As we walked the dirt road in the rain, felt soles beneath wading boots hushed our steps. We remarked about all the worms lying about on the road, joking about all the flies fly fisherman tried to force feed to trout. Someone said it and we all laughed. “Trout like worms. They like worms you know.” I laughed and we carried on comically about it, but I was thinking of something else in my mind.
...as I fished a stretch of water shed I knew pretty well. So well in fact that I felt I was giving him the wrong impression that I actually knew what I was doing. I’d tell him something like “I’m going to go crouch in those ferns and get a brookie out of that pocket behind that cropping of rocks.” Then I’d do something like just about what I said, complete with the catching of the fish on the first or second cast, and move on to the next spot. It wasn’t that I was that good, not at all. I’d just fished the hell out of the place the year leading up to this and basically knew the names and addresses of most of the brook trout on the stream. Take me to the next stream down the road and I’d have been the normal bumbling idiot tripping and stumbling on slippery river bottom stones and scratching my head as to where the fish were that I usually am.
Leaves crunch under the felt soles of wading boots. It would be all but silent out here if it weren’t for the leaves underfoot, and the wind ripping through the tree tops sounding like a highway filled with semi-trucks flying by at ninety miles an hour. A blue jay sounds its high pitch call as it crosses the trail in front of me at lightning speed. Its blue is a stark contrast to the ground covered in dull curling reds and yellows and the grays and browns of the naked trees. I don’t know how many times I’ve walked this trail now, but it’s more than the fingers and toes I have I’m sure.
There’s a lot to be said about a cabin with nothing in the middle of nowhere. The drive in on an old two track, splashing through mud holes and puddles is only the beginning. There’s no pavement to make the ride smooth. No white lines to stay between and no yellow lines to keep you on your side. It’s up to you to pay attention, to pick your safe speed. To avoid the rocks pushing up from below and the deep mud holes that threaten to hide bad situations in beautiful places. The trees are what keep you on the road, not paint. The road in ironically is actually your way out.