Gut Rumbles

March 03, 2007

Back to the woods

Originally published March 30, 2003

I just agreed to go on a backpacking trip in May. I thought that I was through with that kind of outdoor activity, but Cop 3 wanted to do it, and he convinced my friend Don to go for his first time ever, so I signed up.

We won't do a LOT of packing. We'll hike in along the Chatooga River, set up a base camp and day-hike to the waterfalls and the scenic overlooks, then get drunk around the campfire at night. I'm bringing a fishing rod to see if I can catch some trout while I'm there. I caught three nice ones the last time I went, and they tasted great grilled on the fire with some rice and onions on the side.

I like campfire cooking, especially when I have something like fresh river trout to work with. In the old days, I made rice with Cup O' Soup mix in it, and it was delicious. I also ate rice with bullion cubes, sardines, salt-cured ham, Vienna sausages (Vieenies) and whatever else was in my pack. It would make a turd and it didn't taste bad when you were hungry. Rice is filling and it packs light.

Another WONDERFUL backpack food is Little Debbie's Star Crunches. Just trust me on that. You get chocolate for energy and Rice Krispies for carbs and the damn things taste GOOD. Pack at least a dozen and you won't regret it. Milky Way candy bars are good, too.

I'll chew tobacco again on that trip. I don't do that often anymore, but backpacking almost DEMANDS a nice wad of Levi Garret between cheek and gum. I like to spit into the campfire. I like to spit at the crazed salamanders that come scampering through the leaves to run right into the fire, too. Have you ever watched those creatures do that? They won't stop until they're cooked. Death wish.

I'm going back to the mountains with what I tote on my back. I intend to catch some fish, but if I don't, I won't starve.

I can eat chewing tobacco if I get desperate.

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