In the picture above we all have on our hiking gear and this is probably a shot just before locking the car and beginning the hike, when we thought we were really going to go hiking. All the shirts so nice and clean, the boots, sunglasses, camera, rain gear, socks and sock liners that wick…yes all set to go. I became a master at taking group pictures. I had this little black tripod with a Velcro strap that could be put on a rock or attached to a tree to get the perfect perspective. Another funny thing about some of our group pictures. I would have everybody do something than just smile or stare into the camera. I got the idea for a “professional shot” from a photographer who took some pictures for me for the team pictures of a Soccer Club I was president of at the time. He would have the kids toss a ball or look in different directions than just the camera. So I took this idea out west and some of my group pictures were hilarious. People smiling in different directions, pointing in different directions, some smiling some not. It was a funny thing but as you see above it is a bit different from just a boring face to the front. In this case we added on person in the van and two members are not looking into the camera. I have thousands of pictures of all the trips, maybe 15 or so for me.
Anyway back to the trip. As you remember the group has decided to return to the van and camp there and regroup as to our plan for the week. We were in Oregon and we were on a beautiful river and the camaraderie…all of that was intact, ” a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.” Back at the van we set up a camp beside the river, in looking back I don’t if it was legal or not…it was parking area that we then took a path to the river and made a campsite. After years of doing this we could camp anywhere. We had our own water and hygiene stuff and ever a water filter, fuel, stoves, tents and on and on..since we usually were out about a week away from anything we had it all. But now that we had “wheels” it was immediately suggested that someone make a beer run and some wine.Around the campfire, again probably not legal, we considered our options. The following are some of the things we did over the course of the week which was totally not what we had planned to do…we officially became “car campers” something we all had been making fun of others for doing. We thought we were better than that. We were not.
- Well we go to a fly fishing shop and ask about things we could do. The first thing that came up was to go to a natural hot tube on top of a mountain about 5 miles from where we were. For some reason we felt we should go at night and after eating at the campsite. So we all get our headlamps, pile into the van and go to this place. We park and in pitch darkness and all with beer in hand and headlamps glaring stumble along to find the trail which progresses up the side of a mountain. We walk along really not knowing if this was the place or not and the trail being on the side of a mountain and it was dark it became a bit precarious. We did find the thing. I was a natural hot water spring hole in the ground. Whether this was a local thing or a state park thing I don’t know. Someone put a wood fence around it and it was very rustic. I mean a hot water hole in the ground about 5×5 feet in size and just there. So we get there and strip to underwear and all get in it. I mean it was okay. We were already hot from the trek up the mountain and it was dark as hell and I’m thinking again, ” Is this what I signed up for.” As usual I set up my camera for a group shot and it is not a pretty site when I get the pictures back. A bunch old men in hole of water and wood fence behind…it was a bit weird. So here’s the funny thing about that picture. I mean it tells story of that night and a bit about that trip but it could be taken wrong by someone just looking at it and not knowing the people in it. Go forward about 15 years. My son Sam is staying in our lake cabin on Lake Lanier with a band member for about a year finishing up an album they are doing. At the cabin along on wall are pictures that represent each of the trips I have been on. There are about 15 of them from all over. One of them was the now infamous “hot tube picture” from the Umpqua trip. So anyway when Sam and his buddy leave to go to New York to be a “almost starving artist”, (I represent the almost) Penelope and I reclaim the cabin. When he was out there we’d go to the river. When he left we went to the cabin because it is closer. I begin to organize the cabin and note that one of the pictures is missing from the wall. At first I don’t know which one only that there is a space where one of them was. I did not think much of it when I first noticed it but after a few weeks of “organizing” I find the hot tub picture in a drawer. It then dawns on me that Sam had taken it down and hid it out of sight. I have not asked him about it but I bet that it made him uncomfortable or that visitors to the cabin would be looking at all his dad’s pictures and then the inevitable question, ” What in the hell is this one about.” Enough was enough…he took it down and hid it. Tired of explaining it and tired of those near naked old guys in a natural hot tub staring down at him. To his defense when I initially showed it to my wife she said it gave her the ,”Hibbie jebbies.”
To be continued…