After spending a couple of weeks in Canada this October, I can honestly say it’s the little things that make a hunting trip memorable. Why? Well, sometimes hunts don’t always go the way you hoped they would. For instance, in Alberta we didn’t even see a moose despite the noble efforts of our hosts. And I felt sorry for North American Hunting Club contest winner Gerald Hedman who fell ill on his recent quest for a woodland caribou while hunting with Wayne Holloway, owner of Pine Ridge Lodge. My attempt to tag a Canada moose during the remaining hours of the hunt was equally as challenging as we battled Mother Nature who was throwing everything at us but frying pans. Howling winds and barrage after barrage of rain hampered our attempts to tag a bull. Nevertheless, it’s the little things that count.
In Alberta it had to be the humor that made the trip memorable. If you read my earlier blog on NASCAR’s Clint Bowyer and the tales he spun about the racing circuit, you probably wished you had also been in the wall tent with us. In Newfoundland we also had our share of joking, stories and discussions around the camp stove, but I have to admit the meals were the most memorable.
Our camp chef Gerard constantly WOWED us with dinner entrees that were more suited for a fine restaurant than a log cabin lodge. His moose stew was worth the price of admission alone, but then when he settled a plate full of marinated salmon and steamed asparagus before me I had to smack myself to make sure I was deep in the Newfoundland bush. Gerard was also a master at preparing sandwiches and sweet tooth confections for our noonday breaks. Sandwiches always taste great after a long morning of slogging through the wetlands, but these were especially taste-bud tempting.
The true treat came at the beginning of every lunch hour though. Wayne and guide Kirk Holden would fetch water, start a fire and boil a kettle to make tea. I have to admit I’ve never been much of a tea drinker, but I am now. Steaming tea with a spoonful of sugar made the relentless rains and slamming boat rides back to camp much more tolerable. I prayed for a break in the horrible weather pattern that engulfed us, but even the torrents of weather couldn’t stop me from having a great time in Newfoundland. I’m already planning a return.