Archive for the 'Chapped' Category
Contracted while wade fishing for Texas redfish…
A) Ocean chiggers
B) Red state psoriasis
C) Larval jellyfish attack
D) I call bullshit. He got that from some bar hag
Part of what makes Montana super-badass is that all streams designated as “navigable” in the state are in the public trust, not just the water but the streambed beneath. Additionally, the state has accepted a very broad definition of “navigable”. Due to a recent Supreme court ruling, that designation may now be in jeopardy.
Over the past decade, the State Supreme Court has liberally applied the designation of navigable and repeatedly upheld the public trust law when various wealthy asshats attempted to keep the unwashed masses off “their” rivers. A few years ago some jackass at the capitol saw this as an opportunity to make money.
In 2007, the state of Montana joined a lawsuit to sue PPL Montana, the private corporation that runs and manages the dams in the state, for $41 million in unpaid rent plus interest. Their claim was that the riverbeds are owned by the state, so any commercial operation utilizing that land (the streambeds) should give the state a cut. The rivers involved in this lawsuit are the Missouri, Madison, and Clark Fork. Multiple complicated court cases followed but eventually the State Supreme Court once again upheld their definition of navigability and had no choice but to find for the state. PPL appealed and, last December, the case went before the U.S. Supreme Court. Last week they issued a ruling that threatens the future of the Montana stream access law.
“To be navigable for the purposes of title under the equal-footing doctrine, rivers must be “navigable in fact,” meaning “they are used, or are susceptible of being used . . . as highways for commerce” . . . it is doubtful that the segments in this case would meet that standard . . . Thus the State Supreme Court was wrong to conclude . . . that portages were insufficient to to defeat a navigability finding.”
The U. S. Supreme Court made one important addition to their decision. “Montana’s suggestion that denying the State title to disputed riverbeds will undermine the public trust doctrine–which concerns public access to the waters above those beds for navigation, fishing, and other recreational uses–underscores its misapprehension of the equal-footing and public trust doctrines. Unlike the equal footing doctrine . . . the scope of the public trust over waters within the state’s borders is a matter of state law.” I don’t speak legalese but what I interpret this to mean is that the U.S. supreme court tried to limit its decision to the definition of navigability to commercial issues only, leaving the recreational definition in the care of the state. It appears, however, that their ruling may create the possibility of altering Montana’s stream access laws to be more like those of other states.
For now, our rivers (and the beds below them) remain public but this case creates a very bad precedent. You can bet that many landowners are licking their chops and preparing their legal teams armed with a decision from the highest court in the land. This is all on the Treasure State. Montana chose to press this issue over a paltry $4o million, knowing full well that the outcome might threaten our stream access law and a significant factor in our tourism economy. Shameful.
If you want to read the whole court opinion yourself, here it is:
“…the spilled condensate was discovered last Thursday by a township employee inspecting a gas pipeline facility nearby. The spill had run into Bigger Run Creek, a tributary of Raccoon Creek. He had no information about whether fish or aquatic life were killed, but cleanup crews placed absorbent material in the creek on Friday.”
“On the lower end, two fair-sized streams drained the interior. One rose from a series of springs that poured forth from hillocks around today’s 20th Street and Fifth Avenue. The Saponickan band living there called it Ishpetenga. It flowed southwest into the Hudson near the mouth of another trout stream. This one had its origins in a deep, fair-sized pond where Worth and Centre streets now cross. It flowed northwesterly, almost in a straight line, and became the course for today’s Canal Street. The pond was known as The Collect. The Dutch name for this trout pond was derived from one of its beaches, which they which they called Kalk Hoek – Chalk Point or Chalk Hook. It was given the name because the early Dutch settlers came here to collect the shells of freshwater mussels, which were ground and added to the mortar used to build their homes. When the English took over management of Manhattan in 1664 they assumed many of the Dutch words already in use for geographic features. Their inelegant pronunciation of Dutch turned the monosyllabic word “Kalk” (or “Chalk”) into the dissylable “Kal-leck”- hence, “Collect.” The pond’s name had nothing to do with collecting water in the area, as some writers have suggested, although it did have two small feeder streams. For decades, in the 1600s and 1700s, it was the source of drinking water for all of lower Manhattan’s residents. The Collect and its associated streams contained brook trout as late as 1740.”
- from Brook Trout by Nick Karas
What you’re not seeing on the teevee machine: much of New York’s Schoharie Valley and the headwaters of the East Branch, smashed into a muddy paste.
