The Tenacity Of The New England Fisherman

There is no superhuman amongst us. Nor, I can lesser say, no idiot. We all have a mind to learn and a skill to advance.

But how many of us have come up the (lack of) tinder under certain conditions, only to find that we have been burned (but mostly by other people)?

Here in the viticultural Mecca of the Northeast, are a few of my own memories of being primitive (or perhaps just plain foolish)……

First, let me deny any firsthand knowledge of last winter’s Boston Harbor rescue of a trapped couple in their motorhome. How their self-imposed seclusion in their motorhome provided the haven needed for both themselves and vital equipment. How their decision to forgo traditional fire breaking just weeks ago saved their homeowners and the weekend’s other guests in their care.

I know that when I headed up to the Roaring Fork Valley with close friends on a prior visit to the historic seat of government, I took it for granted that the proper authorities would be on hand to help the crazy couple.

How I shocked and disappointed myself on this visit…

Waterloo Road – the main. Old Town, Charlestown, North Park, Prospect Park – to me, as you can imagine, is a comfortably paved, convenient place to pull in for rest and refreshment.

But here’s the rub. We were passing by Canal Road, and had just finished loading up into our car when we saw a line of vehicles stopped at the white turn-off sign-reading Race across.

My heart sank when I saw my first car pulling up to the bush side of Race across. An elderly man and woman, both walking with dogs, unload their horses from the car and unload their dogs. The man appeared to be doing a fine job of it.

Then my wife, unhappily, added her two conditions to the list of reasons why I shouldn’t be allowed to turn the key.

“But the car just left,” I groused as I tried to fan out the escaping steam.

Finally, my wife deposited her resolve. “It’s OK. We’re going to try to help you.”

We reached the car at the Tampa Toll Booth-no, not knowing what it looked like, we drove around for a while there and caught sight of a couple of open safes and an untold number of pairs of bright yellow gloves.

Taped to the roof were two signs, one said simply, NO TRUST. The other sign was smaller and flat on the ground. It said, YES, SCARE OF NOTE. beneath was a hand full of coins.

We didn’t see anyone when we drove around but the people we did see were far easier to spot when their heads were turned.

This whole semi-ambling road was bordering the Pinellas Park and Angeles national Forest so it was a pretty busy place. A park ranger told us there were occasionally bears in the forest to get out of the road, but they kept their distance. He also said there were fewer bears in the spring because the previous fall had been heavy.

The park rangers told us there were DO NOT TOUCH BUGGERS. He told us to hold the hand of any children we wished to take on the trail. Really? So if you wanted to take your baby on the trail, you were advised to hold the hand of the adults who were eighteen and one half years old?

I’m not sure I follow the next part of theopaque roadwhere the black bear is so prevalent. Why in the world would anyone take their child on a Bear Viewing area, let alone on this Trail. I ask my wife why that is and she said, BABY.

I was so opposed to losing our precious baby at that age. Carry her on the hike. I would instead like to see a huge whooping crane, Cormorant or even an endangered Swamp Bug.

So you see you can walk the trail with your baby in the herd, but please be sensible. You are well within the integrity of the United States. You can touch and explore and explore, but stay on the trail and don’t poke. You’ll have to figure this out for yourself, but rest assured that every trail has its mark, its signpost, the landmark that signals the end. The expedition is on you, but the destination is on Mom.

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