Updated: Apr 15, 2019
Nevermind that we took a two hour detour on what was already a twelve hour drive. It beat driving through the armpit of the midwest (Kansas that is), and I had read on the always reliable internet that there may be a spot in Nebraska that would serve as a place to stretch our legs from the long ride as well as wet a fly while we were at it. As it turned out, the "pit stop" not only added two hours of drive time, but also left us sleep deprived, fishless, and windburned as hell. Needless to say, when we hit the road again we were more than a little anxious to get to our final destination.
Through the excitement of watching the highway signs countdown the miles between us and a trout stream, we realized we had forgotten to buy our fishing licenses. As it turns out, it’s easier to find a transvestite in Colorado than it is an out of state fishing license. After turning the truck around twice, on less than perfect mountain roads, we finally spotted a “convenience store” with a sign in the window announcing they could provide us with the legal documentation we were so eagerly seeking. What their sign failed to mention was that the slowest, one finger keyboard pecking brainiac, was manning the license machine. After 30 minutes of waiting on Captain Speedy to figure out the computer (you would have sworn he’d never seen one before), we got out of there and avoided getting our faces beat in for being such smart asses.
After parking the truck and putting our gear on faster than we thought was humanly possible, we were finally able to make our first casts. Needless to say, we were excited. So much so that one of us (I won’t say which one), found himself getting out of his waders almost as fast as he had gotten in them and making a beeline for the trees. It was a prime example of why the top 8 rules of life must be followed. Specifically, the rule of “One must always keep an emergency stash of toilet paper with them while enjoying the great outdoors”.
We fished until dark that evening despite the sleepless/foodless cloud that had been hanging over us since crossing the state line. After a 45 minute drive, we arrived in the town we would be sleeping in for the night. After taking instructions from the front desk staff as to how to get to our room, our immediate question was where can we find food? She mentioned that almost everything was closed, but we might try the bar that was just down the street. At that point, it didn’t matter if we had to eat liver and onions, we were hungry.
Pulling up to the only place in town that was supposed to be open, we saw that the lights inside were off. Out of what can only be described as desperation, we went ahead and tried the doors. Locked. No shit, hence why the lights were off.
Gas station to gas station we went. Until finally, we found one with the lights still on inside. Like Moses watching the Red Sea part, we jumped out of the truck and sprinted toward the promised land. I know one way to piss off a hungry person: Look up at them while counting down the cash register and then look back down as they try to tear down a locked door. Hangry does not begin to describe my emotional state at that time.
While yelling words and phrases I hope my children never hear or say, it happened. Across the road was a gas station. Lights on inside, check. People walking around inside, double check. Columbus couldn’t have been happier to see land than we were to see that Sinclair’s gas station.
The angel working there ended up letting us have all the pizza and chicken wings that were going to be thrown out in 5 minutes when they closed (don’t judge, we were hungry ok). The next 30 minutes were the quietest of the entire trip. Between stuffing our mouths with that nutritious meal, the only sounds that could be heard were the ummms and hell yeahs.
We may not have caught many fish that day, and we may have said choice words that would have caused our mother to put hot sauce on our tongues, but hey, we had gotten there.