Hot sauce, pork rinds, hot sauce mixed with pork rinds – it started off as a manly camping trip.
Then the rains came. The same storm that produced three tornadoes in the St. Louis area hit Rend Lake about three hours later.
Here was the scene: eight men were huddled around a campfire trading jokes, farts and fart jokes. Every 10 minutes or so, someone would pull out their phone and check the weather map, which was followed by 5 minutes of intense meteorological debate.
The phrase “pop-up shower” was tossed around. Another similarly unqualified mind discussed the trending jet stream and how this storm was sure to blow northeast of us. But for one, riding it out in the tents was deemed the manly thing to do. The lone ranger was right.
Around 1 a.m. it started. We scurried to our shelters of nylon, tent poles and metal stakes. After about 5 minutes of sheltering in tent, we started to get wet. Grabbing my sleeping bag and pillow, the first step outside was into a shallow creek. Water Runoff 101: don’t pitch a tent on the bottom of a hillside.
That morning, all eight of us awoke in a cabin that was built for three adults and two children – maximum. Ron Swanson would have been disappointed.
The gravity of the storm began to set in as we examined the damage rendered to one of our vehicles. Though I won’t mention names, it was a rough weekend for BEMM in terms of personal property damage. He suffered another blow when a campfire ember made a nickel-sized hole in his fleece.
|Tree: 1 Acadia: 0|
|If a tree falls in the woods, is there an Acadia around to cushion said fall?|
As the rain continued to pour, we decided to head down the road for a bit of breakfast. It was here we invested 75 cents for a prize from the Good Stuff Mix. Upon further examination, we realized we’d been had. Despite overpaying a quarter for our Domo, we came to love him…for the time being.
|As you can see, nowhere on the 75-cent prize card is Domo a viable option.|
|Yet, for only 50 cents, you're guaranteed one of eight Domos.|
Not being able to fish, as originally intended, we decided to head to the shooting range and relieve some of our frustration in the manliest way possible. It was here that Domo got his.
After an hour of paper target practice, we hung Domo from a tree limb about 25 yards out. Using a scoped .22, we took potshots at a quarter-sized piece of Chinese plastic. After about 10 rounds, Domo flew from the limb and was never seen again. (We think he met his fate in a watery grave as the range was littered with massive pools of water.)
|The last picture of Domo before he was blown to bits.|
About 400 rounds later, we headed back to the campsite to clean up the damage. To our surprise, all of the tents were still on the hillside. I’m not sure if it was the metal stakes or the 50 gallons of water in the bottom of each that held them in place.
|Joe later won the "cleanest camper" award, as proclaimed by BEMM. He took two showers during the weekend, which was two more than anyone else.|
We made one last go at fishing. After a few (small) victories, we made for the cabin and ate another 10+ pounds of red meat.
|It was about now that loading up on burgers and brats looked liked a terrific decision.|
Before shoving off the next morning, we made a breakfast that would have made Ron Swanson proud. After cooking 3 pounds of bacon, we fried eggs in the resulting two-inch deep vat of bacon grease. Wrapped in a tortilla shell, the bacon, egg and bacon-grease burritos were culinary nirvana.
|Words cannot describe how delicious eggs deep-fried in bacon grease are.|
Even though the actual fishing portion of the fishing trip was short-lived, it was a good weekend. I highly recommend a testosterone fueled fishing trip every so often. Between the boasts, farts and jokes, we got to catch up on life. For eight guys who used to see each other every day, it was a welcome reprieve from the daily grind.