Lake Iwanttobethere

You may live in Gods country, but his cabin is at Lake Iwanttobethere

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Bells

Posted by Bobby Bass on December 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

IN THE MIDDLE of the night last night I was woken from what was becoming a memorable dream. I was in the Puddle Humper and I had just launched the perfect cast under the big tree that hangs out over the water and protects the haunt of Mister Big. It was fine summer evening and the lake was calm, no skeeters in my dream and no biting black flies either. I was tossing a finely tuned prop bait and with a flick of my wrist the props sputtered on the surface and tossed a few droplets of water up in the air before splashing back down. A small ring appeared and spread out from the lure and it was like ringing the perfect dinner bell for Mister Big and I knew he could not resist my offering. That is when I heard the sound of Jingle Bells, not the song but the actual bells jingling.

 

I kept my eyes closed trying to stay asleep because I think I could see a bulge in the water heading towards my lure. But once again I heard the sound of bells and now I was awake and the dream was fading, the rings on the water were disappearing and so was my chance for finally catching Mister Big. I open an eye and laying on my side I was facing the window where I could see a few flakes of snow falling outside. Not a lot of snow, as a matter of fact they were so few and far between I could probably give each flake a name. I didn't move but I laid still, listening for the sound of the bell and I was not alone, Duncan was sleeping on the bed at my feet and I looked down his way and he too was awake. His head was up and tilted to one side, he was listening like I was. I watched Duncan because I know his hearing is better then mine but a few seconds went by and Duncan dropped his head back down and snuggled a little closer to the back of my knees and was back asleep, just like that.

 

Awake now I laid in bed still listening for the bells that woke me but I heard nothing. I moved around in the bed rearranging the quilt and trying to find a comfortable right spot to go back to sleep and back to my dream of Mister Big, but I was awake now. The dream was fading fast as dreams tend do so I watched snow flakes fall and tried to name them but that is like counting sheep and it does not really work at all. I didn't hear anything but Duncan's head went up and I listened hard trying to hear what he was hearing. This was easy as I heard the click click of Barney's nails on the hardwood hall floor heading in my direction. He had fallen asleep on the living room couch like he always does and something woke him up and now he was heading for bed. Didn't matter whose bed he would just head to a bedroom with a door open. Nothing like a sleep walking eighty plus pound fourteen year old dog climbing up in your bed and not caring where or who he lays down on. Good thing I had already rearranged myself because Barney took up the other side of the bed and was snoring as soon as his head hit the extra pillow.

 

I wish I could sleep like a dog, I know the saying is sleep like a baby but dogs, at least my dogs can drop their head on their paws and be asleep before their ears stop moving. After awhile I went back to sleep or at least I dozed. Morning came and I woke up to a few flakes of snow still falling outside my window. Dogs were gone and I could hear the wife banging pans in the kitchen. I put toes inside my slippers and walked down to the kitchen. Poured a small glass of orange juice and looked out the window at the new snow on the deck, hardly deep enough to track a mouse in. I was going to say something to the wife when I heard jingle bells, I paused to make sure and there it was, bells. I followed my ears towards the dinning room just in time to see Buff one of our tom cats with a Christmas ornament in his mouth. It had a bell hanging from it and Buff was heading towards the daughter's bedroom with it, no doubt it was a peace offering. I was going to turn when I saw Smoky the other tom cat with an ornament in his mouth following his brother. I didn't say anything to the wife, I just sipped on my juice and watched the two toms disappear out of sight with the wife's decorations from the Christmas tree here at Lake Iwanttobethere

Closing Time

Posted by Bobby Bass on December 18, 2014 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I SIT ON a backless stool behind the bar here at the Lodge at Lake Iwanttobethere and I can't think of to many other places I would rather like to be. Lights are low and the sun has long since set and the only bright spots in the bar area are the pin points of light from the Christmas tree lights. Some Leonard Cohen music plays in the background from the old music box in the corner and someone must have gotten lucky playing cards. I say that because I didn't see who loaded the coin box but several quarters were fed into the player, I could hear them when they hit the metal bottom of the box. I just sat back down on my stool and I had a clean fluffy white bar towel in my hands and I was making like an old time bartender killing time. I was wiping down the square bottomed beer mugs and holding them up to the light looking for smudges and lip stick marks.

