Fishing on a mountain lake without a single soul is always second best to fishing on a mountain lake with my family, even if that family sometimes skips rocks (a fishing kill joy), yells across the lake, or brags relentlessly. In my childhood home world, fishing with a non-family member is annoying (no one else is supposed to be here!) and fishing with several groups is unheard of where we go – unless of course we’re fishing in the North Cascade lakes or streams off highway 20 which I consider an absolute highway for hikers and fishers alike. The only time in the last couple decades I’ve been solo on those lakes is when I’ve snowshoed into them before the trails were officially open.
Turns out – when you have a father who is an avid hiker/backpacker, you can pretty much go where the crowds are thin. When you add poor weather (50 degrees and rain) to the mix it pretty much guarantees you’ll have the lake to yourself. Name of lake you’ll need to discover on your own. That’s part of the beauty of exploration and adventure – curiosity and a good map leading you into the wild Pacific Northwest is all that’s required.
Today we decided catch and release was on the menu as we weren’t so daring to cook up a meal besides Cup ‘o Noodles in the rain.
While the fishermen were discussing things like whose fish was bigger, what flies were working, who was catching any and where, Eden and I decided to fish ourselves, only with words. The conversation may or may not have included words like, “UUMMM – that’s dumb. Is that the best you can come up with? Really?” It also included promises to pay for future therapy while encouraging creativity to be less concrete than the “gray sky.” For the osprey in the tree next to us, it likely sounded more like a conversation one expects at a bar after a few drinks – plenty of laughter in between sentences like, “I can’t believe you said that. I’ll be scarred for life.” “You’ll be fine. No truth, no gain.” It may have been followed with shoves on the arm or not, like two girlfriends vying for the one barstool – only in our situation, it was the positioning on the garbage bag beneath us laid out like a picnic blanket. In spite of ourselves, the inspiration was plentiful – laced with God’s magic.
Specifics unseen in it’s shadow
Rain-soaked soil, the grave of a fawn
Colorless trees, flamed a decade ago, line up like forgotten dominos
Clouds, slate-colored, cover the sun,
dropping pieces of gray, drop by drop
I walk one foot in front of the other
down, then up, sometimes over, other times under
In the shadow, I’m hard to notice
— In collaboration : E & K
Raindrops at the tempo of 1 1/2 beats
Trees naked from the fire of 2009, stand together unashamed
Tripod -170,000 acres burned
Lines cast of the non-movie type
Two sets of trees and mountains
One real, one moves in the wind
Crackling behind us – manmade,
Mosquitos dive bomb
Fish eat, a safe distance from shore
1/2 beat tempo, slapping of hand on body parts –
Blood, usually one’s own, leftover
Boredom of the non-city type
Orchestra of the senses
— In collaboration: E & K
All ended well. No melting of bodies – Oz style, nor extreme coldness to our bones. Just a well-lived summer day, adventuring in the conditions provided for us. May you find yourself an adventure soon – preferably with good company.