By Warren Bridges
“Put a motor on that damned thing so you can get where you’re going,” the fellow across the way said as I hoisted the canoe onto the roof of my Jeep.
“Thanks for the input,” I said, struggling a bit to keep it aligned between the racks. Frankly, I had heard it all before and wanted to avoid the inevitable debate.
The old man, though, would have none of the avoidance tactic. Even from his comfortable perch in the lounge chair, Hamm’s Light in hand, the old man seemed a bit put off – like he was being ignored. How you can be put off on a 70-degree Colorado afternoon, lounge chair under your butt and Hamm’s Light in your fist is beyond me. But not beyond the old man, apparently.
“I said,” he began again, his voice rising a bit in pitch, “you should put a motor on that thing so you can get around better.”
It was a topic that dated back many years – 25 or so, in fact. As a fresh college grad, I had landed in a small town in southeast Kansas – a quiet and friendly area that boasted some of the best fishing and hunting grounds in the country. Deer, bass and quail flourished, and it was hard to not drive past ponds, lakes and streams.
For a kid who was adamant about becoming the next Sigurd Olson, Ernest Hemingway and Harold Ensley, it was Paradise. And I was determined to run my lures past every set of fish lips in the six-county area.
Of course, not all fish resided within 15 feet of the shore, which at the time, was a solid cast for me and my Zebco 202. What I needed was a boat. What I needed first was money to buy a boat. Damned details. Continue reading “Backroads: Who needs a motor, anyway?”