Finally! The stars aligned just so, sending a combination of decent weather (although suddenly HOT) and free time for all involved. Myself, V the good girlfriend, brother Jeff, and son Eli headed out Friday afternoon for two days of camping, boating, fishing, frisbee, tubing and uh, relaxation, yes... at my favorite local spot, Melvern Lake, south of Topeka Kansas.
At the last minute E asked if his buddy Nick could tag along, and I of course said "sure." Then as we were leaving at 4:30pm Friday in two vehicles, a couple of kids I'd never met, Cameron and Shae pulled up in an old Chevy pick-up. E introduced us and announced that they were going too in their own vehicle and camping somewhere nearby.
V's daughter or possibly daughters, son-in-law, and two of the grandbabies were probably coming to join us Saturday evening, and as it happened, all five of them did make it.
THEN, Julio and Bobby showed up un-announced, this taking our human count up to (counting on fingers), eh, fourteen. The boat fishes or rides three comfortably and even four isn't too bad, but now we had fourteen (or so) competing for boat time.
Julio is the size of two average people. This 'kid,' dressed in full Havana white, 6'3 and 280 by my estimation, pencil thin molest-stache, looking every inch and pound like the son of a Cuban gangster, is the one that ran across my hot tub lid a few years ago, snapping it. Another time, he sat on my couch and collapsed it.
I cringed at the thought of him on the boat and sighed as I observed that we had grown from an intimate group to a small army of oddballs. Four tents, three picnic tables covered with crap, two fires.. people running here and there in all directions at once while I... relaxed, attempting to be all and everything to everyone.
This being the 2011 maiden voyage of the 17 foot USS trig, I had legitimate fears regarding the performance of the aging vessel, running pretty much non-stop and usually overloaded (one trip was Eli driving with Nick, Cam, Shae his girlfiend, Bobby and Julio). Thousand pounds? Yeah probably.
By Sunday at noon, V had broken up with me in tears under the 95 farenheit sun, but we soon kissed, made up and dragged our burnt, bruised and bitten selves back to KC to crank the AC, lick our wounds and assess the exact degree of hard feelings.
Friday evening me and V stole away in the boat. I snapped this sunset over her shoulder from the middle of the lake.
Saturday morning. Eli painted in mulberry juice. Nick in background.
V's daughters L (left) 17 and K 20 with 'drumsticks'...
Jeff, aka nanatehay, rigging up.
My V. Note the butterfly using his tickly probiscus to lick salt off her leg. These things were everywhere and needed leg salt like zombies need brains. I think she liked the probiscus sensations.
Cameron and Shae. Shae has a flower in her ear that she picked.
Skyler, husband of K and father of our youngest campers, two of V's three grands.
Mia with a crappie and little brother Konner, partially mulberried, in awe.
Myself at the helm, heading out for a tubing excursion Saturday evening.
V with a damned fine crappie caught trolling by the dam.
Saturday's sunset over the lake
Eli with a smallmouth bass, Bobby behind him, and little Julio.
Me, in a state of utter relaxation.
Out for now!