I’d like to call it wisdom, but that small voice from the Eternal Child Within suggests it ain’t smarts, it’s unwelcome gentrification.
Prior to age 30 a weekend fishing trip was a buddy calling Friday night with a twenty burning a hole in his pockets, a pack of bologna, and a blanket. As long as you had the cash to match his tank of gas, the details fell into place when the creek came into view.
As daylight turned to darkness, the absence of proper planning meant, “You didn’t bring a flashlight? Guess we’re sleeping here.” Meals were spur of the moment, “I got some bread, some moist toilettes, and … SWEET, Tic Tac’s …”
Years later, my coworkers and I are headed up to Manzanita Lake for the weekend, and the water cooler conversation sounds like the antithesis of all we held sacred…
“You aren’t bringing a tent? You ain’t sleeping with me!”
Nope, as compelling as your narrow arse is in the moonlight, I thought I’d just toss in a tarp and a bag and call it good.
“There better be showers at the campground. You think they have showers there?”
You’re going to be arse deep in water all day, you think bathing will be that much of an issue, and if so – what about simply going swimming, like Jim Bridger…
OK, so it’ll be steaks Friday night, but what about Saturday night?
We could fight over the bones the bears leave us, or we could break camp and return a day and half early, just before we starve to death.
What do you guys put on your steaks?
Teeth mostly, sometimes fingers.
I’m trying my level best to steer the conversation to the important stuff; ensuring everyone is bringing a rod, someone is packing a float tube pump, which fly shop we’re stopping at so everyone has flies, how old is your tippet, knotted versus knotless, and will “NumbNuts” remember to bring his wading boots this time.
They’re having none of it, good sports, but somewhere between 20 and 50 we lost or gained something. Creature comforts asserted themselves, and invulnerability or spontaneity were lost when old bones touched cold ground, with wood smoke no longer the after shave of choice.
Well, what about Breakfast?
That’s the meal you and Martha Stewart slept through, I call it lunch, which will be the first time my feet touch dry land since dawn broke.