That girl Karma, she’s a fickle bitch.
Not 3 weeks after I dissed the fine folk at RL Winston rod company for screwing up my springtime rod order 2 years running, my 10wt BII-mx gives up the ghost.
Somethin’ tells me that I won’t be seeing this twig for awhile.
Towanda Creek is a small Susquehanna trib in northern PA. It’s a put & take trout stream at its upper end, and becomes more of a smallmouth thing later on. There’s a thousand streams just like it, maybe you know one or two.
It already suffered from low summer flows before the hydrofrackers moved in and started drawing water off to mix with sand and salt and proprietary chemical brewskis to make fracking fluid to be injected into their gas wells. Thousands of gallons of water are used for this, and it’s gotta come from somewhere, and in July you can just hope they leave enough for the fish.
Fish find ways to survive low flows. Well, some of them do anyway, at least for a while, we hope. But now there’s been an accident at a gas well near the headwaters, and words like “uncontrolled” and “blowout” and “emergency” are being used to describe the spill of fracking fluid that swamped the well site and dumped into poor Towanda Creek. Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, named after the bay to which their vomitous oopsie will ultimately flow, are up 3%. Way to go, pricks.
Enemy of Clean Water and the Santa Rita Mountains Jamie Sturgess, VP of Rosemont Copper
I’ve written periodically and somewhat haphazardly about our own local pit mine, the Rosemont Copper mine, which will be gouged into the east slope of the Santa Rita Mountains. Despite the economic downturn and the attendant plunge in commodity prices, which I hoped would be a death knell for this project, Rosemont is barreling full steam ahead. Last week, Rosemont had a full on propaganda blitz in town and the linked article is full of great mis-information. Of course, the aptly misnamed VP of Sustainability, Jaime Sturgess, (falsely) claimed that Rosemont would fully recharge the aquifer to compensate for the mine’s water draw to conduct cyanide heap leaching.
However, his most honest statement was that “[w]e’ve known right from the get-go that we had to have the best approach and the best way to communicate it so people would allow us to open a new mine.” Which means, “we really had to figure out which package of bullshit you wanted to hear so we could blast open a moutain range, draw down the aquifer, dump cyanide in what water remains, and best part of all, skip town when the price of copper drops.”
Due to the 1872 Mining Law, if the price of copper drops, the Candian company Rosemont gets to declare bankruptcy, shutter the mine, lay off the locals and leave it to someone else to clean up the mess. That’s what Jaime Sturgess neglected to mention.
I’ve seen what oilfield transportation corridors do to the economy and community of a region. It is a hurly-burly low-wage twenty-four hours/seven days a week service industry that does not build community. - Rick Bass, Author
The first big beneficiaries of this hijacking will be a Korean steel company hired at the expense of Canadian steel workers, and Exxon—the richest corporation in the world: the losers will be the American people, starting with us. - David James Duncan, Author
America continues its apparent national quest to despoil every square inch of the continent with the plan to truck large tar sand “modules” down HWY 200 in the Blackfoot Valley of Montana. The modules are about 3o feet tall, 24 feet wide and the length of a football field. Apparently the most direct route from their construction in Korea is from port at Lewiston, ID, through Montana and on up to Canada. Due to the width of the modules, both lanes of HWY 200 will be one direction and both sides of the road will be cleared for the additional 8 feet of clearance needed.
Not surprisingly, residents of the valley, which is the location of Norman Maclean’s “A River Runs Through It”, are pissed. They formed the grassroots org All Against the Haul to coordinate opposition to the project, which would severely alter the character of the valley and negatively impact the natural resources there.
As always, when oil and money combine, you get the politicians coming out of the woodwork to defend poor, helpless Exxon Mobile,; Politicians such as Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. Here are some choice quotes from the good Governor in a NYT article along with some commentary:
“Chlorine, insecticides and fertilizers go down these roads in trucks every day,” he said. “If they spill, they would kill fish for 50 to 100 miles.”
Yes they do, but chlorine, insecticides and fertilizers are also packaged as HAZMAT, and are limited by CFR 49 to certain amounts per transportation method, all with the goal of not spilling. Yes accidents happen, but there is a world of difference between an 18 wheeler and the transporters moving these modules.
But the large loads, he said, “are inert, like big shoe boxes made of steel. If one fell in the river, they could be cut in half or taken out whole.” Until they were removed, he argued, “fish could spawn under them.”
