April 13, 2008
Things I took, things I forgot
Originally published May 26, 2003
I put all of my fishing tackle in a baggie and stuffed it into my pack along with a pair of needle-nosed pliers, some fishing line and some split-shot sinkers. I hooked several fish, but they were too small to brag about, so I threw them back in the river. I wasn't looking for sardines up there.
I brought only one treble hook, and I lost it on the first day when I got hung on a rock or a log and had to cut the line to get free. I believe that I would have done better if I had used treble hooks instead of the single-barbed variety I was stuck with after that. Oh, well. At least I didn't fall in the river.
In response to a couple of emails, I confess that I took my .38 revolver with me. It's a five-shot, and I load four rounds and carry it on an empty chamber. I also carry a fully-stocked, five-shot speedloader. The pistol never came out of the pack. We met nothing hostile on this trip except each other, when we got drunk and argumentative around the campfire.
I have a 10" Buck knife that is sharp as a razor and handy for all sorts of things on a camping trip. I used that tool a LOT this weekend, and accidentally gave myself a bloody wound on the index finger of my left hand when I drank too much brown liquor and forgot just how sharp that fucker is. I survived, I think.
Lots of heavy rain has fallen in those woods lately, and all deadfall was wet and soggy. It takes skill to build a fire out of that crap, but I am the Fire Guy, and I got it done. I just wish I had taken a few chunks of Flame-Log to use as fat lighter. My job would have been easier.
I forgot my toothbrush. Bejus! Go three days without brushing your teeth and your mouth starts to feel like an Afghan cave serving as a terrorist haven, where unclean men shit in the corners of the room. That's the first thing I did when I got home. I brushed my teeth. THEN, I took a shower.
The Chatooga River is beautiful. I should have some pictures to post in a few days. I forgot MY camera, but Don brought one, a disposable 35mm piece of drek, so we took a roll of film on that thing. I believe we have fishing pictures, a shot of Cop 3 baking biscuits on the campfire and a picture or two of ME with no shirt on. Can you imagine that?
We played guitars and sang really shitty three-part harmony while being altogether fucked-up around the fire at night. Brown liquor will make you do stupid things.
But I made it back home in one piece, with all the crap I toted up there. That's all that matters.
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