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The Gearboat Chronicles

Hunting and Gathering

Yegads. I have been gathering. And harvesting. Or trying to. It turns out I’m pretty OK with driving to the supermarket and pushing a wire basket around on wheels to collect my provisions. Because I’m in the midst of attempting a relapse into the hunter/gatherer thing and, folks, it’s harder than you might think.

I didn’t gather much. Couple sackfuls of plums. O, but what plums. I dried most of them and threw the ones that got chewed by yellowjackets at the yellowjackets.

Then there’s firewood. Been gathering a powerful heap of that. Got to lay in a bunch of small length stuff to feed the wood-fire hottub.

But this hunting business. Hooweee.

Got snowed on. And not a dusting. A foot’s worth. 12 inches of heavy, wet, white.

Were it not for the Winding Waters wall tent, things would have been bad. As it was, I had a wood stove set up in the tent, with a Mr. Heater backup kicker, so we played rummy and sipped hot cocoa through the worst of it.

Yesterday I managed to pour coffee over my thigh. Yep, snow on the ground and I manage a second-degree burn from pouring something on myself. Hmm. But those polypropylene longjohns sure do hold the heat in, I can vouch for that.

Morgan’s been on a furious cooking tour. First up in the mountains for a fish survey crew, then last week for an annual get-together over in Umatilla country. Next, he’s catering for steelheaders down on the Grand Ronde — which, I should mention, is starting to go off and I’ve heard reports from our fish man Tom that the steelhead have arrived.

Repeat, all units, the steelhead have arrived.

So get out the rod and reel. Or the garden basket to gather the last of the zucchini. It’s gathering season, folks. Lay in your supplies.

In a completely unrelated visual realm, that picture up there is from the Wapshilla Ranch on the Salmon River. So now you know.