 

The yellow glow of the buttered covered glass from the popcorn machine cast a soft blanket of light on the wall near the bar. The crackle of maple burning in the fireplace and the occasional spark rising upwards from the flame went nicely with the popcorn glow. A couple of Lodge members sprawled in chairs in an arc around the fire. Heels on the floor with toes pointed at the flame they didn't talk much, they just sat with drinks cradled in their fingers and watched the fire dance and lick at the logs. Several of the FELLOWS sat around the big round table, they to were lost in their own thoughts. No one was talking right now, they were letting the wisdom of Johnny Walker take over.

 

The TV was off in the corner and no one was sitting on the wicker couch with the pillows on it. Nothing but reruns on TV or Christmas cartoons and there was no hockey to watch on this night. It was a slow so I was working it by myself. I had sent Honey Sauce home early and no need for Vinny to stick around because the kitchen was closed. The guys all know that if I was behind the bar I was not coming out from behind it and if you wanted a drink you better make the walk. Of course I always gave them a little extra in their glass for their trouble.

 

In the past few days we went from rain to an ice storm to some light snow and now we are back in mid winter form. The drapes are pulled open and if there was a moon out tonight you would be able to look out on the ice and see the entire winter ice town of Lake Iwanttobethere. It is out there and if you stand at the window you can see occasionally a slit of light from a shanty with its curtains not closed tight. All the shanties that were pulled off the ice are now back out on the ice and several more have joined them. Streets and avenues have been plowed and burn barrels sit at the intersections. Christmas lights twinkle from a few houses, not so much for decorations but to keep people from running into them. The bleachers are out there to, they froze in before we could get them off so we left them where they were. An old blue tarp has been wrapped around them to make them into a poor mans ice shelter and surprisingly some guys have been catching crappies while sitting on the benches.

 

A couple of the guys are playing cribbage under the light from a single flickering candle, I don't know how they can even see the holes on the board to peg and I think they are guessing at their scores. I offered to turn on some lights but they waved me off, its better this way they declared. As for me I am comfortable on my stool, I have a cigar burning in the ash tray with in easy reach. A nice white ash ring at its tip and I give it a little kiss from time to time and let a smoke ring rise towards the wood ceiling. Duncan is asleep in the office doorway, right where he can keep an eye on me and an eye on the door. What can I say, not to many guys get to sit down on their job, have a cigar and a beer if they want and their dog close at hand and it is still hours away from closing time here at the Lodge at Lake Iwanttobethere

What!

Posted by Bobby Bass on December 17, 2014 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

TODAY WAS TREE day, it should have been yesterday or if you listen to the wife it should have been last week when it was forty out and she may have been right. The warm weather came to an end when the rain turned to snow but not till the temperature fell about twenty-five degrees freezing everything that was wet, which meant everything was frozen. Yesterday morning I needed to go down to the Lodge but first I had to brush a layer of snow off the Tahoe and then scrape off a layer off ice and then work on all five frozen doors of the Tahoe till I found one that I could finally get open. In the past I have broken car handles trying to force open frozen doors and being older and wiser now I don't do that. I went inside the cabin to warm up my fingers and to get a heavier pair of gloves when the wife looking over the top of the morning paper and I am sure trying to be helpful told me there was some of that window ice melting spray in her Jeep. I nodded and didn't say anything although in my mind I did have a lot to say. I thought better of pointing out to the wife that the Jeep doors were every bit as frozen shut as the Tahoe and how was I going to get the ice melt out of her Jeep. Instead the phone rang and Chuck was on the other end. I told him of the wife's comment and I could just hear him on the other end of the phone nodding sharing my same thoughts without talking out loud so his wife could hear him.

 

After awhile I got the back driver passenger door open and crawled into the Tahoe. I stuck my key in the ignition and started the truck and turned the heater on high. I then closed the door and let the Tahoe thaw out as I shoveled snow and moved garbage cans. It took a few minutes and I finally tugged on the driver's door and it slowly gave up and opened for me. I put Duncan back in the cabin and headed to the Lodge. Winter has returned here at Lake Iwanttobethere, the rain soaked everything and after the freeze the snow that fell is now clinging to everything. A winter wonderland it looked good even if there was only a couple of inches of snow on the ground.

 

This morning I was up and outside by nine, not quite twenty out but there was some sunshine, no clouds in the sky and what was more important, no wind to speak of. I went back into the cabin after starting the Tahoe and Duncan was already sitting by the side of the gun cabinet. I patted him on the head and told him yes we are going out. He jumped up a couple of times and then ran over to where Barney was resting on the couch and told him he was going hunting. I gathered gear and a few minutes later we were driving down the road to the old Christmas tree farm and Duncan had his head out the window and I just left the heater on high.

