Monday, November 26, 2007

How I spent my Thanksgiving Day

Most of the deer camp roused at about 5:30am after the customary early evening and energy sapping hot sauna. The big blue ceramic coffee pot was fired up and GurneyGranny's cinnamon rolls were slid into the 1921 Detroit Jewel propane oven. We lit a couple of the Humphrey propane lights and started organizing our hunting gear with the goal of being up in our respective trees shortly after dawn. As I walked out on the deck the moon was still up and a thin line of light was becoming visible across the creek to the east. I manned my tree until about 9:30 and then took a little walk. I found the wolf tracks in the spot where we had heard them howling the previous afternoon and also cut bear tracks that were almost as big as my hand. I think we may have caught his picture on the game camera which had been placed on one of the gut piles.

I headed back to camp, being careful not to take an unexpected swim in the creek since the snow had coated the rocks nicely. I stoked the pot belly stove and prepared to butcher the deer I had taken the day before. This was carefully calculated so I would be working on the venison while the Packers played the Lions in the traditional Thankgiving game. The KingofIronwoodIsland, a kayak and hunting/fishing buddy, is an avid Lions fan in a den of Packer fans so the game was a must to listen to and attempt to watch on the 6" black and white battery powered TV.

After the Packers easily handled the Motor City Kitties and His Majesty was properly abused, I put the finishing touches on the venison and put the turkey on the Weber. The afternoon plan was to stroll out to one of the more obscure stands with my rifle and primarily my camera. A relaxing afternoon sit as the sun went down and a stroll back to camp in the dark ended the hunting portion of Thanksgiving Day. The trimmin's were cooked on the Detroit Jewel, the 18 pound bird hauled off the grill, and we all enjoyed a candle light turkey dinner followed by a hot sauna and an early bedtime.

The only actual downside of this Thanksgiving Day was that the Voice of Reason was with her sons and folks in Mora instead of at camp. She also had feverishly transformed our kitchen into Home and Garden-like showpiece while I was out in the woods, a very astute move on her part. Thanksgiving Day felt like it must have decades ago with no airport lines, phones, cars, or electronic noise (the 6" B&W is only allowed on during Packer games and the World Series). Water is hand pumped, wood is cut and burned, good friends are present, and life is very simple. Not a bad way to reflect on all we have to be thankful for. Happy Holidays everyone.


Ron said...

Sounds like a great way to spend Thanksgiving. Welcome back, to the cold weather! We may be skiing before we get any paddling in!

Kristen said...

Just perfect, Olson! And venison! I thought of you while staying over at my sister's farm in the Waikato - they've a 150-head of deer - beautiful creatures - both running around and on the end of a fork.