redchaser
#699951
At every opportunity I would have been asking Harry if he felt ok and commenting that he looked flushed or feverish
#699952
FRIDAY, JULY 31

The next morning we all got up early and immediately started packing. By now I’d learned not to put anything in the truck until everything was packed away in a tub, folded, and/or bagged.

Harry was the first to leave. He apologized for not shaking hands (COVID!) and said it was nice getting to know me. I replied “Thanks” and continued packing.

Half an hour later I was ready to hit the road myself. Fsb still had shit scattered everywhere, so he gave me a big hug goodbye and promised we’d do this again. He’s a super nice guy, funny as hell, and a great fisherman. If you ever get the chance to spend some time with him, do it.

I punched “Boise, Idaho” into the navigation system and was on my way.

It was an uneventful six hour drive, and I found the landscape in Idaho unremarkable. It was mostly flat, with a surprising amount of smog.

Around noon I pulled off the highway to fill up the truck and get something to eat. On one side of the street was a burger joint. On the other side was a Subway shop. I figured “Eat Fresh,” so I put on a mask and walked into the Subway.

“I’d like a pastrami and Swiss cheese sandwich on …”

“We don’t have pastrami, and we’re out of Swiss.”

“Thank you. Have a great day.”

I drove across the street to the burger joint and ordered a cheeseburger, a fried chicken sandwich, fries, and a Coke, and ate it all while sitting in the truck.

When I was roughly an hour outside of Boise I called a friend of mine who lives in the area. I’d let him know a few weeks earlier that I’d be passing through, and had asked him if he could recommend any campgrounds. He said, “Fuck campgrounds. You’re staying with me.” I didn’t want to offend him, and so later that afternoon saw the two of us sitting on his patio, drinking whiskey and smoking cigars.

I took my second shower of the trip, and that night he and his girlfriend served up a fantastic steak and potato dinner.

After dinner we went back outside for more whiskey and cigars, and we stayed up well past midnight before turning in.
#699956
I thought I was the only piece of shit that ordered a burger AND a chicken snad and ate them sitting in my truck dripping mayo on my dirty camp pants. It's nice to know I'm not going it alone.

This is great btw, enjoying it largely. The dead suk has been good this summer.
User avatar
By Lando
#699961
Something About Harry should be the name of a movie.......he and that one dude (I can't remember his freeloading name) would get along smashingly.

East Idaho is a shithole. The Snake is nice, but the Mormons have fucked everything up too bad.

Let's do that again soon, OK?

Sans Harry
#699963
SATURDAY, AUGUST 1

Woke up late the next morning, probably because it had been awhile since I’d slept in a bed. My friend J’s labs were waiting for me to get up, and as soon as my feet hit the floor they nosed their way into my bedroom.

The previous day it had reached one hundred degrees outside, and today would be no different.

For folks looking to leave California, Boise has become a popular choice. I know a handful of people who have moved there during the past few years, so I spent the morning letting a few of them know I was in town. One of them was a gal I went to high school with. She had nothing going on, so she came by J’s house and we spent a couple of hours catching up. By that I mean she talked and I listened, or tried to anyway. She wanted to give me a nickel tour of the city, and suggested more than once that I spend the night at her place. When my ears could take no more, I looked at my watch, thanked her, and said I had other plans. Other plans meant a quiet hour with J, sitting on his patio, drinking beer, and saying nothing.

J told me the ethnic food in Boise is shit, so after lunch I went grocery shopping. When I got back to his house I unloaded my truck and set up a stove and table in his backyard. I can be a messy cook, and I didn’t want to destroy his kitchen. Spent the afternoon drinking beer and whipping up some pico and guac, rice and beans, home made chips, and deep fried chicken tacos. J and his girlfriend both seemed to enjoy it.
User avatar
By Redchaser
#699964
Above Average Joe wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:55 pm She wanted to give me a nickel tour of the city, and suggested more than once that I spend the night at her place.
Subtle
#699979
SUNDAY, AUGUST 2

J and his girlfriend moved to Boise a year ago, but he hasn’t spent much time there. After the move his mother became ill and then passed away, so he’s spent a lot of time on the road, and he’s still trying to wrap up her estate. Because of this he hasn’t done much fishing in the area, so he hired a guide to take us out. We stopped to get fishing licenses and then followed the guide to the river. Once we parked, J and the guide both put on their waders. It was over ninety degrees out, so I put on a pair of wading boots and stayed in my khaki Dickies. The guide looked at me and said, “No waders?”

“No way, not in this heat.”

“You ever fish this river before?”

“Nope. First time. Why?”

“It’s a tailwater, and the river gets fed from the bottom of the dam, so it’s pretty cold.”

“I’m sure I’ll be fine.”

The guide set us up with hopper/dropper rigs and we headed to the river.

I took a step into the water and realized, “Dude was not lying. This water is cold.”

