Leg Three... Morning One:
As to be expected, Ginger's trip to SW Michigan went off without a hitch.
Saturday morning we started out by finding that a skunk had set up a homestead under my truck, which was parked in the barn. Naturally cautious of ruining opening morning with a stink that was sure to last for days, I adorned the appropriate armor to battle my fire breathing foe (an orange America's Cup sailing suit).
In the dark and like a Medieval Knight, I pranced around the beast's red cave beating on the walls.
In hopes of scaring it out in to the open, at which time I could strategically make my move… promptly running into the house and cowering by the window. Where I would watch and wait for it to leave on its own accord. My plan worked nearly flawlessly, it scared the smelly dragon from underneath my trusty steed, but it made an abrupt U turn and headed deeper into the barn. My wise old man and I retreated for a short moment to plan our next move. With attack plans drawn up, I unsheathed my weapon of choice and made my move. Slinking around the door and peaking in through the windows. I was slashing through the darkness with my club like MagLite; hoping to catch the shine of his eyes in a distant corner, providing me with the confidence of a clear path. Seeing no eyes, I shook off the fear, took a deep breath and sprinted for the driver side door. I swiftly reached my truck and quickly jumped inside, only to realize my keys were not there. They were still sitting on the dresser inside the house. I quickly made my way back out of the barn and inside. Leaving my dad standing watch, to make sure the devil didn't return to its new home. Returning seconds later and having my dad reassure me that he had not scurried back to his place of residence. I took just a quick glance into the darkness with my flashlight and made a second mad dash, jumped inside, turned the key and quickly pulled the truck and boat and gear out into the yard, doing my very best to avoid anything getting a wicked spray... I and the gear came out unscathed and victorious.
Now already 10 minutes late leaving, my dad, Todd (my childhood friend and college roommate, who took the absent Botiz's place in the blind), and I made our way down the road to our destination with high hopes of a successful hunt in hand. Now the morning throws us another curve ball; we find this at the public (or so we thought) boat launch.
Seriously confused and a little pissed off we climbed back in to the truck and scrambled to come up with a plan B. Trying to decide between a public land spot we try to avoid hunting and a late season private land spot (neither of which held much promise this time of year). My dad spoke up and said “call Ed.” Ed is a guy I met while hunting this location on the river a couple years ago during early goose season and had hunted with a couple time since. So, I dialed him up to see what he had to say. He told us of a new "boat launch" he had made the weekend before after stumbling across this sign himself. Apparently some D*** had decided he didn't want people hunting that stretch of the river and purchased the boat launch from the county, to stop us.
After all that we set out on our journey down river. With two of us paddling our old 12 foot flat bottom and one of us taking a kayak. We had accidentally forgotten to pack a third kayak for Todd and were forced to paddle this row boat a mile up and down the river. Mind you this was the boat we capsized not so many years ago. So, on top of being a pain in the azz, I was starting out into the darkness a little uneasy. Thirty-five minutes of near hell later, we reached our destination. Threw out the decoys and settled into our newly refurbished blind. Not long after we had sat down the magnificent show began. With the sun starting to rise, the sounds of hundreds of woodies, dozens of teal and a hundred and fifty or so mallards began to ring out from their nearby roosting locations.
To Be Continued...