Waitin’ on Camp Tea

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A few pictures from my trip up the Porcupine River, September 15. The day was overcast, the water still. The air hung chill over the river but we all had layered against the cold. My friend Richard Carroll was our guide; he is in back. His friend Mary is in yellow and Jenny is in blue. My wife, Lindsay, did not make this trip. We carried several rifles, fishing gear, food and blankets. We spent hours hunting rocks for my classes, observing ravens and eagles, fishing and cooking out. I had hoped we would sight a bear or a moose, but we saw neither.

Richard is a great storyteller. One of my favorites recounts a time when an older man named Joe went out hunting with two younger men. One night after all had gone to sleep Joe arose hungry and went to pilfer a snack from their cache. One of the younger men heard Joe and thought he was a bear so he grabbed his rifle, threw open the tent flap and fired on the old man. The bullet struck Joe in the leg at pocket level. Fortunately for him the bullet glanced off his pocket watch and deflected out his thigh. “You shot me!” he cried. They packed up and returned by boat to their village. The bank was steep where they landed and they dropped Joe on the way to the top – he tumbled back down to the boat, madder than he was when he first got shot. The next fall the young man who pulled the trigger was asking around for a new hunting partner and one man replied, “Well, I’d love to go hunting with you, but I don’t have a pocket watch.”

On the campfire you can see two pots brewing tea. Richard said there is nothing as good as camp tea, and after downing several cups, I am inclined to believe his is a cut above all the rest. We cooked hamburgers over the fire. I had two.

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