I think the thumb up says it all: July 4, 2014 was more memorable than most others. Anytime you find Hank Williams Jr. floating in a lake, you know its special.
Ok, it wasn’t Hank – it was my former college roommate Jordan.
The Fourth of July is a time for families, friends and complete strangers to come together and celebrate America’s independence.
Last year’s fourth brought the trials and tribulations of building a deck from top to bottom. Quite a task for a set of greenhorns. As a side note, we started working on the railings on July 5, 2014 and we crushed it!
Back to the matter at hand, the Fourth of July.
We decided a couple of months beforehand to make a fishing expedition to the Audubon Society’s Edward M. Brigham III Sanctuary in Spiritwood, N.D., roughly 22,000 acres of land managed by one of my other former roommates, Marshall.
We, Marshall, Jordan and his wife Katie, stayed in the caretakers house, Fred and Carol, the night prior and began the next day at 4:30 a.m. We packed most everything prior to the mosquito invasion the night before and set out on the adventure running on danish and ham.
Before long, we turned to Hamms… As a means of desperation to pass the time.
She, who shall not be named because she does not have one. Marshall bought this boat a few weeks prior to our trip.
Probably around 5:20 a.m., about 20 minutes prior to sunrise on Alkali lake. We were to be the first boat on the lake in close to five years according to Marshall. Katie and Marshall riding in the cabin while Jordan and watched the kayak, which Jordan was to ride as the boat had a maximum capacity of three people.
We parked and landed the boat on a narrow inlet between the lake and a small pool to the East, towards the sunrise. The lake was home to a squadron of pelicans, with a few seen here.
Marshall easing her down into the lake.
All together now!
So now that the boat was landed, the next matter was to move the truck. However, sitting in the middle of the road, she just wouldn’t kick over so we needed to have Fred jump start it so we could move it – delaying our start time on the lake.
Logic dictated to start drinking, not a lot, but just enough.
“It’s times like these, you learn to live again. It’s times like these you give and give again. It’s times like these, you learn to love again. It’s times like these, time and time again.” — Dave Grohl
While we tried to get the truck started, Katie walked off to take some photos. Clearly this was a winner.
While Fred, a 25-year Army veteran who served in Korea and Vietnam, was getting our truck started…
Marshall was getting ready to set sail and get the boat started.
Fred had to do that for us too.
But once we were out to sea, we were out. We went out, probably an hour after sunrise – still early enough for the walleye to succumb to our wrath.
The captain’s first shot at the helm.
While we searched for our spot, we took Jordan’s fishing pole so he could paddle out to us.
We may have the gift of foresight. As he rocked back and forth paddling, the kayak slowly began to take on water. So he eventually tipped himself out.
After minutes of trying to get the water out, while we casted and reeled, we decided to tow Jordan to shore from the middle of the lake.
Not pictured was the moment we tried to put Jordan into the boat to start our fishing. While we all four stood afloat in the boat, the minute we began to back out from shore and back into the middle of the lake, we took on water – a healthy sip in fact. Marshall immediately shouted “OH HELL NO! NO NO NO NO NO”
Jordan promptly jumped out of the boat and began fishing from shore. Of course he had to start from the water, because, “A River Runs Through It”. (inside joke – wink wink Katie and Marshall)
Of course we got back to business after dropping Jordan ashore. Some had better luck than most. I’m not naming names or anything. That being said, I did have a confirmed bite with the worm bitten in half.
If you’ve never seen a pelican soar above you, the wingspan is quite impressive. About five feet in length.
We wrapped up at about 9:45 a.m. and headed back to the cabin, where Carol cooked us an amazing breakfast. A fabulous egg bake and homemade carmel rolls – so good in fact, we got the “Itis” and crashed for about two hours.
While Katie and Jordan could have slept forever, they were unable to as a bird popped into the basement window and couldn’t get out. The Executive Director rescued said bird and set it free.
Before we headed back to Fargo, we needed a group selfie to capture the trip.
As well as one of “The Think Tank”.
Of course the trip home had its share of adventure as well – the kayak wasn’t tied tight enough as it bent rack.
Needless to say, we needed to tidy up a bit.
After unpacking the car and getting some food, we went to Moorhead State for Fargo’s firework show.
Not without controversy though – a thunderstorm and some rain came our way and we had to wait it out for about 20 minutes inside.
At 10:30 p.m., the show began.
20 minutes later we had the finale.
They were real, and they were spectacular.
The tradition of a Fargo Fourth never gets old. There’s always a new adventure and it never gets stale.
Here’s to many more and beyond.