Stories of (interesting, funny, bad, sad, happy, etc.) things that have happened while paddling. Post your links to your blogs as well.

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Post by mtpaddler » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:53 am

Reports were coming in that the walleye bite was on at Dailey Lake and with 2 art festivals and a parade going on in town this weekend it seemed like a great time to “get outta Dodgeâ€￾ so we loaded up the camper and inflatable kayak and headed for the lake.
Our two top choices for a campsite were taken and so we had to choose a site we had never camped in before. As it turned out, the position we had to park situated the camper dead into the wind (very stable), which howled at times. Very lucky on our part. People tent camping had to dismantled and re-erect their camps several times to keep the winds from destroying their tents. Thankfully the winds died down in the evenings but by 8:30 in the morning they were back to their 40 mph breezes.
We invited Dave and Shelley, friends of ours, up to camp with us and since they hadn’t shown up by 10:00 Saturday morning we decided to pump up the kayak and do some fishing. We had 4 walleye on the stringer by the time they showed up and then we had to stop fishing and go “visitâ€￾.
Dave and I headed out after lunch – I tried to convince him to use the worm rig but he had some new lures he wanted to try out so… I ended up adding walleye to the stringer – Dave – nothing. He was impressed at how stable the kayak was especially when the winds increased to the point where there were canoe capsizing waves and whitecaps. It got to the point that I felt it was safer to let Dave out on shore and paddle solo back to our beach site. Even in rough seas, I was able to clip the front seat into the solo position climb over the seat and continue on. I took on some water from splashes but never felt I was in any danger of flipping or swamping. If I had my spray skirt on I might have even toyed with the idea of playing around with the waves.
We had dinner and eventually around 9:00 pm the winds died down enough for us to have a fire. While Dave and I sipped on beers, Connie and Shelley ate s’mores and drank a bottle of wine. We went to bed and around 12:00 midnight, Connie & Shelley both heard a commotion that had both of them looking out the windows in separate locations in the camper. Dave & I slept through the whole thing. Apparently a Chevy suburban pulled up on the road alongside our camper, 6 or 7 kids all piled out with headlamps on and started running around on the road, around the suburban and the hillside with shovels and fishing poles. It was very strange behavior and when they finally drove off, Shelley and Connie were convinced that they were up to no good and had buried something in the middle of the night. After a breakfast of bacon, eggs and walleye fillets and the fact that Dave & I thought Shelley and Connie’s rantings were s’mores and wine induced hallucinations experienced on a mutual level, we decided to do some investigating. Although we searched a good portion of the crime scene we were unable to find any newly disturbed diggings so I decided to explore further up the hill toward some rock outcroppings and perhaps look for some snakes while I was at it. Imagine my surprise when I found a 4 ft western prairie rattler curled under a bush alongside a boulder. Maggie, our dog, and I run all over those hills when we’re camping without a thought as to the possibility of running into a rattler – that has since changed. While Dave & Connie kept an eye on the snake, I ran back down to get my 240cm kayak paddle. By the time I got back, Connie assured me that the snake was dead because it hadn’t moved when she tossed some rocks in its direction. However, when I slid my paddle under Mr. Snake, he was quite lively and crawled coiling closer to the rock. That is when we made the discovery that put all of the previous night’s episode into perfect clarity.
Heading back to town after a night of partying, the kids ran across the rattler crossing the road by our camper and decided to give chase. After cutting off the rattles with a precision shovel blow they lost track of the pissed-off injured snake and eventually gave up looking for him versus trying to find him in the dark. We couldn’t think of anything more dangerous to run across in a campground than an angry rattlesnake without any rattles and decided the best thing to do was to kill it. He now resides in our freezer in 4â€￾ pieces for when we get the gumption to cook him up; and we got a nice skin to boot.
It was comforting to discover our wives weren’t crazy after all. Dave & I decided to head out on the lake again since the wind wasn’t blowing strong enough to be a bother. I convinced him to try the worm set-up and by the time the wind forced us off the lake again, we had a nice stringer of 9 walleye. With a dozen walleye fillets and a snake in the refrigerator, we decided to call it quits and broke camp for the trip home. Another adventure in the bag.

Mr. Lucky

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Post by sonar » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:26 pm

I am glad I live in the u.k. not many snakes here and possibly None where I live.

A great blogg thanks for the posting.
Now can't wait for you to make another adventure trip.
Last edited by sonar on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by PJohanson » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:13 pm

Wow! What a story.
I'm glad you were able to be merciful to the snake after it was injured by those ignorant goobs.

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