Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Backroads and Weddings Part II

This past weekend it took me 17 hours to drive from Amarillo to Rockport. I had to stop along the way to pick up my canoe and some flies from my friend Jason. He is a great friend. I mentioned to him that I would be doing some fishing on the coast and he tied me up about 15-20 flies for saltwater fishing. I then traveled on down to Austin to pick up Kevin, stopped in New Braunfels to pick up a few things from my brother's house, dropped off Marie's Grandma in SA, picked up Kevin's brother Brandon on the other side of SA, drove to Pleasonton to pick up Josh, then finally drove down to Rockport. The whole trip was for a suprise bachelor party for Josh who will be getting married to his long-time girlfriend, Valerie this coming Saturday. Marie and I will be making another long road trip to SA on Thursday.

We kind of ruined the surprise when Brandon and Kevin where with me. It was just supposed to be me and one other friend of Josh's going to the coast, but about 15 of his close friends and relatives were able to make it down there. We had a great time fishing...even though we didn't catch a damn thing worth mentioning. I will mention the fish I caught anyway. On Friday night we were catching little croaker off of the Vestal's private 600 foot pier that juts out from their 6000 square foot beach house...lucky, rich punks.

After my 17 hour drive, I stayed up until 4:30 drinking and catching up with friends. We woke up at 6:30 Saturday and fished for 7-8 hours. While fishing on Saturday I caught one hard head catfish and one ladyfish, both of which aren't worth eating and went right back in the water. One thing that happens when you hang out with Josh and his dad is that drinking beer begins with breakfast. Running on two hours sleep and a days worth of beer, I was out by 10 pm on Saturday trying to sleep through 5 or 6 more hours of bachelor party shenanigans. There was only one toe injury so the party didn't get too crazy. Apparently Josh was dared to jump into the water and he cut his big toe on a barnacle or oyster shell. During the following drunken first aid attempts, Brandon kept pouring vodka on his toe, which apparently Josh did not appreciate. While trying to sleep I also overheard an unsuccessful attempt to get strippers to come over...apparently there were none to be had. I was sad to have slept through the party, but glad the next day when I woke up refreshed and everyone else was hungover.

On Sunday we slept in until 8:30, a very late morning for a fishing trip, and didn't make it out on the water until noon. We fished all over the place and again only caught little dinks. I caught two more ladyfish, but not a single game fish. I also was unable to catch a thing on my flies that Jason tied for me. I was really looking forward to catching some new species on my fly rod, but that will have to wait until another time.

Kevin, Brandon, and I left Rockport Sunday night around 9:30. We dropped Brandon off in SA by 1 and got to Kevin's house in Austin at 3. I woke up at 8:30 and was back on the road again by 9. It took me 8 1/2 more hours to get home from Austin, but arrived safely yesterday at 5:30. There weren't as many backroads on this bachelor party trip, but I certainly had a lot of fun. I am completely exhausted and have spent the afternoon napping. I feel sorry for my friends who are working today after that long weekend and I am looking forward to seeing them all again in a few days. We will also get to spend some time with my Mom and her husband Marcus, my sister, and My brother and his family. I love road trips!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

An Update

I have a few outdoor topics to talk about and another as well. First of all, the other topic...my kids are beautiful! They are currently running around the house...all playing together (which is very rare) and showing the largest, most perfect smiles I have ever seen! I went to The Canyon yesterday for a short run. I didn't run a whole lot, but just enjoyed being alone in the wilderness. I love hearing the breeze flow through the trees and cacti. I love seeing the clouds pass overhead. I love not hearing another human being. I love being outside. I picked up a small lizard that thought its camaflouge was enough to keep it safe, saw at least 8 different species of wildflower that I had never seen before (spring time has come to the Canyon), picked up a four inch grasshopper that pierced my fingers with it's leg spikes while spewing forth vile, brown liquid from it's mouth, and found two very interesting rocks that I brought home to add to my windowsill collection. The cottonwoods have all leafed out along the Prarie Dog Town Fork of the Red River and the mesquites are now beginning to leaf out while the prickly pear are beginning to develop thier flowers. I can't wait to both see and smell their beautiful flowers. If you have never smelled a cactus flower, you are truly missing the meaning of life. My latest outdoor focus has been on gardening. Over the last two weeks I have gotten a small garden growing. I have planted two tomato plants in pots, a jalepeno plant, a serrano pepper plant, cucumbers (pickling and slicing), radishes, carrots,and lettuce. I am eagerly awaiting my first crop of radishes (two more weeks) and eating home grown salad with lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes. I am not sure if they will all be ready at the same time, but I am excited either way. I will officially be teaching Outdoor Living this first summer session. I had to have 10 students sign up for the class and I have 13 currently enrolled. I cannot wait to teach this class! I cannot believe I am going to get paid to make people read Ed Abbey and talk abuot hiking, backpacking, and fishing. I love my job! I will soon be making a trip to Rockport for my best friend's bachelor party. We will be fishing and hopefully camping on a barrier island. I am eagerly awaiting my trip to the coast! I will provide a full update of the multiple species of fish I hope to catch and eat (if all goes according to plan). I wish you all a happy spring and a fruitful summer!