Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday at Panther Creek – Fishing and First Aid

*** We were away from wifi for several days so you might see several of my backed up daily posts all at once so check older posts too! ***

Wednesday we took our time with breakfast. It looked to be a sunny day so I put on a tank top in hopes of getting a little color on my deathly white shoulders. I walked back up to site one and spent some time checking emails.

I use Skype to stay in contact with some of my friends back at work and it seems they are always each in the midst of their own new work crisis every time we chat. They all worked for me. Those would all be my crises. Out here in the middle of the beautiful natural prairie, I take a deep breath of clear morning air and smile – boy, am I glad to be where I’m at!

I had only planned on being online for about 20 minutes but by the time I published the blog, worked through Ken’s email box and mine and chatted a bit, it was probably more like an hour. It’s very easy to get sucked in to this laptop and have hours fly by. That is one good thing right now about not having our own internet on the road. We are not tempted to lose hours to being online.

When I got back to the RV, Ken asked me to look at Ditka’s ear. Sure enough, even though we are faithful with their anti-flea and tick meds, Ditka had a tick in his ear. He was very good about letting me extract it with a tweezers, then Ken burned it. It’s surprising that even though the dogs had hardly been in to any wooded area, we are still dealing with ticks. This is why we aren’t letting the dogs on the bed and try to always check them over before bring them in from outside. With all the nasty diseases those things carry, Ken and I are both hyper about staying tick-free.

After lunch, we decided to try our luck at another lake in the park, Drake Lake.

I decided I’d gotten enough sun on my shoulders and went back to a Tshirt for the fishing outing along with the Tilley hat to protect my head, ears and nose which all seem to sunburn easily.
When we got there, the lake was deserted except for a man sitting in a canoe fishing by the dock. We noticed he was using his hands to move the canoe around which certainly didn’t get him very far. After talking to him, he said he’d gotten everything in the boat ready for a nice day of fishing and then realized he’d forgotten to bring paddles! Since we have two double paddles and the lake was small we left him borrow one of ours. I think we made his day!

We saw him at a distance only once the rest of the day. It was as if we had the lake to ourselves. There was nothing to hear or see that was not a part of nature. It’s as if we were there before man.

Ken was joking about being heep-big Indian brave in canoe with his faithful mate at his side, hunting for next meal. Yeah right, Indian brave in his high-tech inflatable SeaEagle, with a Diawa fishing reel, while ‘mate’ is laying out sunning in the back with her latest Nora Robert’s romance novel. I have to admit though his fantasy wasn’t hard to get in to if you kept your eyes beyond the boat.

We did come across what we think was the nesting place of a green heron.

This is most likely the mama.

With the exception of the brightness of their long yellow legs, the youngsters were a pretty homely crew,

And the way the stretched their necks as we got closer made them even less attractive!

When we got back to camp we checked them out against our Peterson Field Guide. If anyone sees that we’ve mis-identified, let us know. We are really birdwatching rookies but do find it fascinating.

Ken had lots of nibbles and did catch another small bass. Wow-his catch for 2009 has now doubled that of 2008. Two!

It was wonderfully relaxing for me on the back of the boat. I had room to fully stretch out in the sun and enjoy my book, just slightly interrupted by Ken’s discussions with the fish in the lake or when he roused me to point out something along the shore.

I was surprised when we got back to the RV, to see that it was already past 5:00. The 4 hours we spent on the lake had seemed more like an hour. I guess it’s true what they say that when you’re doing something you love you lose track of time.

I got another surprise when I checked myself out in the mirror. While I showed no signs of sunburn from the fishing trip, there was a clear outline of the tank top I’d worn earlier in the morning and the skin on my chest, back and shoulder was beet red, hot and very sore. By letting my 20 minutes of internet extend to almost an hour I’d caused myself a pretty nasty sunburn. At the same time, my legs that had been exposed all day had no sunburn – probably because on the lake went in and out of shade all day. Shortly after that on the local news we heard that today had been an unusually high UV index day with sunburn in as little as 15 minutes – what timing I have!

Luckily, we had Aloe Solarcaine along because I was really hurting by bedtime.
Ken had his own ‘medical emergency’ when he called me in after his shower to help remove a teeny-tiny tick that had found its way to his upper thigh. Did I mention that Ken REALLY hates ticks, make that REALLY, REALLY hates ticks! Again there was another sacrificial tick burning ceremony.

If we were to get to Charleston on Thursday so Ken could get in a practice round of golf with Trevor and his roommate Chris, we’d have to make an early start. That meant that by the time we went to bed we had everything ready to move and even had the jeep hooked up before we went to bed.

Despite the ticks and sunburn, job-hazards of the lifestyle I suppose, we had a wonderful time here at JEPC and will definitely try to get back here.

Hugs, C

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