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Covid Tales 4.0

neffa3

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Apr 17, 2015
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Wenatchee
This is a continuation of some short stories I've written for our local Sportsman's association newsletter

A Father’s Day to Forget

As most Fathers are want to do, and our families are obliged to follow along with, I made wondrous plans for this last Father’s Day that completely centered around me while superficially pretending it was also about the Family. Seeing as how it’s “my” day- I mean our day, I picked a fun little family hike up to an alpine lake that holds some pretty, not-so-little, brook trout (and tasty too!). Now I’m not entirely sure why I’ve fallen so hard for brook trout, especially as they’re a non-native migrate to Washington while I’m an adamant supporter of all our native flora and fauna, but I can’t help it, they were the fish I caught with my grandfather and are still my favorite fish to this day.

This hike started like all others…late. Very late. But at least I didn’t have to cook breakfast… Oh wait, yes I did.

But once on the road and up to the trailhead all the morning's frustrations melted away. For maybe 30 seconds. Before I got my first mosquito bite. Then another. And another. Then three at once, while I swore, swatted, and searched in vain for some deet.

The rest of the family fared no better. Before the dog was out of the truck I was hearing it from all the members. “Ouch!” “G------it” “S--t!” and that was just the 7 year old!

After a liberal dosing of our favorite carcinogen- I prefer a blend of both deet and picaridin- we set off down the trail.

Like the fearless leader I am, I assured my irritated followers that it would soon fade away. All we needed was to gain a little elevation and get away from this river. Soon we’d leave all these bugs for the dry wildlife flower filled forest that comprised most of the hike.

Unfortunately we had to first cross a river at peak runoff, across a series of partially connected logs that formed a log jam of certain death should someone fall in.

Even less unfortunately even after we successfully crossed the logs-of-death obstacle course, and I’d successfully faried all members across the TWO(!) large flood water sloughs that also blocked our path (thankfully Dads don’t like dry boots), the bugs did not wane. They did not diminish. They did not stop the onslaught for blood.

At mile 2, I’d resorted to a steady neurotic routine that included wiping my right arm with my left, then left arm with my right, then forehead, slap one or both knees and calves, make a swipe across my neck, then repeat- every 15 seconds. About every 5 minutes I would assure everyone we were almost out of them! Just a bit more!

We never left them, or I should say they never left us.

Have you ever seen a “Kiniption”? I mean an honest to goodness full-blown 2-year-old tantrum from an adult? I have, and it’s kind of like a deeply religious experience where someone is so overtaken by the Spirit that they speak in tongues. It’s like that, but the opposite. My wife on two separate occasions completely lost it and went screaming and flailing off into the woods shouting a mix of gobblity gook and profanity, denouncing this hike, this day, our marriage, and dang near life itself, as she tried in vain to escape the buzzing swarm.

The kids complained but not much. Not until the next morning did I see that I had raised two buddist monks. They apparently had completely accepted their lots in life and had not even attempted to combat the vicious horde of biting bugs. My poor daughter’s entire face was swollen and she looked like she had chicken pox on steroids.

To cut a painful story short, we eventually made it to the lake, which was partially covered in ice, but at such an elevation did have slightly fewer ‘skeeters as the shore was still lined with many feet of snow. I caught some brookies, both kids lost some lures, and no one died. That’s the point I’d really like to make. Let’s not get all distracted in the negative, in the end, everyone came home…that’s what really matters. That, and a month later I still haven’t been served with divorce papers! But I’m keeping my fingers crossed, and trying to think of a better activity for next year.
 

GoGriz

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Joined
Jun 11, 2021
Messages
170
Just stumbled upon this gem - I am secretly planning a similar trip this year with my wife and two young kids and this brought a smile to my face. Way to persevere Dad!
 

MarvB

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Joined
Apr 5, 2001
Messages
6,650
Location
₵tral Oar-e-gun
I planned a balloon trip one year for the Mrs, booked it a full two+ months before Mothers Day (was pretty proud of myself for being proactive for once). About two weeks prior we were driving along and she points out a balloon drifting ever so peacefully over Smith Rock; comments "You've got to be crazy to want to do something like that!"

WTF!! I tried to be as sly as shit to find out if she really meant it without tipping my hand...she MEANT it! Lost half my deposit for cancelling within 30 days.

Ended up going to brunch and taking a hike at...you guessed it, Smith Rock🙄
 

neffa3

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Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
8,306
Location
Wenatchee
I planned a balloon trip one year for the Mrs, booked it a full two+ months before Mothers Day (was pretty proud of myself for being proactive for once). About two weeks prior we were driving along and she points out a balloon drifting ever so peacefully over Smith Rock; comments "You've got to be crazy to want to do something like that!"

WTF!! I tried to be as sly as shit to find out if she really meant it without tipping my hand...she MEANT it! Lost half my deposit for cancelling within 30 days.

Ended up going to brunch and taking a hike at...you guessed it, Smith Rock🙄
See I take a slightly different approach, all I plan for Mother's day is a card and making breakfast, then leave the rest to her. For Father's day... well that's my day and I damn sure want to do more than just sit around, and since they are obligated to not complain (too much), I usually push my luck as far as I can that day. If there's anything crazy I want to do, father's day is when I plan it.
 

noharleyyet

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Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
34,089
Location
TEXAS
I planned a balloon trip one year for the Mrs, booked it a full two+ months before Mothers Day (was pretty proud of myself for being proactive for once). About two weeks prior we were driving along and she points out a balloon drifting ever so peacefully over Smith Rock; comments "You've got to be crazy to want to do something like that!"

WTF!! I tried to be as sly as shit to find out if she really meant it without tipping my hand...she MEANT it! Lost half my deposit for cancelling within 30 days.

Ended up going to brunch and taking a hike at...you guessed it, Smith Rock🙄
She's right about those b'loons...
 

Stocker

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Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
1,622
Location
Nebraska
That’s about the funniest thing I’ve read in a while! As the leader of many hiking trips and other outings I’ve had to quell many revolts and protests over my leadership.


My go to line of “how much worse can it get?” Is met with eye rolls at minimum and threats on my life at worst.
 

OntarioHunter

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Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
4,241
Put on enough deet and you'll grow another hand out of your butt to swat the bugs with.
 

Dave N

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Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
5,536
Location
Illinois
I planned a balloon trip one year for the Mrs, booked it a full two+ months before Mothers Day (was pretty proud of myself for being proactive for once). About two weeks prior we were driving along and she points out a balloon drifting ever so peacefully over Smith Rock; comments "You've got to be crazy to want to do something like that!"

WTF!! I tried to be as sly as shit to find out if she really meant it without tipping my hand...she MEANT it! Lost half my deposit for cancelling within 30 days.

Ended up going to brunch and taking a hike at...you guessed it, Smith Rock🙄
I've always wanted to bungee jump out of a balloon!
 

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