An awfully lot went into getting this thing off the ground and to pull it all together in the end. Then there were the secrets I've had to keep. Many of the donors wished to stay anonamous. If they want to come forward, that's up to them. Chris and I started talking about the rod early this year. He had posted a pic of a rod he had done for his Legion Post, and I just mentioned we were organizing this trip and how nice it would be to have a rod for MG. He just took it from there. It is a beautiful work of art that I showed to a few people who stopped by the house. All were very impressed with the work and the gesture. I even put one of my reels on to make sure the balance was there with the reel that we selected. Felt really good and it was all I could do not to go fish it.
Arranging a spot for the camp at the Marina was no problem at all. The owners and I have become pretty trusting friends these past few years. They would be closed for the season, but had no problem with me being in and out while they were gone. A week before I was scheduled to take the Burrow down, they had the tragedy which killed the winter caretaker. Everything was in flux until the day before I was to take it down and I got a call from Ruth, to go ahead as planned. I dropped off the jackass and had some pretty good crabbing days in the weeks before the trip. The rain we were getting was keeping the rivers at really nice levels and color. Chinook were coming to the boat at a fairly regular pace and reports of Steelhead being caught in the NF Nehalem were getting me pretty excited. Of course all this time, we're counting down the days when all of a sudden, it's less than a week away. The Sat before, my son and I braved the snow in the mountains to fish the NF. I was planning on driving two rigs and staying at the Marina Sat night, but changed my mind at the last minute. We stopped down there and pulled the crab pots out and got stuff ready for the storm coming in. Oooops, I guess I could have tied the trailer down, but didn't. When word came in Sunday that all the rivers had reached flood stage, all of the highways leading to the coast were closed along with Hwy 101, I started to get worried and almost called MG to get her to reschedule. They finally got one of the highways open to the coast, but the Marina was still cut off with 101 being closed to both the north and south. It wasn't until late Tuesday, they got the south route open. Took a chance on Weds and hooked up the boat to the truck and got my sister to drive it while I took the Winnie down. Good Lord, trees down everywhere, power lines and poles down everywhere, rivers running as brown and high as they could be. Wasn't looking too good for the home team if you know what I mean. Got to the Marina, Burrow down on the tongue leaning against a power pole, roof of the office blown off, pieces of the dock torn off, no power, which meant no water. Bay was mud brown, which meant no crabs. The one saving grace was going over the Kilches River and seeing it was a good color green instead of the brown the rest of the rivers were exhibiting. Dropped the Winnie and boat and came home to pack for MG arrival.
When MG came in Thursady, she was all smiles, acted like she was a veteran of the airways and I'm thinking, hope we get along ok. Got a bite to eat on the way down, good, she like burgers and shakes. Arrived at our camp for the week, no power still. At least we had the generator to fall back on. Did a short tour of the surrounding area (what a mess) and found some of MG's limitations as far as geting to the spots I wanted to take her to fish. The boat was out until late in the trip due to high water, so we likely did more sight seeing than either of us had planned. We ate well, fished some, but some of the luster had gone away.
All for now,
Life Member Since '94,
1st Member of the NAFC Western Fishers,
Proud User of St. Croix, Lamiglass, Shimano, Fishcraft, Mercury,
Fishing With the Boys Guide Service