Well fuck, I guess that makes it all better; Although the effort to remove the giant shoebox would probably destroy a fairly large swath of habitat.
Many residents worry that the loads will block emergency vehicles, but the governor said helicopters could provide transport.
And how many air ambulance helicopters does the area around Missoula have? A quick check indicates 2 and the cost for a 56 mile flight ranges from $12K to almost $17K. Medicaid and the insurance companies are going to love this.
But Mr. Schweitzer argues that the roads are a federally financed transportation corridor. “Montana can’t up and change the rules because we don’t like somebody,”
Umm, didn’t Montana tell the BATFE to take a flying leap with the Montana Firearms Freedom Act? Oh yeah, it did:
The bill was introduced January 13, 2009 by Joel Boniek, Gerald Bennett, Edward Butcher, Aubyn Curtiss, Lee Randall and Wendy Warburton. It was signed in to law by Governor Brian Schweitzer on April 15, 2009 and became effective on October 1, 2009.
So, the good Governor is perfectly content to tell the Feds to STFU when it comes to guns, but meekly accepts the rules when it comes to limiting damage to the Blackfoot Valley. Uh-huh
The tour is over. Three months. More than 50 gigs in the UK and Europe. Not one river fished. Not one line cast. Not one trout grabbed up. Not a single salmon molested. Fuck. This here’s the final installment of FUKRIDF. If you’re up for this sort of misery, we’re most likely headed back in April for a whole new batch of not fishing. So what’d I learn? Well lots, really, like when you’re not fishing and being forced to watch other guys fishing one has the opportunity to practice patience. So there’s that.
I also learned that Black Bottle, a blended Scotch, is mixed only from Islay malts! For half the price of an Islay single malt, it’s pretty goddam excellent. Check it out, holmes!
A bit of a history lesson if I may: A long time ago, well after the Romans were like, “fuck this place, man,” some British dudes were like, “wouldn’t it be a cool idea if we got together and claimed all this land for ourselves? Lord Mountbaten said, “Hey, fuck that, Im’a claim nobility and take all this land for me!” So he ran some solid gangsta shit and thus it came to pass that Mountbaten became the landlord of Southwest England. What this means for anglers is that if you’d like to fish Thee Olde and Faymous Rivere Test, you’ve gotta pay the man — Mountbatten. For the Test is, without a doubt, his river. He owns it. He runs it. His posse strung the razor wire and patrols that shit like Silvio patrolled the Bing.
All this would be fine if the Test were just some dottering and middling English trickle, but alas, from the side of the road, behind the barb wire and just out of the way of the attack hounds, Lord Mountbatten’s river looks like a pretty great stream. The Test is only about 40 miles from start to finish and it’s upper reaches are chalkstream and jammed with big fucking brown trout. I saw them as I stood on a bridge, trucks, tour busses and bikes whizzing on by. Upstream they were rising to tiny white mayflies even as a goofy lab splashed around in the water. From the looks of it, the Test is jammed cheek to jowl with trouts. You can’t catch a fish in the test, maybe it’s time to take up bowling.
There they were, dozens of trouts, all locked up, guarded and patrolled by a bunch of Royal dicknobs.
So let’s just say you’re feeling flush, or a wave of Anglophillia washes over you (Mountbatten, was after all, grandson of Queen Victoria, uncle of “Phil the Greek, a.k.a Prince Phillip and mentor of the current Prince of Wales, whose name I have forgotten.) well, it’s gonna cost ya, pal. In the UK they don’t use dollars, they use these things called pounds and to fish the Test is up to around 650 heavy-ass pounds per day. In American, that’s about 1000 bucks. Yeah, I know — a straight G — fuck that.
As mentioned, cross a bridge over the Test and you can see big browns down there swimming around. Take a walk down a riverside paths and you can scope the quaint bank-bound fishing huts. Linger for a bit streamside and the goddam history of the place is palpable. There are no dirtbag fishermen on the Test. There is no sleeping in the back of the truck. Hanging around the parking lot crushing beers, spitting dip and chewing jerky as the sun sets is probably a rather rare occurance. Lordy, what a waste of a perfectly good river.
…That a picture is worth a thousand words.
If that is true, I figure that I’m up about 458,000 words in the last 7-day burnout session alone. This is probably a good thing, because I’m still feelin’ kinda fuzzy and disconnected – words will come, but I get the feeling that I’m gonna need to let the dust settle on this trip before I take the time to flex the semi-literate part of my brain again.
