Saturday, April 23, 2011

Another One in the Books

So much emphasis is put on a few dates every year.Whether Christmas,July 4th,your birthday,your wedding anniversary,you think about it all year.It finally comes around and before you know it,poof,it's gone.For me few things bring a smile to my face like Man Camp.Sorry to say it but this year was a bit different.Last year I moved an hour south of where I was living,aka the ghetto,into my first house.Unfortunately this meant that our normal Man Camp spot was an hour farther away,making it a two hour drive.The days before this years Man Camp I was upset with a weather forecast that was ever changing.Upset with what seemed to be a low turn out.Upset with the fact that,well I felt like doing my own thing.Thankfully after some pre Man Camp discussions a few details were cleared up and a few "hell yeah I'm in" were promised,only to have a few drop out.This marked the first year in 9 straight years that we would not have a boat for fishing.No worries my buddy Kris was nice enough to let me strap his old town canoe to the Ranger and away we went on a glorious 70 degree southern Virginia day.

Upon showing up at the Chickahominy WMA we noticed that little had changed in a year.We unloaded the truck like it was a normal routine,turned on the radio and put the tents up in silence.Then it was time to do some exploring with ye Old Town canoe.Kris and I put the canoe in the water and headed up the creek I have for years tried to navigate with a motor.Low water and a ditch like drainage kept me from getting very far.We found wood duck boxes,wild violets and turkey hunters.That night around the campfire we were joined by Mattapus the hippy.We dined on fresh flounder,Kris traded at his job for some,and a few cold ones of course.Knowing we had a long day ahead of us we turned in early at 1 am.

The next day brought another blue sky,but with it a stiff wind.Our plan was a nice float/fishing trip in the canoe.The tide was running a few feet above normal and the winds were estimated around 20-30 mph steady.(We only used the most accurate of wind gauges,grass and guessing)So plan B was take a short paddle up the same creek but with more water we made it much farther and had a great time staring into space and not saying much of anything.Back in camp we ate a healthy lunch of roast beef sandwiches and bacon.Not roast beef with bacon,the bacon was a separate dish if you will.I needed to get a line wet so i ventured off for a drive around the WMA.Every access point to the river was either flooded or had white caps and was unfishable.I knew of a place just off the WMA that I have been meaning to fish for years.A little feeder creek bass action never hurt anybody,except maybe the guy who owns the property.So I fished for a few hours,caught a few bass and headed back to camp to await the arrival of the people with normal working hours.

That afternoon my friend Jon,my brother the nutty professor and my friend Mike showed up.We played unofficial horseshoes in the woods,drank cheap whiskey and told lies.Most of all what we did was forget.We all forgot about whatever problems we had,big or small.We forgot about going to work,paying the bills,or whatever else was on our mind.Either if for a minute or for the entire day that's what it's all about.Being an adult is over rated and under paid.The night ended with no serious injuries and an exceptional amount of laughs.So I'm glad I went just like I have every year.Next year will be our tenth annual and we may decide to move venues but who knows.For right now I just want to remember the good times we had and how much my real friends mean to me.

A short side note about the weather.We left out early Saturday knowing the wind and rain were moving in that afternoon.We were all home from Richmond to Suffolk,by noon that day.By 4 that afternoon tornados and horrible thunderstorms had overtaken the entire portion of southeatern Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina.I believe I last heard some 72 reported tornados from that front were reported.Some did major damage in and around the area and many lives were lost.Fortunately we all dodged a huge bullet.However many of the people that I work with did not.My thoughts go out to the entire area and I hope they can all rebuild and start over.

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