It rained some last night; when I woke up, though, it wasn’t raining. Dad had made some breakfast, but I was too late to get as much as I wanted. I still got plenty. Then we decided to go fishing. Micah came along with us and we got on the boat to push out.
The sense of seclusion is terrific. We were out there, three guys in a boat, and all around us the water stretched out to shores we would never walk on. It was deep blue and huge, enough to remind you that you’re pretty small when it comes right down to it. We hung a left into Darkwater Bay. We trolled around there for about fifteen minutes, but we didn’t catch anything, so we went around to a little cove nearby. [I thought at the time it was Steve’s cove, but later I found out it wasn’t.] Most family members have a cove named after them, one where they had a particularly good fishing day. This one [I thought] was Dad’s, and it was pretty good. He caught the first one. It was a pike, about normal size– somewhere over a foot. Then Micah got one right after his, another nice pike. We trolled and cast awhile and I didn’t catch anything. A while later Micah caught another pike and Dad caught one too. I still had a score of zero. Eventually we got tired and went in.
I don’t know exactly when, but around noon I took a nap– I guess I just didn’t get enough sleep last night. I slept until about three and then decided not to waste the rest of the day and got up to have some chips and salsa. Mom and Dad were gone but Grandma and Grandpa and Dan and Tracy were still sitting around, along with some of our other people. I finished off my chips and salsa and was sitting there in the sun when Grandpa and Uncle Joe told me, “We’re going fishing. Want to come along?” I said sure and we went.
Grandpa drove us to North Bay. At first he got a little lost, but he figured it out and we stuck our lures in the water. We trolled around the bay. And nothing happened. About ten minutes in I thought I got a bite but that was all for me. Ten more minutes or so and Grandpa caught a small pike. Then nothing else happened. We went to another cove on our way back but nothing happened there either except that I got tangled in Grandpa’s line, they twisted together for about three feet, and we both had to cut our lines.
When we got back we formed a loose circle of chairs on the porch like we always do and discussed random stuff. Normally the type of stuff we discuss wouldn’t be so interesting– old tractors, annoying people at work– but at Crowduck it’s enhanced just by being here. That and Dan always adds a bit of funny into the conversation. Dinner happened a little later and we ate plenty, especially of waffle fries, and I sat with Erin and Micah in the screened-in part of the porch, which has a picnic-style table in it. It’s nice to just sit around here and have meaningless conversation.
Bill ran his grader today, an ancient, loud piece of machine that he has to run to keep the roads solvent. When he came back from going all the way to the Whiteshell dock and back I talked to him a little. He told me he did get that letter I wrote him last February after all, and he was honored I’d like to work for him, but he didn’t know if it could work out, what with me being a non-resident. Aaron [he and his parents work at the dock; he’s 15 or 16 years old], though, lives in Florida and still works here on weekends. I’ll dig a little deeper and get all the facts. Maybe it has to do with him going to Ontario when it’s not the weekend.
I took two more dollars out for poker tonight, putting me at -$8 for the week. Then I kept getting some really good hands, and playing it very nicely. I took a lot of money from everyone and regained all of the money I lost yesterday. I had a really good day with Texas Hold ‘Em. I’m going to keep playing through the rest of the week. Where I lost money, though, was when we switched to In-Between.
In-Between is a betting game, except that virtually no skill is involved. It goes like this: the dealer puts two cards on the table with a space in between them for another one. You then bet according to what you think the odds are of the card he puts in the space being between them in value. Aces are high. For example: the dealer (Dan) puts down a 5 and a 6. There is no 5½ card, so you bet nothing and the play goes to the person on your left. Another example: he puts down an A and a 2 (this spread is known as the Acey-Deucey) and, since that’s the best spread possible, you bet the whole pot. He puts down a 2 in between them and that’s called hitting post: one of the cards already down comes up again. When you hit post you pay double what you bet, and since the pot has accumulated, let’s say, $1.50 of other people’s bets, you pay $3.00. Sucks, doesn’t it? Well, it is possible to win, but evidently I haven’t figured out the secret. I couldn’t get a decent spread to save my life, so I just kept getting my money whittled away by anteing up once someone else won the pot. Still, though, I cashed out at only -$1.25 for the week, up $6.75 today. Then I watched everyone else funnel their money into a brutal pot that had people hit post on $3.00 and $6.00. I was really glad I got out when I did, but I still wasn’t pleased to note that Grandpa won it all when he took the $15.50 pot on a King-Deuce.
Right after poker a storm came up. At first it was just thunder and lightning. I watched the lightning over the treetops. So quiet, it was pretty eerie, with the pines at the edge of camp jutting into its light. Up here you get reminded a lot that you’re not so big after all. I took a few pictures, but I don’t think most of them turned out. It’s really an incredible experience to see a lightning storm here. With no city light the sky is completely black until a lightning strike. At that point it turns a bright inky blue. And tonight there was a lot of lightning. It flashed on and off wildly, light half the time and dark half. It’s vvery awesome.
By the way:
In Cabin 5, there are some bats in the roof. Dave just found this out today. He called Bill in and got the eaves repaired, sealing off their usual route out, so during poker they discovered a different way, through a hole into the screened-in porch that’s connected to the cabin. There were about a dozen of them flying around in the porch, and they just kind of filtered themselves out the open door, one by one. I don’t know if they’ll stay gone, but they’ve left the roof for tonight, at least for a while.