Wednesday, July 19, 2006

blueberries and brook trout no more

Things are a touch stressful here in good ol'Indianer. It is stupidly hot. Stupidly humid.

Abundantly clear that the stress in the air just isn't around in the mountains.

The trip home was going great. I stopped into Rich O's, one of my top 5 favorite bars, to drop off some canned (gasp!) beer for the good Dr. Baylor. I also managed to have a large pizza with 4 toppings, a half pint of New Albanian Brewing Company's hoppy, cask conditioned "red ale", and an imperial pint of, get this, Monk's Flemish sour ale.

Thank the good fucking lord.

If they have it at Big Red here in B-town I might just collapse into a puddle of orgasmic joy right there on the floor, good for nothing salespeople crowded around my sticky mess of a meltdown.

"Clean up, aisle 5."

Anyway, I purchased a growler of the NABC Elector Ale and literally skipped out through the 100 degree swelter to my car. I was very pleased with myself. Only a quick 1.5 hour trip to Bloomington from here! I sang along with Tony Furtado the entire way home.

Pulled into the driveway. Weeds had pretty much overtaken the back yard. The recycling bins were filled to the brim with foul water filled to the brim with foul larvae wriggling and squirming, as if they could already smell my fat, juicy, blood filled body, as if they were already the bloodsucking pests they had not yet become.

Brian sure did a great job taking care of the house while I was gone. The inside was spotless too.

But that don't confront me. As long as I get my money next Friday. Now next Friday come I didn't have the rent. Out the door I went.

What did confront me, however, was when I dropped my cool, dew covered growler of Elector Ale. It shattered. The driveway slowly soaked up the precious nectar. I cried a little bit.

Eh. C'est la vie and all that nonsense.

I did get to go to Upland with Grant and Megan and Catherine and Emily and Joel so that was cool. But today has been hectic time doing stuff for the conference that I am now officially a co-organizer of.

And tomorrow it's off to the Family reunion in northern PA! Then back on Sunday for more FDIBS things, then the conference starts on Wednesday.

You only live once. Pack as much shit into that life as humanly possible and hope you don't have a breakdown. That's my motto anyhow.

At least I have the memories from the short, 3 day backpacking trip in Panthertown last weekend to dull my busypains.

Forgive me father for I have sinned. It has been 6 days since my last backpacking-fishing trip.

I hiked in from Salt Rock Gap. To the top of Little Green. I didn't bring much food. Some nuts. Some granola bars. A bit of beef jerky.

After I urinated on the rather rare granitic dome lichen community I supplemented my meager rations with blueberries. Lots of them. I ate them 10 at a time, pulling the bunches to my mouth, biting them off the bush. There were pangs of guilt, I'll admit. What will the bears eat? I don't need these berries. The bears do. Those buddies need all the energy they can get. They don't have nuts and granola in their pack.

But then I realized, about 500 berries in, that I was probably going to get the shits something fierce. Serve'em right them goldang humans. (Editor's note: the editor is happy to report that he did not, in fact, get the shits.)

The extreme headwaters of the Tuck. Potholes and all.

A front done come through. Bigger for click.

Little Green. Bigger click for.

Panthertown Valley is called "the Yosemite of the East", and when I was out there last week I was thinking, this does remind me of a spot in Yosemite backcountry. But then I looked at the picture from the Yosemite and it turns out that, well, not so much. For bigger click.

The obligatory Schoolhouse falls picture:

I hiked down the river. Into the bowels of Panthertown, aka Devil's Elbow, where even the brook trout are mean. For click bigger.

Blick for cligger.

A beautiful buddy. Flick cor bigger.

The beautiful buddy in his natural habitat. Click bor figger.

The sunset was fixin' to be pretty nice, then there was that one damn cloud. But it turned out ok I suppose so low go flow know Bo knows bono's my least favorite Irishman.

You can view a larger version of this digital image by clicking on it.

There was this guy up on Little Green Sunday night. At dusk. I saw him twice. He was maybe 20 years old? I don't know. Younger than he was old. Whatever the hell that means. Anyway, he was wearing a shorts, a t-shirt, and some yellow throwback Saucony sneakers with blue socks. A Jansport book bag that looked empty. It was dusk. It's at least an hour hike to the nearest trailhead from where we were. At least. And he's up there in my way on the trail talking on a cell phone.

He stops. "Hey, hey, hold on a sec yo. Hey man, how are you? I get reception up here, isn't that crazy?"

"Ummmm, yes."

"Hey, do you know what these blue berries are?"

"Those are blueberries dude."

"Oh, cool. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't killing myself."

So I says to him I says, "I just saw a big bear back there."

(Editor's note: the editor likes to think that the punk got the shits somethin' fierce.)


Anonymous said...

thank you for the Thursday morning laughs! People at work now think that I am crazy (well, crazier than before)


Matthew D Dunn said...

Tracy, thank you for the comment.

And thank god the pictures are working again.

My Chicago mission looms...I will contact you soon. Sorry I didn't make it in June. I will wear nice pantaloons and bring no raccoons. Or spoons.

Anonymous said...

well, get your pantaloons together and get up here already. i've been holding out and haven't gone to the Map Room without you yet!


erika said...

Maybe I'm getting a little effusive here, but dangnabit, I l-o-v-e your blog. Your writing seems to get better and better and I'm actually beginning to look forward to more pictures of fish. Keep up the good work.

Matthew D Dunn said...

Maybe I'm getting a little effusive here, but dangnabit, I l-o-v-e you Erika.

And I'm saddened to say that there won't be any trout pictures for some time.