 

I was breaking a sweat dragging the Christmas tree with one hand by a lower branch and my other hand holding the single shot shotgun. Twenty degrees out with sunshine and no wind was actually feeling kind of warm out. I had already taken my hat off and stuffed it in the game pouch of my vest and I stopped and took my gloves off and stuffed them alongside the hat. The only noise along the trail was my breathing and Duncan was standing up the trail looking back at me with his, are you coming look. I was just trading hands with the shotgun when a grouse took to the air just to the side of Duncan. The bird must have thought that Duncan had spotted him and got nervous and flew. I calmly pulled the shotgun up on my shoulder and while tracking the bird I slowly squeezed the trigger. The boom was loud in the quiet and looking down my barrel I saw a puff of feathers and lowered the shotgun. The bird tumbled out of the sky to land out of sight behind a small mound of brown grass and Duncan was in full pursuit. He disappeared behind the grass only to pop up the other side with a bird firmly in his mouth and pranced his way back to me.

 

I waited for Duncan to come to a stop and told him to sit, he dropped down and his tail wagged in the snow making a funny looking snow angel. I popped the shotgun open and caught the spent shell in the air but didn't bother to reload. I turned and grabbed the branch at the bottom of the tree and started dragging. Duncan looked at me and I just told him "What, you can't carry your own bird?" And with that he got up and led the way back to the Tahoe here at Lake Iwanttobethere

December Rains!

Posted by Bobby Bass on December 15, 2014 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (0)

I WAS TRYING to sleep in this morning after a very busy weekend here at Lake Iwanttobethere. A rumbling woke me up and it took me a while to figure out what was making the noise. I finally gave up trying to go back to sleep and got up and looked out the window to see rain pounding off the boat house roof. Now in June that would not be unusual but for the middle of December it is. I sat back down on the bed and was just about ready to lay back down when one very wet lab bounced into the room and jumped into to my bed to roll. Duncan had already been outside and made it past the wife who was standing in the bedroom doorway with a towel and was giving Duncan a dirty look. "Your dog is all wet" she said and I patted Duncan on his side which made him roll even harder on top of the blankets. With the wife walking away Duncan jumped off the bed to follow, I yelled out "Your dog is right behind you" funny how dogs, at least in my household are never yours when they get into trouble.

 

An unusual winter so far this season. After a couple of years of way to much snow and last year a winter of way to much snow and way to much cold we now are complaining about way to much rain. The Ice House Fling did happen on Saturday and on Sunday we were busy pulling houses back off the ice and on to shore. Just to much standing water from the warm weather and drizzle that has been falling. This morning with rain I am guessing a lot of people are happy their houses are back off the ice. Snow, what snow. I got up and got dressed and took Barney outside. I tend to spend time keeping an eye on him in weather like this. He is getting too old to be walking around by himself when the ground is covered in ice. The snow is all gone but in its place are wide patches of ice covering the grass, easy for Barney to lose his footing, fall and have a hard time getting back up. So the two of us took a walk around the cabin taking baby steps and trying to stay out of the rain,

 

I made sure the tarps were secure on the wood piles and checked the doors on the Jeep and Tahoe. Sooner or later all of this is going to freeze as it is not going to stay this warm. I bought a fifty pound sack of ice melt at the General Store the other day so I took advantage of the wet but not frozen sidewalk to carry the ice melt in to the cabin. I still have to go back out and bring in the big bags of dog food and cat food but that can wait till it stops raining out. Phone rang and I talked to Vic up at the Resort. He told me that the FELLOWS fired up the crane and lifted the ice houses in the bay up and put them back on shore. Might be a little problem with one of the rental shanties as when they picked it up water was coming out the door.

 

Ten days out from Christmas and I still have some shopping to do. At the Lodge names were drawn or I should say numbers as what we do is Lodge members put names in a hat in exchange for a number and then a present is bought and wrapped and placed under the tree. Last Friday the Woman's Auxiliary came in to the Lodge and decorated the place. Of course the guys have made a few additions to their decorations adding a man's touch so to speak. This is only done at the Lodge as none of the guys would dare try hanging swizzle sticks and beer coasters on their own trees at home. Forty-one degrees out, some wind but not much, and light rain falling here at lake Iwanttobethere

2014 Ice House Fling

Posted by Bobby Bass on December 13, 2014 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

AT THE LODGE here catching my breath, going to be a busy day and I figured I would just leave the laptop in the office and jot down things as they happen or when I can get away and sit down for a spell. Not the best weather for an Ice House Fling as it is in the low forties this morning and the hill is not in the best shape for shooting shanties down it. This will be the first Fling in four years as the last two years we have had just way to much snow by this time of the year and three years ago it was a lot like today but it was dry and no snow at all was on the ground. This morning we do have some snow and the ground and grass is wet and Hammering Hank and Mike from the ski hill did make some snow overnight on Thursday but you can't really tell this morning.