The guide turned to us and said, “There’s a shelf just upstream that can be really productive. Follow me.”

Knee-deep water quickly became waist-deep, at which point I yelled, “How much farther is this shelf?”

“It’s right here.”

We waded up out of the trench, onto the shelf and back into calf-deep water. J looked at me and said, “I can’t feel my legs, and I’m wearing waders. You’ve got to be freezing.”

I lied and said, “It’s not bad.”

We spread out and started fishing, and J quickly caught a couple of small ones on the dropper.
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There was a pod of fish rising roughly 60 feet upstream of where I was standing, so I pulled out some line and made a cast.
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After landing the fish I looked for more risers, and one showed itself ten feet in front of me.
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It went like that for the rest of the day.
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At around four we took a break.
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Note to self: do not keep cigars in your pants pocket when wet wading.
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We fished until nine, and had a great day.
#700213
Sometimes life gets in the way of finishing up a TR.

Anyway.

MONDAY, AUGUST 3

Woke up early, with J’s labs greeting me like I’d been gone for weeks.

Packed up my shit, thanked J profusely, promised I’d be back, and then hit the road.

Headed east into Oregon and came across some interesting water I hope to explore the next time I’m in this area.
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Soon afterwards the terrain turned rugged, and I thought, “Any pioneer who years ago decided, ‘Let’s go this way’ probably didn’t make it very far.”
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Passed a sign that read “Next gas 80 miles.” I glanced at the gauge and figured I’d be fine, but an hour later my asshole started to twitch as the truck crawled past a boarded up service station.

After that it was more of the same: miles and miles of dry scrub and rock in every direction, with no one else on the road. At times it felt like I was the last man on earth. Had I been driving this same truck on this same road in my youth, I might have looked down at the speedometer and thought, “I wonder if this thing is truly capable of going 120 mph.” Instead I eased off the gas, knowing I’d be truly fucked if something went sideways out here. I was sipping on a Budweiser at the time of this revelation - the last of my six pack breakfast - so I’m under no illusion that either age or wisdom played any part in this decision.

Eventually I reached another small town and pulled into the first service station I saw. It was an old, small, no-name-two-pump gas station: the type of place you’d expect to see in an old Hollywood road trip movie. I killed the engine, finished my beer, and threw the empty into the trash heap on the passenger’s seat floor. I closed my eyes thinking I’d rest for a minute when I heard someone tapping on the window. It was an old guy. Older than me anyway. He was short, stocky, and wearing a t-shirt embroidered with a one-syllable, three-letter name. Scared the shit out of me.

“Can I help you?”

I looked at him kinda funny for a moment, and then it hit me: you’re in Oregon now asshole, and you’re not allowed to pump your own gas. I rolled down the window, handed him some cash and said, “Fill it up please.”

You’re not allowed to pump your own gas in Oregon. That’s always struck me as a weird law. Not as weird as some, but still. I suppose it provides jobs for people who like doing that sort of thing or are incapable of doing much else, but still. When I was a kid my dentist’s office was in a highrise medical building, and there was a short, middle aged man who ran the elevator. He looked like Teller, the silent half of the Las Vegas magic act, and his job was to stand there and push the buttons. I can remember on one visit I looked up at him and said, “So this is your job? Pushing elevator buttons?” I was just a kid, and I wasn’t trying to be mean. I was curious. He looked down at me without a trace of emotion on his face and then went back to staring at the button board. Never said a word. On my next visit to the dentist he was gone. The elevator door opened and I entered the elevator with the other people waiting in the lobby and we all managed to get where we needed to go without any assistance or distress. I wonder sometimes how long Teller would have stayed at his job if it were against the law for ordinary citizens to push elevator buttons.

Anyway.

Once the tank was full I meandered down the highway in a south-westerly direction, and eventually the desert gave way to forest. I passed through the agriculture station at the California border, and an hour later pulled into Weed. Gassed up the truck again and found a Subway sandwich shop that had pastrami and swiss. Twenty minutes later I found myself here.
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I gave Wayne half of my sandwich, and we spent the rest of the afternoon catching up. I’d planned to head home that night but he convinced me to stay, so I grabbed a bottle of booze out of the truck and settled in.

For dinner I picked up some Mexican takeout for Wayne and I from a restaurant in town. The place was packed, and the margaritas-to-go were fantastic.


TUESDAY, AUGUST 4

Woke up the next morning on the floor of Wayne’s cabin, fully clothed and feeling a little stiff.

Said goodbye to Wayne, jumped in my rig, and was home by noon.

I’m looking forward to putting another three thousand miles on the truck as soon as I’m able.
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:cool
Thumbing Through Some SBSs

Opal Cormorant https://live.staticflickr.com[…]

whatcha tying?

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Friday Cheer Through Pics

Damn. Welcome back

Rock curry

Beautiful. [/kisses fingers]

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