Wednesday, October 19, 2011


The rain is falling hard at 4:00 AM.  Happy is under the covers against my chest and Shade is breathing deeply from the floor beside the mattress.  Chestnut lays on top the blankets snuggled against the small of my back.  The heat is in all the right places.  I am reluctant to get up but, I can't let a little water stop me.  Two things my father instilled in me ever since I could help out on the farm is work ethics and good work habits.  I would pull the boat to the lake this morning, launch and do my best to accomplish what is expected of me by the agency.  I have to at least attempt to work the shift for the agency and my work group.
Happy and I pulled out of the driveway at 5:30 AM and headed for our assigned area of the lake.  That little dog is amazing.  I can't get in the truck without her.  She was all excited and ready as can be seen in the photo below:
The traffic on the four lane highway was insane.  Every vehicle was travelling like the devil himself was chasing each of them.  The heavy rain didn't matter to any if them.  Cars tail gated, neglected their turn signals and passed each other on left and right sides at will.  I needed out of this rat race.  We were close to the 25E boat ramp and I would pull in there until sun up, when I could see where all the idiot drivers were coming from on this race track.
What has happened to man kind that makes all this "rushing about so necessary?  Think about it a moment.  Two thousand pound cars rushing past each other at 70 miles per hour with only 36 inches distances between them at times, crossing lanes of traffic, sometimes following as close as thirty feet from the car in front and only about a third of them use turn signals.  Driver's faces pressed up against the windshields over the steering wheel, sleepy eyes wide open, a death grip on the steering wheel with one hand and a coffee in the other.   How many are on cell phones and worse;  how many are texting or combing their hair?
I guess I'm spoiled coming here from the little town of Greenback where 30 miles per hour is considered the edge of the envelope for "too fast."  We pulled out of the parking area and blasted across two lanes of highway from a dead stop to make the left turn onto the North bound lanes.  I would stay in the left (passing) lane to make the turn onto Lake Shore Drive where the boat ramp was located.  Traffic absolutely will not open a space for a left turning vehicle when they move beside it.  It's everyone for himself out there.   Once on the two lane road, things relaxed a bit, accept for the idiot trying to drive up on top my boat from behind for a free ride.  Where the hell's he going?   Man!
As expected the boat ramp and parking area at Oak Grove was void of all vehicles.  I unstrapped the big boat and transferred gear and radio to the boat from the truck.  A new rain suit lay tucked away in a boat compartment and would see service this morning.  It seemed to fit.  I never tried it on since new.  The boat launched without a hitch.  I picked up the microphone and notified dispatch I was on the water, "4407 Bravo;  on the water, Cherokee Lake."  That is my security blanket in case of emergency.  Anything can happen when on the water;  especially the water in the rock quarry.  We idled toward a string of islands in the center of the bay.  It's surprisingly dry behind the boat's Plexiglas shielded tower.  The rain increased in intensity and the wind picked up enough to blow the water in from the unprotected sides of the tower.  Oddly enough, my right shoulder felt damp.  Sure enough;  the rain suite top was failing in it's purpose.  This will never do.  I'll give the ride an hour and if I can't find any fishing boats out here I'll call it quits.  I can't do this job if I'm wet and besides;  I can't see the brown areas through the water that indicate mud or rock piles.
There isn't a soul out here.  Not one boat.  I used the binoculars to scan the shoreline and there isn't any human presence there at all.  This is a big bay area and anglers aren't usually found on the banks.  They can, however, be found on the river banks that flow into the main lake but, my area of concern doesn't have tributaries on it.  I will be on those areas in two days.  Tomorrow will find me back here again and the forecast is for rain, of course. 
This morning's effort is accomplishing nothing but wasting fuel and risking catching pneumonia.  I think we're outa hear.  What do you think Happy?
"Happy;  what do you think?  Wanna go?  Hap;  Hey!"
She is one wet little dog and a sweetheart.  She'll brave anything to be with dad. 

We loaded the boat and gave it another half hour in the truck to see if the rain would slow or stop.  It didn't.  Off we went for home.  Some days it goes this way.  Most don't, however.