 

In the past there have been several stories written about the Ice House Fling but some of you may have not read them so I will give a brief background of the Fling. Just past the deck of the Lodge overlooking the ice of Lake Iwanttobethere rests several large Pine trees. A lot of people who fish the lake use the big pines as a landmark. The two biggest trees are in just the right position that we can secure a huge bungee cord that was rescued from the state fair many many years ago from a ride that didn't work out to well. By accident we found out that a shanty properly reinforced could be placed into a padded sleeve and with the help of a bulldozer the bungee could be pulled back and released sending the shanty down the hill and out onto the ice. Over the years it has become a contest to see who can get flung the farthest and win the prize package. Ten shanties are selected and launched down the hill and of course they never all go in the same place but spread out like a fan. The rest of the shanties are then dragged out onto the ice and the Lake Iwanttobethere ice town is formed.

 

An ice road is plowed and maintained to the winner's shanty and other shanty's naturally set up along the road. Already this morning there has been some jockeying of positions as the ten shanty owners are trying to figure out a game plan. We used to just randomly draw positions but this year we are going to let the shanty guys figure it out. It is coming up on eleven here and I need to get out and take my position, I am not going to be launched this year but I will be a judge so some last minute inspections need to be done along with finding out who is going to be launching in what order, I'll be back.......

 

Just a little before noon and I am hiding out in my office, some trouble on the hill as the Woman's Auxiliary has taken over the bleachers that were hauled out on the fling hill. The ladies are all sitting on the bottom two rows and some of the local teenagers are sitting on the top two rows. Neither one wants the other group there, as a Judge I was called on to make a ruling but I am hiding out here making myself unavailable. From my walk around the shanties it would appear that the shanties with wooded runners may have an advantage this year. Several houses were jacked up off the ground and guys were underneath them waxing the runners. Somehow Big Earl has his monster log cabin/store shanty going off the launch in the number four position. He never looks to win the prize, he is just looking to get his store shanty onto the ice with out having to haul it. Number three position is going to be Reed the Realtor and to him it is all about location, location, location. There goes the warning horn, five minutes to launch time so I have to get out there, I can hear the bulldozer starting up so that is a good sign, I think....

 

Well the second ambulance just left and the Fling is over. No one was hurt, we just like to have at least two ambulances around, just in case. Sun is starting to go down at least I think it is. Has been an overcast afternoon and there might even have been a little drizzle. I am in the office and my boots are off, my feet are a little damp not from the snow but from what has become a muddy Fling track. A surprise winner and I will say as a judge it was a hard decision to make. Right on the button at noon the Johnson Brothers Barley and Hopps were launched down the hill in their converted VW beetle. They had requested just a ¼ pull and they barely made it to the bottom of the hill only to slide a few paces out on to the water covered ice before coming to a stop. A loud roar from the crowd became a moan of disappointment. The brothers climbed out of the ice beetle and popped their white flare signaling that they were OK and the number two shanty was fitted into the bungee sling.

 

Nytelyter and his ice shanty/schooner were ready to be launched and the crowd was ready. The shanty has been waiting on the beach for three years as Nytelyer has been making improvements and she looked pretty in the sling. All sleek and shinny with polished chrome struts and a mast for rigging an ice sail so the rumors said. Nytelyter was not fooling around and he had called for a ¾ pull and black smoke blew into the air from the pipe as the dozer started backing up the hill. The hand was dropped and the shanty riding the bungee was released. She came off the bungee like one of then dock jumping dogs. Caught some air and rushed down the hill, dragging a rope behind her. As bad luck would have it the rope curled to the left and snagged the first bench of the bleachers, it snapped with a loud pop and some people ducked thinking it was a gunshot. It started a change of events that no one had planned for in the planing committee.

 

I had a birds eye view of the whole thing and like being in a car accident it all played out before me in slow motion. I saw the coil of rope fall off the stern of the ice shanty and trail behind like a fallen ski rope. As I raised my arm to point at the rope it swung around and wrapped around the bottom bleacher seat. Flashing through my head was the thought I had about the bleacher being anchored to the hill. The loop on the rope closed and tighten before the rope snapped like a gunshot that echoed on the hill. The ice schooner was pulled off course and the chrome runner on the right side dug in as the one on the left side went skyward. Too late for Nytelyter to change her course she heeled over hard and slid down the hill on her side. She crumbled when she hit the ice and spun twice all the way around before coming to a rest, her bow just a few feet past the bumper of the Johnson brothers VW beetle.

