Friday, May 29, 2009

Biggest fish, worst injury and a damn good time in KY

Memorial Weekend….Ahhhh, a time to reflect and be thankful for those who gave their lives for our freedom. Translated to the American version, a holiday for drinking and driving, river/lake stupidity and all around fuckery. I do believe that I scored 2 out of 3. Dan and I hit the road Friday afternoon to head out to Kentucky Lake. I am not going to lie; I was not all that excited to be camping with Dan’s dad, stepmom, uncle and aunt. Frankly, I would not go on a 3 day camping trip with my own family so I see no reason to do it with his but I digress. I agreed long ago and I was not going to back out. The drive was only about 4 hours and we changed roads a lot which Dan and I have decided is what cuts up a trip. If you have ever driven Hwy 70 from STL to Denver you know how long and boring Kansas is. We believe that is partly due to the fact that you are going down Hwy 70 for 600 miles or so. Any little change becomes exciting at that point. I will never forget last summer driving to Colorado for vaca, after hours of silence between us, all of a sudden Dan says, “Look, babe, there’s lightening”! He was so excited to have something new to look at!

Anyhow, you get the point…the drive was short. We hauled Dan’s aunt and uncle’s boat which brought on the lol’s. Dan was concerned about my driving his big truck with a boat and trailer attached. Silly boy, doesn’t he know I was St. Charles born and bread. I can drive anything, pull anything, change oil and rotate tires. My daddy didn’t raise no sissy-girl. So Dan started the weekend impressed with me. I also bought a new 75 gallon cooler with a handle and wheels that caused him to shriek like a school girl but we will act like I didn’t include that in my post. We got into camp around 6 and put the boat down at the dock. Then we set up the Taj Mahal (seriously way too much tent for 2 people) and started on dinner. We made a deal that everyone would bring 1 dinner for all 6 of us and then bring your own breakfast and lunch. Our first night was goulash. Now in my family goulash was everything in the fridge warmed up in a pot, served over toast. My dad was a military man and I shit you not, we had that for dinner many a nights after my mom left. This goulash was really roast meat and gravy over noodles. Dinner was excellent as was sitting around the fire enjoying the night. The boys decided Saturday would be their day to fish. I was welcomed to go as I do like to fish but 4 people is a bit too much for the boat. I decided to take one for the team and hang with Dan’s aunt and step-mom. I like Aunt Candy very much. She and Dan’s uncle Fred have really been 2nd parents to him and we are close with them as they live in St. Peters. Dad and stepmom are completely different. Relations are strained with Dan and his dad so I really don’t know them. We have met twice before and both times I found to be extremely strained and awkward.