As if my punch-drunkenness wasn’t enough, I only have 72 hours to get the gear from the last trip sorted and stowed, launder all the fleece that I own, pack up the steelhead twigs and pretty flies, and head back out on the road – I got a 15-day date with some sexy-lookin’ H20 and a few out-of-town fish comin’ back and lookin’ for love.
Oh, yeah. The picture.
See you in a few weeks, Fisha.
The Tweed, Coldstream, Scotland/England border
Aug 26, 2010
Rod had to take a leak, so convincing him to stop along the banks of the River Tweed was a cinch. The Tweed, for at least part of its journey, forms the border between Merry Old England and Grumpy Olde Scotland. And even though Scotland is, indeed, grumpier than England, I tend to like Scotland more. Sure, the food is just as horrific and the beer just as crummy, but Scotland is funnier, more scenic and the whisky is, well, it’s Scotch, fay fook’s sake. Sounds great, huh? In fact, you may even be thinking of thumbing it out to the Boise airport and booking a cheap flight to the highlands. Well, think again, Angus. Scotland is expensive as fuck. There’s no fishing on Sunday and if, unlike me, you actually get around to fishing, be prepared to take out a second mortgage on your home.
We were heading north, up to a gig in Edinburgh, and I hopped out of the car on the English side of the Tweed and high-tailed it down a path toward the water, camera in hand. I had just crossed a gate and was 25 yards from the river when I came up short. Ay! Fay Fook Sake. Wha thay bloody fook? But there it was, the sign that confirmed my worst fears regarding fishing in the UK — all that permitting, private water, upstream, dry-flies-only-on-days-ending-in-y business. There it was — finally — proof!
Like most right-thinking individuals, I cannot abide the notion of “private water.” The phrase kickstarts my inner anarchist, compelling me to jump fences, deface signs (BWTF stickers are great for this, btw!) and pontificate on the internet. My indignation springs, I guess, from my general anti-authoritarian mindset. However, this was the first time I’ve been confronted by a sign marking that strangest of UK fishing regulations: beats.
This was, to me, an entirely new sort of outrage/affront/injustice and I rolled its sour taste around on my tongue. Fishing a “beat” is absolutely foreign to the constitution of a Western angler. We are built to ramble. We are inclined to strap on a pack and load it with water, cans of Rainier and beef jerky and get the fuck away from the assholes fishing right next to the road, at the boat launch or any of the various “idiot holes” found so easily along American fly water. We love taking off into the outback for the mere fact that 1) we can. 2.) well, what the hell is around that corner, anywho? 3.) i am not the type of angler who’s gonna be seen fishing with the likes of the fucking rabble. Sorry, it’s just my issue, man.
Needless to say, I was hopped up and I fairly stomped the rest of the way to the river, high off the delicious self-righteousness of it all. There she was. The great river. So much history, so much tradition. So much of our sport flowing inches in front of me. I could smell it all, mixed with the water, the grassy bank and the trees spilling pollen. She was much broader than I had imagined, but we were by the coast. It was an impossibly scenic river — castles, old rowboats, a stone bridge. Off in the distance, two old dudes sat in a boat, rods in hands, waiting. Directly in front of me, ya know– in the good water — a fish jumped. Fuck.
What were those dudes doing sitting in the goddam frog water? Just what the fuck are they thinking? I dunno. I never know. Yet every time I see a dude fishing the frog water I think, “What the fuck are you thinking?” It’s like driving down the road and seeing a cow and not thinking “cow.”
The fish that jumped right in front of me was, of course, nice and big. I am certain I would have caught it if I had actually been fishing the Tweed, which I was most certainly not. I walked back up the bank, past that stupid goddam sign, got in the car and drove over the river and back into Scotland.
The River Tay, Scotland, Aug 21 2010
After last night’s gig up in the highlands one of the staff at the joint we were staying got a little too deep into the scotch resulting in, so we heard, an offense to some ancient clan, the muttering of disagreeable oaths and inevitably, a bit of a dust up. The Royal Order of thee Hee-lund Coppers were summoned, tears of regret were spilled and some punter was hauled off to the clink. Amidst all that donnybrook sleep was tough to come by so I took a wee doze on the drive down to Crail, on the SE coast. To get to Crail, you gotta drive right through St. Andrew’s, which is where a lot of serious golf is performed. You can tell it’s a golf town by the incredible numbers of “slacks” people wear in combo with those those tasteful shirts golfers are so fond of. St. Andrew’s is “quaint” and “charming” and, just to make sure one is aware that it is also “historic” and “Scottish”, they like to spell the word golf “gowf”. Yeah, that’s fooking hilarious, Alisdair!