 

All eyes were on the schooner but mine, I saw the bleacher break lose from the hill and start sliding down the track. The teenagers on the top starting yelling and holding their hands over their heads like they were riding a roller coaster and I guess they were. The Ladies Auxiliary dressed in their goofy ski coats with their matching scarfs were also yelling, well maybe more like screaming as they rode the bleacher down the hill gaining speed. Some how the metal bleacher with the makeshift skis had the perfect balance of kids at the top and bottom heavy women on the bottom. The bleacher hit the ice and grabbed some air before landing and skipping across the water covered ice like a perfect skipping stone being tossed at sunset on a glass calm mid summer lake.

 

The bleacher came to a rest and the women of the Ladies Auxiliary put their feet back down and stood up. The crowd hooted and hollered and clapped in approval and everything after that was just anticlimactic. No one wanted to try and go pass the ladies on the ice so nothing but ¼ pulls were drawn which left everyone's shacks short. The last shanty on the hill was Burt and Bart's Barbershop and Bart being Doris brother in law and Doris being the head of the Ladies Auxiliary with drew his shanty and I being of sound mind declared the Woman's Auxiliary the winner of the 2014 Ice House Fling. The teenagers also being of sound mine or having received texts from their parents declined to share or contest the Ladies victory here at Lake Iwanttobethere.

 

With the Fling done kids rode tubes down the track out on to the ice. Fires were started in the fire rings and the Min-donut and Pretzels carts were open for business. Was actually so warm that beer sales did better then hot apple cider and chocolate combined. Mindy and Mandy were selling their Lake Iwanttobethere Rootbeer and Gus had the Lodge's BBQ going pushing out burgers and dogs as quick as he could burn them. Nytelyter schooner was righted and it was just a broken bolt which Hammering Hank just happen to have in his truck, well actually several bolts. I am back up here in the Lodge just posting about the day before calling it a day here at Lake Iwanttobethere

League Night

Posted by Bobby Bass on December 12, 2014 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

WE ARE IN an inversion I have been told by Sunshine Ray. Here at Lake Iwanttobethere we had another night of ice fog and this morning the trees and buildings look like we have been frocked. Sunshine Ray on KCUM radio was talking about how we have a warm air mass over our heads but it is being blocked by a cold air mass close to the ground. Mix in the low cloud cover and it is warmer then average for this time of the year but not as warm as it could be if the sun could get through. The FELLOWS have offered to fire up their home made built laser and cut through to the heat but the Founding Fathers said they would rather just wait it out. So from a distance the town of Lake Iwanttobethere looks like a snow globe or as seen on the evening news we look like the Emerald City in the Wizard of Oz.

 

This time of the year it is just so busy here, yesterday afternoon I attended the grand kids Christmas Program. Not a lot to report there as it went off with out a hitch, of course this year the FELLOWS were not involved in any special effects. A lot of parking as there is no snow to speak of so no snow banks to eat up parking spaces. This morning I started my day off my walking into the living room and seeing Duncan wearing his reindeer's antlers and sitting in the corner where the Christmas tree should be standing. The wife was standing in the middle of the living room checking Duncan out. I knew right away what she was hinting about and I told her I will get the tree this weekend. She looked at me and then told Duncan "OK, you can go" and Duncan shook the antlers off and trotted over to me.

 

I was late getting home last night as it was the first night of league at the Lodge. The FELLOWS have the new and improved Air Hockey table set up in the basement. This year they have added some length to the old table giving us a little more elbow room. The new table is a full eight feet long and four feet wide. It has a lot more holes drilled in the table and with the new industrial size blower it is a multipurpose table. The dasher boards are a couple of inches higher and we now have them topped with plexi- glass. This year with the bigger size table we can play three on three. We have a goalie, a d-man and a forward. Gloves are a requirement along with a face shield. I am playing in the Quarter league which is for us older, slower guys. We lost the plastic pucks a long time ago but now with the new air blower we can use quarters, nickels or even dimes as pucks. Same rules as regular air hockey except we play to a dollar, the nickel puck games can take a while but the dime games get a little out of hand as they tend to leave the ice as slap shots and hoisting of the puck is allowed.

 

Rest of today is going to be spent working on the Ice House Fling as this morning the bungee cords will be installed on the two big pines and we are going to flood the hill hoping it will get cool enough tonight to freeze. We have snow and it is slick but it could be better. Later this afternoon shanties will arrive and go through there inspection to make sure they will be safe to launch and then covered in tarps to keep prying eyes away from seeing them. Prizes are coming in and I have started the list which is pretty much the same each year. There is a raffle that goes on at the same time so you can also win some of these prizes if your number comes up. Here is part of the list.

