Friday, August 26, 2016

No Satisfaction

  Whenever I get the urge to ramble but don't want to spend any money, I go for a paddle in the canoe. I keep the canoe on the bank above the river. It's a narrow river and shallow this time of year. Sometimes I have to get out and pull the canoe over a sandbar.
  This morning I put on my boots and grabbed a paddle. As I approached the canoe I heard a buzzing and saw hornets in the branches overhead. I retreated to the stern of the canoe and flipped it upside right. Hornets poured out of the nest they had built in the bow. I retreated around the corner of a nearby building.
  I might as well do something useful since I can't go canoeing. As I painted some trim, my wanderlust kept bugging me. My mind wandered to a beautiful campsite overlooking Hayes Lake. There's a fire ring there with a grate. I could cook myself some lunch and enjoy the ambience. My thrifty self said that the lake is ten miles away and a day pass to the park costs five dollars. It was hot painting the trim and I imagined the cool breeze off the lake and the smell of my hot dog as it roasted on the grate.  OK, OK, we'll do it!
  I finished my job, washed the brush and gathered some supplies in a canvas beach tote, some firewood, some sauerkraut and mustard, some matches. I had bought some hot dogs last month but accidently grabbed a package from last year out of the freezer. Or it might have been from two years ago. Hot dogs keep forever though they do eventually revert to their essential element: hoof of cow.
  The park was deserted on this Tuesday afternoon. The ranger station is only open on the weekends but there are envelopes for you to leave your fee. There was little chance I'd get caught if I didn't pay but lately the vision of the heavenly scales weighing my good vs my evil deeds has been coming into clearer focus so I did the right thing.
  There's a main campground with electric hookups etc. but I headed a mile or so down a dirt road to the primitive campsites. Then it's a five minute hike to the bluff overlooking the lake. There was a good breeze but it was blowing from the wrong direction and the mosquitoes had at me. Fortunately I had packed some spray. I got a little fire going and swung the  grate over the flame. The grate was an inch thick and would take some time to heat up. The lake was pretty but it was stuffy in the woods. The tops of the trees swayed in the wind but the air was dead in my camp.
  I tossed my hot dog on the grill and realized then that it was from the ancient package. I threw on more firewood, scraps of 2x4s from a construction project. A thick black smoke coated my lunch. How many carcinogens am I adding to those already in the hot dog? The cast iron grate was absorbing all the heat. The mosquitoes were getting through my defenses. I slapped the meat on a bun, dressed it and choked it all down.
  As I drove home I conceded that my excursion had been a flop. But I also conceded other trips had turned out much better than I had expected. You just need to keep on rambling.

                              The lake is lovely dark and deep
                                But I've a bloody blog to bleep




12 comments:

IgraemCD said...
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IgraemCD said...
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IgraemCD said...
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IgraemCD said...
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IgraemCD said...
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IgraemCD said...
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IgraemCD said...
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IgraemCD said...

I think you're lucky that you live under a peaceful sky overhead. You're floating in a canoe, enjoy life. I recently found a site which says that the killing of children in Aleppo on our site.I am very upset why people in the world are cruel. This religion will destroy us all, it have pits.

Joe said...

It appears that the entire trip was cursed by bad insect karma from the very beginning, and the curse lingers as the spamming mosquito zombies from the blogosphere keep shambling into your post, whining their unwanted comments. Next time, stop in and borrow our canoe. We'll include a fresh pack of weinies, too!

Catherine Stenzel said...

What's with all the deleted comments? Did you trigger someone's mosquito- or wienie-based PTSD? Oh well. I see my beloved husband made a very small poem at the end of his post: . . . borrow our canoe . . . pack of weinies [sic] too. Isn't he grand!? I enjoyed reading about your endeavor to create "a moment." However, I have a suggestion: Next time, arrange to have it somewhere in the vicinity of San Diego -- no mosquitoes, organic wienies, and weather to die for. Trust me; I lived there for ten years. There is a better way. That's the trouble with our Minnesota version of time in nature -- every season brings its challenges in the form of subzero temps, jungle-variety bugs, rain for days, and . . . well, you live here. I don't have to tell you. But our natural environment always fools us. It looks so darn beautiful, it's hard not to dive in anyway! CatherineS PS: Now I feel better, having caught up with your entries. Keep 'em coming!

Chairman Joe said...

The deleted comments are from a Russian comrade. I left his first comment. The others were videos of drinking contests along the Volga. I agree with you about San Diego. The challenge with that climate is not becoming overly happy.

Catherine Stenzel said...

When I saw your email, I thought, "Oh goodie! A blog entry from the Chairman! Alas. Twas not to be - at least not today. As far as the San Diego climate, you, like all non-San Diegans, believe there is a limit to our capacity to enjoy pleasure. Well, I "endured" that pleasure for ten years, and was just getting started when my former husband threatened to kill me, so I had to get out of Dodge, as his police buddies would not enforce the OFP. Heavy sigh. As I've said before, I do love our Minnesota northwoods, but there IS A BETTER WAY. Overly happy? You underestimate the human spirit! See you later, Dude.