I woke up about halfway to the gig, outside the town of Pitlochry, just as we were crossing over a big, fishy looking river. Generally there are no signs in Scotland telling you where the fuck you are, where the fuck you are going or how long it’s gonna take you to get there, but for some reason there was a sign and that sign said, “Hey, Fuck You Thee, Here’s The River Tay And You Ain’t Fishing It.” Shit.
To make an already shitty situation even shittier, just as we were crossing the bridge there was a dude stepping into the drink with a spey rod locked and loaded. We, of course, drove right on by. God. Fucking. Dammit. As they are fond of saying over here, I was gutted.
I bribed our driver with a cold, half-eaten chunk of Steak and Ale pie that I had been saving for my lunch and we were able to pull over about 20 minutes later. We pulled into a sorta high-end subdivision and I jumped out of the car, ran down a dog-shitty path, found the river and took a pic. If, like me, you’ve never fished the Tay before, you might be a bit surprised to find that it’s one huge fucking river. The bit I saw — which I now believe was pretty cost to the Firth (estuary) of Tay — really didn’t have any discernible features other than it’s bigness, and to tell ya the truth, it looked a lot better up by the bridge where the dude with the spey was about to battle the constant — and I mean constant — 40 mph winds.
I got a magazine-thing called “Fish in Scotland” from the Scottish tourist board the other day. The word on the Tay is that, “It is one of the best Salmon rivers in the United Kingdom, and therefore the world.” I had a chuckle and thought, “yeah… sure” But who the fuck knows. It didn’t believe it because I am incredibly bitter and to accept that a river I crossed without fishing may, indeed, be one of the finest salmon rivers in the world is simply too close to self-flagellation. I am in enough pain.
In all honesty, the Tay really could be one of the finest rivers in the world. It could totally suck. Don’t ask me. I didn’t fish it the goddam thing.
We drove away and after a while we passed over the River Earn. I only got a quick glace and really have nothing to report about this sweet little river for alas, there are only so many rivers that I can’t fish in a day.
Sunny and 75° is a pretty bitchin’ forecast, unless you live around a bunch of glaciers.
The lack of rain in the last week or so has shriveled up the muskeg flows into mere trickles, shadows of their former selves. A few of the smaller ones look like urban footpaths now, except for the flyblown humpy carcasses and the lack of little blue bags covering the omnipresent piles of bear poo.
The glacial systems, mostly larger rivers with a network of little feeders, are in total shock. Spewing out meltwater like brown blood, most of those aren’t gonna be fishable for WEEKS.
While driving through the rainless rainforest one day – in shorts and a wife-beater tee – I had a song from a decade or so ago pop into my head, and I’ll be damned if I can get rid of it. Hopefully, the forecast of rain will bring some change to the brain radio and I can forget about burning a pig on an old mattress.
I wonder if jayj has holes dug all over his backyard…
The bobber swims in circles for at least five seconds and I scream “SET!” a minimum of eighty times. Eventually, he finds it in his heart to sweep that big ol’ fly pole upwards and stretch that silly plastic line. There is twitching and headshaking. Long deliberate runs circle around the pool and I stifle the whisper that is pinballing in my brain “bigfuckingbrowntrout”. Saying such a thing out loud while staring hard at tense monofilament slicing green ether will automatically turn whatever is on the other end into an asshooked whitefish; such is the evil nature of river alchemy.
“He’s pullin on me pretty good”
“Just keep that line tight”
“Larry go git yer camera out I wanna get a picture of this fish”
He turns his attention away from the task at hand to call to his partner in the front of the boat. The line goes completely flaccid as the fish swims towards us. I dig the right oar as hard as I can, spin the ass end of the boat into the current and get his rod bent again.
“Keep the line tight!”
Shit. Ass. Whore.
You can’t call for the camera while the fish is still swimming, you might as well cut the line with your pocketknife. I hope it is the white-dog. It can’t be, not with those oil-rig headshakes. It has to be, any decent trout would have easily spit that barbless hook by now. We have to land this fish. We’re never going to land this fish.
“You seen him yet Larry? I ain’t seen nothing yet, kinda fights like a croaker”
His attention is once again severed from the fish, the first we’ve actually hooked all day, and again the line goes utterly slack as it swim slowly and deliberately toward us.