 

From the Barber Shop a trim a week till ice out!

From Amy's Bakery a six pack of fresh donuts once a week till ice out!

From the Gulp-N-Go a fifty dollar gas card and free window wash refills till ice out!

From the Lodge a free Wild Turkey shot and a Hamms tap every Saturday night till ice out!

From handyman Hammering Hank a free ice road to the shanty ice depth permitting!

From Ma and Pa's Grocery a free pound of hand sliced bologna a week till ice out!

From Dug's Garage free ice auger tune-up and blade sharpening.

From the Sunshine Cafe free thermos of coffee twice a week till ice out!

From the Dew Drop Inn a 10% discount on any breakfast platter till ice out!

From the General Store one free propane fill a week till ice out

 

More to come… From here at Lake Iwanttobethere

Count down

Posted by Bobby Bass on December 10, 2014 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

WELL HALF RIGHT is better then half wrong I guess. Sunshine Ray has been calling for warmer weather and sunshine. The warm weather is here but no sunshine. You have pros and cons about the missing sunshine as it would be nice to have some free solar heating in the cabin and sitting out on the deck would be much more comfortable. On the other hand no sunshine means what little snow we have is not going to melt. We have just enough snow on the hill that we are good to go for the Ice House Fling on Saturday. The snow that was in the Lodge parking lot was scooped up and dumped on the hill and Mike from over at the ski hill said we could use one of his snow guns for the night if we don't get any more snow by today. Right now I think Hammering Hank and Skinny are going to get together with Mike and make some snow on Thursday night.

 

The couple of inches of snow we got the other night was put to good use as the bleachers from the softball field were moved. The FELLOWS offered to do the moving and with some fabrication they put ski's on the bleachers and used a couple of four wheelers to drag the bleachers over to the hill. The bleachers were put to rest sideways to the hill and I thought some anchors would be a wise addition but for now they are just resting there on the hill. Tiny said they would be fine after they wet the hill down to make ice. The idea being they will just freeze the bleachers in place.

 

We did borrow the sweeper from the street crew and used it to sweep all the snow up from the softball field and moved it to the track that the shanties should follow down the hill and out on to the Lake Iwanttobethere ice. With our lack of snow this season the Luge run will not be built till we get more snow so that is something we will miss. Orange barrels from the pile that the county leaves here for the winter have already been put in place and Old McDonnell has brought us two wagon loads of hay bales. There is wood in the fire rings and if we can keep the teenagers from sneaking in at night and lighting them we should have a lot of places for people to stay warm and watch the event.

 

Today the big tent is going up and Gus here at the Lodge is firing up the big BBQ for a test cook. The long range forecast is calling for a high in the middle forties for Saturday which would make it a great day to be out on the ice as long as the sun is not out so we don't get any surface melting. Here at the Lodge I didn't even have time to post the sign-up sheet for the Fling as I had ten guys waiting when I came out of the office. A couple of new faces and some interesting new shanties will be launched. Since we have not done this for a couple of seasons there is a lot of anticipation for this weekend. Still working on the prize package for the far est flung ice shanty but as usual Hammering Hank is offering to plow and maintain the ice road right up to the front door of the far est flung shanty. I should have a prize list later in the week so you can see what these guys are going to get.

 

Woman's Auxiliary is coming in Friday night to do decorations, I expect business in the Lodge to be slow while they are here. More then likely I will be down in the big tent as there is always some last minute things that need to be attended to. Does not look like any snow so no parade this year and all the shanties will have to be hauled right to the hill for inspection on Friday night. I am sure I am forgetting a lot of stuff to tell you about the Fling but I will fill you in or you can go back and look at past fling records. Time to go as I smell steak on the BBQ as we all know the best way to check any BBQ out is a good steak here at Lake Iwanttobethere

Some Snow

Posted by Bobby Bass on December 8, 2014 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

THE DRIVE INTO town this morning was pretty quiet as over night three inches of the heavy, sticky heart attack kind of snow fell. I shoveled my way out to the Tahoe as Duncan ran around making tracks in the new snow. I thought about shoveling out the parking area with the big metal push shovel but I left the shovel in its resting place. I am counting on Sunshine Ray's forecast of warming temperatures to melt the snow and save me some work. The cotton candy sticky snow clinged to everything that it fell on and with no wind it was not going anywhere. I had the window down on the truck and I could hear the crushing sound the tires make as they rolled over the snow when I backed up.

