Ah nothing like a weekend all to yourself with a 5 hour drive in each direction right? Oh, what if I were to tell you that there was no place to stay, but you would be staying in a sleeping bag in your car?
Would you want to go? Yeah, me neither but I did anyway. Fishing just isn’t the same unless you have someone to share it with. While having a buddy to take a picture is nice, it is just as comforting to have someone to share your disappointments with. As I spent that first night alone in my -30 down bag I started to wonder what I was doing, and if I should just drive home in the morning.
Luckily for me the next day brought some good fortune. I ran into a group of three guys on the river. Turns out they had attended college in Missoula, my hometown. After spending the better part of the afternoon with them they invited me down to town for a bite to eat. The unlimited fried fish buffet was fantastic, since I had been surviving the last day and a half on Fiber-One pop-tarts.
I bought them each a few beers in hopes that I might be able to convince them to let me hang around a bit longer, not wanting to be enslaved to the tomb that was the passenger seat for another long/cold night. Just as I was getting ready to leave they all came to me at once and said,
“Hey man, you know, if you don’t want to sleep in your car tonight, you can just stay in our cabin that we’re renting. There is a pull-out sofa.”
Yeah, sold on that. Before they could think twice I already had my sleeping bag on a mattress, and my wet socks over the heater. I’ve never slept so well. The following day was more of the same.
The fishing was great, but was even better now that I had found my new friends. Someone to talk with, eat with, and compete with. Trust me, freezing your ass off in a parking lot at 3am in the middle of April isn’t fun. The only thing it does is remind you how much better life is with people and friends around you.