Another violent oar-dig and Larry almost goes Greg Louganis over the side as he’s snapping pictures of water hiding unseen scales and fins and, shit what is this anyway. Please, please don’t let this be a snagged sucker. There’s no way this is a trout.
I am all nerves and coiled spring. I am osprey staring into the green. We are gaining ground and I can see the bobber again. Was that a flash? Another run, shorter this time, he’s about done. Is that him, am I imagining it or can I actually…
“It’s a toad!”
Confirmation. No green back, no translucent fins, no pig snout. Solid brown trout hooked in the mouth.
“Don’t bring your fly line… the plastic line… into the rod tip.”
It’s too late. The yellow balloon is now jammed into the top guide. The fish has come to the bow and his head is on the way up, I’ve got one shot. I am a pneumatic piston. Just as I fire the net toward the slab of gold, he throws his head out into the current and parts the line. Instead of a shower of water and an empty bag, which is what I’m expecting, the fish is in the net. I have won the lottery, I have dipnetted a 20+ inch brownie, we have absolutely no right to have caught it. It doesn’t hit the 2 foot mark like I expect but weighs in close to 5 pounds.
“Is this good?”
It’s his first day holding a fly rod, his first day on a Montana stream. They are on a family vacation to Yellowstone from Florida and decided to get a half-day guided trip. This is the first trout he’s ever caught. After that fish all we can manage to land is a 5 inch rainbow. At the end of the day, they’re disappointed. I suppose it all depends on your definition of good.
Regarding on offshore drilling
“And while we’re at it, let’s expedite the regulatory and permitting and legal processes for on- and offshore drilling.”—Speaking at the Tea Party conventionon Feb. 26, 2010, about six weeks before the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
“Unless government appropriately regulates oil developments and holds oil executives accountable, the public will not trust them to drill, baby, drill. And we must!” —Facebook note, June 8, 2010.
A big thanks to Palinisms on Slate for the quotes demonstrating naked political ambition and not a shred of intellectual consistency.
Yep, BP has hired Goldman Sachs as a financial advisor. What’s the over/under on Goldman helping BP declare bankruptcy to get out from under their very obvious liabilities?
It’s been a long week, and I’m not sure where to start. Hell, I’m not even sure if I can properly convey an adequate sense of order to an insane week of fishing…
Maybe, if we were sitting in a dive bar somewhere and throwing back 24oz PBR’s, I could try to set a narrative about an awesome river system with ‘bows as big as your leg. With the broader range of emotive capability inherent in the spoken word, I might possibly get you to feel the fluttery, hyperventilating sensations that develop when a group of these large fish start busting smolt right in front of you on a sunny day. With the proper facial expressions and gesticulations, I might also be able to place you waist-deep in the flow, watching the birds working upstream, knowing that if you time it right, you just might have a shot at one of these fish.
After the second or third beer, I might find the particular word or phrase that would do justice to the strange, tunnel-vision feeling of swinging into grease so fishy that it practically glows. With any luck, I could probably describe the time-erasing sensation that you feel when you are going through a piece of big-fish water, knowing that each and every moment, all hell could break loose.
About beer number four, I could probably get something across about the wind, about my newfound love for the bug-removing wind, and my new respect for the cack-handed snap. I could probably set the stage for the two am stumble to the cabin door, fully clothed against the bugs, not quite ready for the sprint to the outhouse. By beer number four, I think I could have a pretty good shot at describing the zoned-out, goofy-ass mood that set in around day three, and the punch-drunk, rummy shamble through the holes on day five.
With beers five and six, I might take a stab at the spare beauty of the place. This might not go over well, but I would probably, with the appropriate hand motions, show the bizarre path taken by the sun on its daily joyride around the horizon. I could probably get you to appreciate the zen simplicity that is tundra, bonsai for giants. We would probably rehash a bit about the wind, the bugs, and the huge fish, but that’s OK, they are an intrinsic part of the desolate, simple, and remote charm of the place.
After beer seven, it’s anybody’s guess. The conversation would start to deteriorate a bit, and in an odd sort of fashion, we might find ourselves at an impasse of sorts, an inability on the part of the speaker to properly manipulate the language in such a fashion as to convey cogent thought. Then we would be on the level we are now, the level of trying to thread an experience together that does not lend itself well to linear translation on the written page. Much like the old joke about dancing to architecture, the idea of typing about a trip like this is rather humorous because in the end, it comes down to a simple fact, a common phrase.
You just had to be there.