Thursday, February 25, 2010

Good Friends Good Times Few Fish

Well here I am sitting at the keyboard again. I figured that I haven't wrote much about my outdoor experiences lately, with all that's going on in my life. So here I go.

I had the pleasure of being part of the "IceOut 2010" this past weekend. We were headed up to Houghton Lake in the northern Michigan. Joining us would be quite a few members from the UNJ team as well as some great friends from down south. Not southern Michigan but Alabama, Kentucky and Indiana. Boy were they in for a treat.

We arrived at our destination and unloaded our gear onto a trailer. It was going to be towed out to our home for the weekend. Yeah buddy we were sleeping out on the ice in a sleeper shanty. Once we got to our "home", I walked in and realized that my bed didn't have any cushion other than the extremely soft particle board! Yeah brother Mike forgot to tell me about that one. So I throw my sleeping bag on the top bunk and stake claim quickly. Heat rises you know and since it was going to drop down to 15 degrees I needed all the heat I could get. We had a propane heater but lets just say that there was a few drafts.

Once settled, on went the stove and the chili was on. Man were we hungry. It didn't take long before it was ready. Then there was a knock on the door. None other than Hunt Master himself. For those reading this that don't know his real name is Robert Householder and is the founder of the great forum Talk Hunting. We exchanged stories about his trip up and threw down on some of the venison chili. When we were done we had a few more visitors. Mike from Indiana, Jody and Ron from Kentucky. We all sat around told stories and laughed for hours. Man did I need that.

Time for bed. Well kinda. I fell out at about 12:30 but back up at 3:00 to use the facilities. Man it was all of 15 degrees out! For some reason the shanty doesn't feel so warm anymore. Well thank God heat rises.

Morning comes and so does the realization that the heater was accidently turned on low when everyone was over for a visit. Thanks Jody! I think he was playing a joke to see if we could take it. Out came the stove and I got to cooking some breakfast burritos for the crew. After breakfast we all set out to get us some fish.

With about 20 plus people now here we split up and go separate ways to find fish. It didn't take long to realize we were in for some tough fishing. The crew I was with did manage to catch 3 pike and a perch. The others caught a rock bass and some other pan fish. Not much to show for our effort.

Evening came and with it came the get together at the southern boys cabin. We had more jokes and laughs and a couple younger members got some new mustaches (Sharpies do wonders). Not to mention some great venison stew and some wild hog BBQ. Man was that food great. I was glad to be the official taste tester. Then it was off to bed to get a good nights sleep. With the heater on high I was actually able to sleep with my sleeping bag open.

Morning came and we packed up to head for breakfast with he crew. Once again we had a great time and enjoyed each others company. Unfortunately we all had to head back home and get back to reality. We said our goodbyes and off we went.

Looking back on the trip, it was said that it was "the best time fishing without catching a lot of fish." The reality is we had all met on the Talk Hunting website and had we not met there we would have not shared each others company at the "IceOut 2010." I feel fortunate to have met these people and was able to share the ice fishing experience with them. I look forward to to our next outdoor adventure together and hope it happens sooner rather than later. It just goes to show that you don't always have to catch a limit to have a good time.

Sorry for not having pictures. I was just lazy and enjoying not having to worry about it.

So until next time, be safe, appreciate what you have and get into the great outdoors.

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