First and foremost, I got a chance to speak to my mom in ICU today and she sounded pretty good. It seems the most discomfort she's feeling right now is from the tube that was in her nose and throat during the surgery, but that was removed this morning, much to every one's relief. She still can't swallow at all, and they won't move her out of ICU until she can eat on her own, so hopefully tomorrow, but outside of that, everything else looks as good as it can from doctors' reports, so that's great. Thanks again to all for the continued thoughts and wishes.
Yesterday, I forgot to write about my little misadventure while trying to do my good deed for the day. I wasn't having a great morning and was very nervous about my mom's surgery and in a generally sour mood. As I'm casting into a creek, I start flailing my rod and slapping my neck as I felt bugs crawling over me. I let out a little yell as I swatted an ant from my neck. I told Craig and Sid about the ants and they said, "No, must be gnats. Relax. Look around. Remember where you are."
I take a deep breath, look at the mountain ranges on either side, and I try to begin casting again, but now I feel like even more are crawling on me. I swat my neck again and kill 3. "I'm serious, these really are ants, what could I have walked through?" I walk towards Sid and Craig and sure enough, they both start swatting me when they see me as there are ants all over me. I tossed my pack to the ground, took off my shirt and shook it out as Craig and Sid continued to swat ants off me.
When I was finally clear, Sid says "Holy cow, look at them, they're all over your pack." As it turns out, a few minutes earlier, I'd picked up an empty beer can that I'd found on the side of the stream, and I latched it to my pack to throw away later. It must have been a pretty fresh empty, as the ants seemed to have made a home in there until they found me.
So much for trying to help the environment.
But as it turned out, I'm not the only one who seems to attract insects. As we were making a fuel/grocery/phone call run into town this afternoon, we hear Craig shout as he's driving "ah, shit, some thing's trying to sting me."
We look all over his back, but don't see a thing. Sid rubbed the back of the shirt and said he didn't feel anything underneath, either. A few minutes later, we hear "Ah...zeh....Got it." We look over to see Craig pinching his shirt together at his side. He had a bug in there, and when he was able to next stop the truck, he lifted his shirt to find that he'd squashed a bee that had flown into the truck and under his shirt. Luckily for Sid, only grasshoppers seem to attack him.
Though Sid isn't totally immune to amusing stories. Sid said yesterday that the can of chew he had would be his last one. Only, after just one or two pouches from his can, he lost his chew while he was on the river. He vowed that he wouldn't buy another tin, and, well, that lasted until about 5 this afternoon.
When Craig saw it, he gave Sid hell. They finally came to an agreement that "Cold Turkey" was tough, so they'd use the 20 pouches in the new tin, and Sid would ween off the nicotine during the next week. At that point, Craig offered Sid one, and Sid said, "No thanks, I'm good."
Craig responded that he'd been so fidgety in the back seat, he might as well have one. At that point, Sid confessed he's already popped one in prior to even leaving the store. Craig called him a dirty rotten something or other, grabbed the tin, and proceeded to throw it out of the car window. It was hilarious watching it fly across the turn lane, and then the other two lanes of oncoming traffic (traffic in Soda Springs means a car was approaching 1/2 mile down the road).
Craig did pull over to the center turn lane, but Sid said he was too embarrassed to go run back down the road to get it. Craig finally turned around and drove back to get the tin. As he eased up next to it, he tried to scare Sid as if he were running it over. It turns out, Craig did actually clip the tin, flipped in onto it's side, and as Sid was about to get out of the truck, he saw it slowly start rolling, catch a gust of wind, and then fall directly into the storm drain.
Sid took that as an omen and we headed back to the lodge, but I was laughing at the whole sequence as hard as I've laughed in a few days, and it certainly felt good.
Oh, and did I mention we fished a little today, too? I was still a bit off overall, mentally and physically, but I came around towards the end with a couple of nice fish. Sid got the photos of me and my fish, as well as my fish under water. The fin is a shot I took of one of Sid's fish. Next is Sid photographing me photographing Craig, and finally, the landscape is Craig bird-dogging on the stream.