I briefly considered entitling this entry “How many blog postings can a guy get out of an extended weekend trip?” But I thought better of it as it takes up too much space on the homepage. The now not so recent trip has already provided two fishing reports (first things first, right) and I’m presently in the process of trying to answer that question as we make our way through this week.
Thanks - Way back on April 19-22 my family took a mini vacation down to check out Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish & Wildlife Area and whatever else we could find. Thanks to Mike Rave we were able to enjoy accommodations considerably nicer than trying out our new tent as he generously offered up the use of his family’s cabin after reading an earlier blog entry. Thank you, Mike, we are very grateful for a home base, heat on a pair of cool nights and a new family friend.
Tunes – My solo trip down on Thursday morning was a classic rock filled FM radio surfing journey bookended by Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage/Eclipse”; first around Knoxville and again at the JEPC park entrance. In between there was Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road”, “Bark At The Moon” from Ozzy, and “Anytime/Feelin’ That Way” from Journey as well as Boston, Queen, The Doobies, ELO and so on. It almost made me want to just keep right on driving instead of turning into the boat ramp…almost.
Campfires – We still had a campfires complete with the kids roasting hot dogs and chowing down on s’mores although not technically “camping.” Beer was consumed by the parents in moderation and Julie and I talked of relaxing around the firepit after the kids went to bed but never made it, running out of gas just like the youngsters.
Julie and our little tick magnet
Ticks – Those nasty little bloodsuckers made sure to reintroduce themselves to our family as six of them turned up at the JEPC playground. Julie found a pair crawling on her while our newest kid, Zac, had beginner’s luck as he took the title with four. Later as I helped the girls order their second helping of Subway sandwiches in Virginia, I spotted one crawling on Helena’s hair. I nonchalantly plucked it out so as not to alarm the girls or our teenaged server but couldn’t help blurting out that a second one had also made an appearance. Fortunately, no one had a clue and I simply stood there completing our order with a tick between the thumb and pointer finger of each hand waiting for an opportunity to dispose of them. We later found a third as we sat finishing our meal. I’d heard reports of a bumper crop and I’d have to agree as our impressive collection simply came from the wood chips, rubber surface and mown grass of the play area.
Who needs electronics?
Fitness – Julie and I also got our roadwork in on Saturday. She logged three miles around the deserted backroads near the cabin while I opted for cross country on the trails at JEPC. I’d been feeling guilty after taking a week off for my heel to recover after running a four mile race the previous Saturday. Therefore, I pushed it by running for one hour straight to the tune of about six miles, a personal best for distance and duration while my family was being marauded by those ticks (I got none by the way, probably moving too fast).
Fishing – We passed on some family fishing for the trip in light of wind, cool temperatures and those nasty ticks. However, the kids did enjoy pretending in their Papa’s boat which I had hauled down for my own getaway prior to the weekend. Part of their catch involved a little brother tipping the scales in the neighborhood of nineteen pounds.
Science - Julie, Helena and Carly even built a volcano for Helena’s Science Fair that proved to be a hit complete with overflowing red lava. It attracted quite a crowd at school eliciting comments from observers such as “That’s the coolest” or requests to “Do that again” following a vinegar and baking soda eruption.
We also ate donuts, drank pop (much to my chagrin, but it was vacation), rode the Bad Boy Buggy, threw rocks, enjoyed 70’s hits on the television music channels and even sang a bit of “Kung Fu Fighting” (yes, my kids know that one along with stuff like “Convoy” and “Black Betty”). On the way home we hit a diner in Havana by the name of “Lil Mak’s” that Helena had spotted on the way down and had her heart set on some hot wings. Finally we stopped at Dickson Mounds Museum to look around and get some Emiquon fishing permits for me and Julie. A busy and occasionally relaxing four days/three nights that will eat up a few more blog postings before it’s all said and done. Talk to you later. Troy