Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January walk

We set out across the frozen river, the two of us.

In discussing the possibilities of one of us breaking through the ice, my nephew & I outlined how one could rescue the other with a broken branch snatched from the edge of the bank. After resolving that the whole scenario would not likely happen, we fell silent under the late afternoon winter sky and concentrated on our footsteps. Mostly we stayed in the boundary of fresh bootprints and snowmobile tracks that had gone before us earlier in the day. We knew the footprints would lead us to where we wanted to go.

As we approached the lathe and plastic ice shack, we wondered whether to knock like neighbors out to borrow a cup of sugar -or merely announce our presence like the meter man. We opted for the meter man method.

"Hello, hello. Anybody home?"

Two men in carhart gear welcomed us in. They sat on overturned sheetrock buckets while tending their poles. A heater of some sort warmed their 6x8 man-cave. A battery-operated clock hung on the wall. They also had a fancy fisherman's camera which gave a view of the riverbed beneath them. We chatted about the thickness of the ice (12 inches), the kind of fish that were biting (walleye) and the comfort of their little shack on the ice.

"I live at the stone house at the foot of the bridge," I informed them "and any extra fish would be welcome there!" I smiled and added, "We'll work out a deal."

After this pleasant business transaction, Nephew and I ventured back outside and decided to walk the river for a bit. We pointed our noses toward Chase Mills and set out on a frozen white highway. It was freeing to walk where I had only kayaked before.

When the skies began to lose their luster and the sun began hunkering down behind the scarecrow-trees, we did an about-face and hoofed for home.

Not much else to say about it except that t was a wonderful walk.


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