Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Camp Is Made Of Wood Part 5,

Steven Makes A Giant Steak, Even A Coyote Won't Eat It

The first day of hauling lumber seemed fairly easy. Although it rained almost non stop, a fishing break netted some large trout, and the lumber was traveling nicely on shoulders that were not tired, at least not yet. In fact the first day and night is more remembered for our sleeping in the woods in tents. We went to bed around 10:30 pm in three tents each sleeping two guys. The tents were covered in orange tarps to try and keep the contents dry, and on the first night that seemed to be working fairly well. A few shots of rum served to warm up your insides, and then it was off to sleep.

I tossed and turned for an hour or two, not able to find the rhythm to get to sleep. Between snores from some of the others, i hear something shuffling through the woods. Keep in mind, we are in black bear country. Black bears don't like humans so much, but are known for liking their food and garbage. With the protection of only a tent, the thought of a bear is less than comforting. So i am quiet. I figure there is no reason to let a bear know i am here. I next hear something shuffling through a plastic bag. The bag is tearing and things are being more or less tossed around. Still quiet, Derrick whispers from the tent next to me. "Dave, you awake?". "Yes" i whisper back. "Do you hear that?" "Yes i do" was my reply. As i am whispering back, i am thinking how Derricks eyes are likely popping out of his head from his fear of Bears.

In a few minutes, the sound is gone. Derrick and i both get up and get out of our tents. I shine my flashlight around the campsite, and everything looks fine, except our garbage bag. It is torn apart, and it's contents are strewn. Derrick and i examine the damage. The mess includes wrappers, and pop bottles, and cigarette packages. They are torn apart, and the plastic pop bottles have punctures in them from fangs. About four feet away from the mess is the rest of Steven's steak from supper. The steak was a round steak, maybe the biggest cut of round steak i ever saw. Steven cooked it that night over the fire. He used no marinade and cooked it too long, and like any round steak would be in those conditions, it was as tough as wood. Near the steak, was a pile of shit, full of hair, the true mark of a coyote, not a bear.

So the Coyote took the risk of coming near our camp, tearing through our garbage while we were asleep. He tore through cigarette packages, he punctured through pop bottles, he even ate paper towels that were soaked with fat from cleanup. Then he found what should be the best prize. A big piece of steak, cooked very very well done. He picked it up and started to walk away with it. This should have been the very thing he wanted. Four feet later, with only a small amount eaten, he dropped it, and took a dump. We like to think of this as an editorial comment on Stevens method for cooking steak. "Maybe he will tell his friends about the steak, and they will stay away" i said to Derrick on the way back to the tents.

We crawled back into our tents to get some sleep before Day 2. The woodpile still sits in the path 10 minutes away, and although we hauled a lot today, it looks almost unchanged. We notice that the morning of day 2.....

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