March Retreat Marks End of Winter

     For 25 years now, we’ve ventured up to camp in early March for no good reason other than to celebrate the possibility of spring and to mark the end of the time of frozen earth and wicked winds.
     Miss Kentucky hopped into my Jeep wearing camo pants and hiking boots, while brother Stab and his wife Sandy Seven crowded into the vehicle with our two cats, Austin and Pooh Cat. Bachelors Queen and Mr. Cool were already at camp when we arrived, followed shortly thereafter by Winnie and Digital Richard.
     We feasted on egg-and-bacon kolaches for breakfast and Winnie’s exquisite vegetable soup for lunch, before we all ventured out to hike the woods and trails above the Allegheny River.
     Stab broke the ice (literally) on fishing for the year by wandering down to the fishing hole below the culvert at Deer Creek without lures, flies, or bait. A piece of turkey and cheese on a #10 hook sufficed, though, and soon the first brook trout of the year came to hand.
     By late Saturday afternoon Winnie and Digital had built a fine hardwood campfire out back, and we all took turns stoking and storytelling and enjoying the calming vision of the fireflares late into the evening, when the Big Dipper and Orion constellations illuminated out of the coal black sky and reminded us of what night was supposed to be like in the natural world. We slept like babies in the quiet wee hours and woke up refreshed and ready to plan our next trip to camp.

~ Don Feigert, 03-08-10

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