Saturday started with a bang, the boys left out late to fish because Bass was having a fishing tournament. By the time they left, conversations turned way girly which can be uncomfortable with your boyfriends step mother, if you know what I mean. Aunt Candy and Step mom Anna, could not be more opposite. They drink heavily when they are together which is why I refer to hanging with them as taking one for the team. We went to an indoor pool (oxymoron in my opinion), had a hot shower (really hadn’t planned on that) and went to the grocery store. It was an entire afternoon of not camping at all and I wasn’t very happy. The sun was shining on the lake and all I could think about was how much I was missing out. By 2pm I realized that if you can’t beat them, you join them and I mixed myself up an extra-big-girl-sized vodka and redbull. I was 1 ½ sheets when the boys returned. Dan was well aware of the fact that I would not be the man down again on this little trip. Saturday night we enjoyed my spaghetti for dinner. I cooked the sauce at home and planned to boil the noodles on the fire. The first night the mens proceeded to really fuck up the fire that I got started so after scolding them all, I took over as fire chief. Nothing bothers me more than an ill burning camp fire. So I brought 3 pounds of pasta with no intentions of cooking it all. The men-folk decided we would need every bit of 3 pounds. In their defense, we ran out of noodles for goulash and they had to use bread so I think they were erring on the side of caution but 3 pounds of pasta could feed a family of 10. Again, I digress. There was leftover goulash meat but no noodles so I humored them and cooked all 3 pounds of pasta. Dinner was excellent, albeit 2 pounds of leftover pasta later. We drank and ate so much that no one wanted to play games. We made our Sunday plans to fish and hit the hay early.
Sunday was a 5am start with a spit of rain coming down. Troopers that we are we saddled up and got down to the dock by sunrise. We had rain gear, food and lots of coffee. Who could ask for more? We fished for 5 hours in the rain. I couldn’t pee with my butt hanging over the boat in the middle of the lake in the rain so that made for a bit of discomfort for me but I made do. The last hour the rain was really coming down. I caught a 5 pound white bass and a little baby something, both of which were thrown back. Dan caught some itty bitty guy that didn’t even measure up to my little guy. I was the last one fishing while everyone else tried to huddle under the canopy as to not get even more wet. We were back to camp by noon and it was down pouring. Dan and I got dry clothes on and hid in our tent for an hour or so. After that we joined the family in the RV for drinks and domino’s. That night we grilled brats, knock worst and I had veggie Italian sausage. It was still rainy but not down pouring so we managed. We had a huge pot of beans with dinner, which we cooked on the fire. Our only emergency situation of the weekend went something like this; the beans are on the only level part of the fire, cooking away, we put the brats on a grill topper with ½ of it resting on the bean pot lid and the other half on a log. In order to check the beans we had to lift the grill. When we go in for a stir, Uncle Freddie and I each take a side of the grill and lift and I lift the bean pot lid with my other hand while Dan stirs the VERY hot beans. So the beans are sticking a bit and require some elbow grease. They splatter directly onto my left forearm which is currently doing a balancing act with Freddie to hold the brats up. My other hand has a hot lid in it. We all stand around looking at one another. Dan is the only one that doesn’t have something hot in his hand but clearly his paramedic mind does not register to GET THE BURNING BEANS OFF OF MY SKIN. I drop the hot lid in my right hand and wipe the boiling beans with the hot pad in my hand. Needless to say, my skin sloughs off with the beans and we have our first and only real injury of the trip. Dan also did not bring his medic bag but thank goodness Aunt Candy was prepared. I cleaned and dressed it and got back out there. We rounded out the night with more games and drinks. We were in bed early due to the early rise. The rain on the tent was fantastic, as always. We did experience a bit of moisture in the tent, not a full fledged leak but definite water. Everything was pretty well damp including the sheets, pillows and blankets. Ahhhh, to camp!
Monday was a slow-starter. The fire chief had many issues. The wood was all wet, the ground was also saturated and I had a 3rd degree burn on my arm that really resisted being held over the open fire. I managed to not only light the fire and keep it lit but I also cooked hash browns for breakfast over the campfire. Dan’s dad and stepmom had to head out after breakfast as they had about 7 hours back to South Carolina. After breakfast Dan and Uncle Freddie went to pull the boat out of the lake while I cleaned up our tent which was a hot muddy mess from all of the rain. Side note: I am really glad I am anal about rugs and extra towels on camping trips. They saved our life. By the time the boys got back we could hear thunder in the distance so we worked meticulously to get our tent down quickly. We discovered that a family of brown recluse had set up shop under our tent. One of the big hairy bastards was poised to strike at me but Aunt Candy saved me. HUGE, hairy bastard…no lie. We had just loaded all of the tarps, polls and tent crap in the car when the sky opened and down poured. Thank God I had suggested that we save our only clean dry clothes for after the tent was down and change just before we headed home. So we put on some dry clothes and headed home about 2pm. We managed to get 40 state license plates and 2 Canadian provinces. Not bad for such a short trip. This is a frequent game of ours. While I am on the topic, if you have a license plate cover that blocks your state, kindly remove it. You are hurting fellow travelers when they have to speed up to dangerous speeds to see where the hell you are from. Dan recapped the weekend most excellently on the way home when he said “my baby bought a bomb ass cooler, caught enough fish to feed us, drove the truck with the boat and trailer and took a burn better than most men” I think he was pretty proud of me.
We got back on Sunday about 6 or 7. Dan had to take the boat to Fred and Candy’s while I started laundry and took a much needed shower. Somehow I made it all weekend with no ticks, few bug bites and mostly intact, aside from the burn. Today is Friday and the blister still has not popped (according to my medic bf an open blister is just a breeding ground for infection) so I am keeping it covered until she heals. I got some great pics of the weekend that will be up soon. I hope everyone else had a rockin’ good time doing what you did. Sorry it took half a week to post. I will try to do better next time. Life is crazy lately. Crazy good but crazy.


  1. A brown recluse?! Those things freak me out!! Thank god it didn't bite you.... (shudder). I am glad you made it back in one piece. Thats awesome you caught such a big fish! I hope your burn heals quickly... ouch!!

  2. Sounds like an entertaining trip, at least. And that is hilarious about Dan not getting the burning beans off your arm and you wrapping your own injury. What good is the paramedic boyfriend??? :) Glad you had fun.

  3. when you drove past Louisville, did you give it a shout out?