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Fishing Lessons – Part 20

The sun rose before me, but it was summer, and a Saturday and it deserved the head start. My tent, coated with a layer of dew, couldn’t prevent the air around my face from delightfully pricking my nose and cheeks, but my neck down remained so well bundled that the air’s effect ended at my chin.  The mountains secretly harbored this autumnal chill, and I feigned jealousy of its hoarding until I began moving and dressing in its midst.

I wondered if the Lumberjack was awake yet. The smell of a campfire hadn’t struck me, nor did I hear its crackling and popping.  I imagined him as an early riser based on no real facts, just a hunch.  Nonetheless, I heard no sounds indicating he was awake, and so I tried to dress quietly and swiftly, brush my hair, straighten my bunk, fold my pajamas, placing them inside my sleeping bag, and set my toothbrush next to my pillow.  I loaded my backpack onto my shoulders.  I slowly unzipped my tent, and again tried to stand up without tripping, and noisily, unsuccessfully failed.  I turned to see if my lack of grace had been observed, but still no sign of life from his quarters.

I wandered out, headed towards my hole in the woods, and noticed he was returning from his hidden men’s room. I pretended not to see him, hoping he likewise did not spy my swan dive out of my tent, and I instead focused on my destination.  I even wagered with myself to see if I could finish and get back to camp before the rays of sunlight moved down from the top of the mountains to the forest floor.  The race was on, and my money was on the sun.  After my return, I planned to wash my face and brush my teeth, at which time I might be prepared to be seen by my camp mate.  And perhaps by then, he’d have a handle on breakfast.

My time improved, and within fifteen minutes I returned to camp, just barely ahead of the sunlight, but again there was no sign of the Lumberjack or a campfire. I was fine with the former as it gave me a chance to finish my morning routine, as displaced as it was, but I wondered what we were going to be eating.  I splashed some water from one of the blue containers onto my toothbrush, finding the jug much heavier than it appeared when he was using it last night, and therefore splashing some on my jeans.  What a classy babe, I mused to myself.  I dabbed the blue paste onto the bristles and began brushing, turning to look around the campsite when I saw him appear out of his tent.  Despite his height in comparison to the tent, he exited for more smoothly than I ever could.

“Good morning,” he greeted me.

I stood with my toothbrush in my mouth, foam oozing at its corners, presented with the option to garble a goopy response that most likely would lead to a drooling incident, or say nothing. Awesome, I thought, what a wonderful way to start my morning.  I said nothing, but bobbed my head in response.

He wandered off to the truck and retrieved a tackle box and fishing pole from over the edge of the truck bed. Those long arms and tall stature sure were handy with a truck of that size.  Of course, a man that tall is probably handy for a lot of things: getting anything out of the cabinet over the refrigerator, decorating the Christmas tree, painting the walls without having to keep moving the step ladder around the room.  I needed to remember the highly successful professional man with whom I was camping was not my handyman.  Well, he wasn’t really my anything.

He brought his gear over to the sitting area, and I realized there may be no fire this morning if he was planning on leaving camp to fish. I wandered as I brushed, partly to pace as I scrubbed the overnight grime from my teeth, also not to hover while he worked, and to find a place to spit that wasn’t in his general vicinity.  I was successful on all counts, and as I finished, he’d returned to the truck, this time to the cab, to dig through the bag of food.  I wondered what he featured on the menu.  I ought to be prepared for homemade Belgian waffles or crepes.

I knelt at the entrance of my tent so I didn’t risk another clumsy tripping fiasco. I removed my backpack placing it inside the entrance, rummaged through my tote bag for my perfume, dabbing a small dose behind my ears and on my wrists.  What the heck?  I never put perfume behind my ears, I usually just mist it on my neck and forearms.  My routine was so out of whack!  I took a moment to regroup, to avoid possibly a constant shuttle run back and forth to my tent, loading my backpack with the day’s possible supplies.  I reviewed all of my belongings spread neatly next to my sleeping bag.  I reconsidered the placement of the pajamas and put them under my pillow.  In doing so, I rediscovered the candy bar from the previous night and tucked it into a random pocket on the backpack, which I presumed I would later forget.  One more look around the tent, mentally scanning, nope, I had everything I needed.

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About Pam Portland

For a decade and a half I worked behind a series of desks, peeking out from around my computer monitor. Seeing the United States in bits and pieces wasn't enough to satisfy me, so I am grabbing my virtual pen and taking flight. Welcome along!

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