 

Ride into town was quiet even with the window down on my side and partly down on the passenger side. Duncan had just enough room to stick his head out the window and when he turned his head just right his ears flapped some. Most of my ride into town was on fresh snow and I made a double ribbon behind me in the snow. I came up on Frank the plow driver and the old grader was heading in the direction I just came from. Behind him was black pavement and the shoulder of the road now had a bank of white snow that will be dirty by mid afternoon.

 

I came to town passing the closed golf course and the soon to be open ski hill. I was thinking about turning in and talking to Mike about one of his snow making machines but now with some snow over night I will wait and inspect the hill at the Lodge first. Gas-N-Go had a few pickups idling away, there snow plows up and their headlights on. I noticed that gas went down another nickel overnight and I can only hope that it will stay down in time to be of some benefit next summer. Don't travel much in the winter so cheap gas don't mean much but summer fishing and cheap gas would have me putting in some fishing trips to lakes I have not been on in years.

 

Matter of fact since gas has gone down so much I am now putting a dollar away in my fishing jar for every gallon I buy this winter. Kind of my way of saving some gas money for this next season. I was hoping that fuel oil was going to take a nice dip and was planning on adding that to the fishing jar but when I got oil it had actually gone up from the last time I bought some, go figure. Good thing I am in pretty good shape with the wood pile but I must admit I have been a little lazy and it is a lot easier to turn the thermostat up then to go out and haul wood.

 

Drove by the General Store and Junior is working in the Christmas tree lot that they have erected next to the building. Big Earl used a mess of kennel panels and closed in part of the parking lot and then they hauled all the trees out there. This way the trees don't get dragged through the store leaving needles all over. With the purchase of a tree Junior will give the bottom of the tree a fresh cut and tuck the tree in one of them mesh bags that protects the tree from breaking its branches and makes it easier to move. Junior is standing by the gate leaning on his big Swede saw wearing his Santa cap while he sucks on a red and white candy cane.

 

A couple of weeks out from Christmas and the snow could not have come at a much better time. Just does not seem like Christmas unless you are wearing boots and clomping along sidewalks with fresh snow on them. Christmas trees look much better tied to the roofs of SUV's with a little snow on top of them. Store fronts have blinking lights and hand painted winter scenes on the windows and now we have small snow piles and soft Christmas music from outside speakers to pull it all together. Now if only the snow will stay around till Saturday and the Ice House Fling here at Lake Iwanttobethere

Fling Countdown

Posted by Bobby Bass on December 5, 2014 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

BEEN A BUSY week here at the Lodge on the shores of Lake Iwanttobethere in Fish County. I am back working as the manager of the Lodge and suddenly my days seem to not have enough hours in them. My office is cleaned out as Gus was using it as an extra store room and no longer does the couch hold boxes of pasta and big cans of vegetables. There were a few things left on one end but Duncan knocked them on the floor as it is his preferred end of the couch to sleep on. Already December fifth and the Ice House Fling is next weekend. Have been working with others on the Fling committee to get the last minute things all in place. Sunshine Ray was here this afternoon trying to eat his grilled cheese sandwich and eat his grouse noodle soup while being grilled about the warm spell he is forecasting for the next two weeks. As I write this it is sunny and thirty-seven degrees out in the shade.

 

We have good ice on Lake Iwanttobethere and guys in the know have been hitting the crappie and a few walleyes are also finding there way into white buckets. From the deck here at the Lodge you can look out over the lake and see a few shanties are already out but none in the projected path of the Fling. Vicki down at the MasterBaiters Shop has been doing a brisk business as minnows are hot right now and she is getting a lot of Christmas shoppers to. I am waiting on a call from Mike over at the ski hill about borrowing one of his snow making machines. We hardly have any snow on the ground here and we are going to have to make some or truck some snow in from the other side of the lake for the hill.

 

Hammering Hank and Skinny hauled the Fling test log out of storage and launched it the other day. Didn't really have to as guys were out fishing on the ice but it is kind of a ceremonial thing to check the ice that way. I am not the only one busy as Hammering Hank and Skinny have the skating rink flooded and today they are going to color the lines in. Picnic tables have been set in place as there is no snow to worry about moving. Even the fire rings are all clear and for the first time in a long time we should be able to drag the bleachers from the softball field over to the launch hill, some lucky people will get a great view from them.

