A Kingdom for a Spare Set of Keys
Russ Davis has a problem. He’s sitting on a cooler staring at a small campfire in a campground outside of Glasgow, Montana. A cold wind rattles the aspens and the leaves shake an eerie mojo in the soft light of Russ’s camp lantern. It’s an hour past dark thirty, two hours past shooting time and the late October weather is turning lousy.
Danger Among the Decoys
In dark and frigid waters a golden makes the best retrieve of his life.
Frank isn’t wearing his life vest. He’s in too much of a hurry. All he’s thinking about are the thousands of geese stacked up in the small bays around Sauvie Island waiting for their built-in breakfast bell to sound. Besides, the channel’s less than a hundred yards across. He’ll sit on the vest instead.
Grande Ronde Chuks
Shake Simpson plopped down on a flat rock outcrop and unlaced his boots. Below him, Washington State’s Grande Ronde River cut through the mountain foothills, carving a deep canyon with serious ravines etched from the rivers’ edge to the ridge tops. Speckled with fir pockets and basalt extrusions, the plateau on top was covered in blonde and mottled green grasses blowing softly in the wind.
“If I ever see that guy again, I’ll wring his neck like a wounded rooster,” he said groaning to remove his boots. “I’m getting too old for this…”
Sprawled out in the knee-high cheat grass, Shake retied his boots and spit angry words between deep breaths. “Stiffed by a guide. Never had the door slam that hard.”
The vet called about 9 a.m.
“It doesn’t matter now,” I said. “Found her in the bathroom about an hour ago… stretched out on the rug…she’s gone. Probably died earlier this morning. Last night she was her old self, you know, jumped up on the bed and rolled around like she always did…”
The death of a pet is always sad. We forget they don’t have the time we have. Whether it’s the Springer your Dad brought home when you were 10 that lived until you were 25, or the lady across the street’s guinea pig she’s had for seven years; the emotional wreckage is the same.
Lost in the Fog
The rain begins just after daylight, cresting the eastern cloudbank and ricochets off the pickup windshield in mini explosions…
We’re in familiar country. We call it the “Silos.” Two hours from town, the four square mile sections yield pheasants and Hungarians on the flat, and chukars in the canyons. On the best of days, all three species show up. There are those days when you take the shotgun for a good walk and settle for sore feet and screaming thighs. And yes, there’s been complete trips scuttled by ice and rain and snow blocked roads leaving nothing but a good try.
The Sportsman’s News – 2005
The Hunt for Marlin on the Fly
Poetry – Earth Song Press/Albion WA 70’s
Dear John Letters
I can’t help but wander