 

This morning I took advantage of the warm weather and went to the car wash. I had to wait my turn but it was time well spent as I cleaned out the inside of the Tahoe. With the Tahoe white again I decided I would get my last haircut of the year and drove over to Burt and Bart's Barbershop. I made my way in and hung my coat on the tree and exchanged HIYA's with the guys sitting along the wall on the old chrome four legged chairs with the tattered leather seats. I found a chair right next to the battered oak table which held the reading material to kill time with. I was just getting into an article about city living in the Indoor Life magazine when Bart called out my name and looking up I saw him patting the back of the barber chair. Sitting in the barber chair is somewhat like sitting in the witness chair at a trial. No sooner was the cape swirled around my neck then the questions started coming from the guys sitting in the chairs, and of course you have to answer, all of them

 

 

I made my way to the Tahoe leaving the Barbershop behind me and I felt like I did when I was a kid after going to confession. I had to adjust the hat on my head as Bart took a lot of hair off and the hat felt loose. Bart had offered to trim my beard and I asked him if the wife had called ahead, Bart quickly changed the subject to hockey. I drove back to the Lodge with the window down and my gloves off, it was actually nice being able to drive that way in the first week of December. A few more things to do at the Lodge and I think I am going to take the rest of the afternoon off and maybe Duncan and I will do a little bird hunting, er I mean Christmas tree hunting here at Lake Iwanttobethere

Clean Miss

Posted by Bobby Bass on November 30, 2014 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

A CLEAN MISS I thought as I watched the grouse dip around a pine and not reappear on the other side. On Saturday afternoon it got warm enough for snow to melt on the roof of the cabin and the water dripped off to splatter on the wood deck. I had things I could be doing outside but Duncan looked at me and I looked at him and we shared the same idea at the same time, a walk in the woods. I open the gun cabinet up and had to make a choice between the double or the single, I pulled out the single and a box of number six's. Twenty minutes later and I pulled the Tahoe off to the side of the road and Duncan was out the door right behind me. I open the back door and took the shotgun out of the case and slipped on my vest over my coat. The bright red collar with the bell went on around Duncan's neck and no sooner did I slam the truck door close and Duncan was heading for the trail that went down to the old Christmas tree farm.

 

When I left the cabin the red needle on the bass thermometer was resting at thirty-six and there was hardly any wind. Sun was high in the sky but I am guessing at that. There was a glow where I figured it should be as I followed Duncan down the trail. I told the wife I was going out to look for a Christmas tree and she just waved at me and said OK. She was sitting at the kitchen table with her notebook out and lists of gifts and a pencil busy making check marks and small notations behind names. Just a few inches of snow and walking was easy, much better then the deep snow of last season when my neighbor Chuck and I had harvested trees. Of course on this day I was just looking, I will come back in a few weeks more then likely with Chuck and his pickup truck.

 

 

Just about when I was comfortable with my hat on just right and shotgun shells spread in my pockets so they would not rattle the first bird thundered out from the bottom of a scrub pine tree. The bird stayed low and I shot high. My excuse was I was not ready and even Duncan was caught by surprise as he jumped up trying to see where the bird flew off to. I spoke a few words of encouragement to Duncan and broke the shotgun open and caught the ejected shell as it flew up in the air. Old shell went into my pocket and a new number six was dropped in its place. Duncan patiently watched and waited for me to get my act together and finally I told him to "Hunt em up" Head down Duncan headed down the trail and this time I noticed he was giving the little trees a little more attention. This time of bird season we were all alone. Don't see to many bird hunters out in the woods after deer season.

 

Thirty-seven degrees on this day felt warm and soon we were off the trail and weaving our way through pines that were bare of snow but full of scent. Duncan was a few trees ahead of me when I heard a bird get up but never saw it. Duncan came back to me with his tail wagging looking back over his shoulder. I asked him if it was a bird and he barked once and turned back in the direction that I think the bird flew off to. I told him again to "Hunt em up" and we walked in the direction of the bird, I think. A few minutes later we came to the edge of the tree farm and in front of us towered blue spruce and a couple of naked maples. We turned and walked along the end of the tree farm as in the past I have found birds along the edge sunning themselves but not today.

 

 

We made our way back through the tree farm and I spotted a few trees that might be candidates for this year's tree. We did cross the path of one more bird and he is still flying today. Bird blew out of a pine tree right above my head and he had me corkscrewed into the snow before I could get a shot off that didn't have a chance. I did hit the top of a tree and had to duck my head as a shower of needles fell around me. Duncan looked at me and where the top of the tree was and where the bird flew and just kind of gave me a snort/bark shake of his head and flapped his ears at me. I think he learned it from Bud, it passes as a dog laugh here at Lake Iwanttobethere


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