"Fly fishing is my passion, hunting is my weakness, and mules are a perplexing addiction."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Now Where Did He Get That Silly Notion?

Ed Goosecock is a city boy.  In Ed's world, hamburger comes from McDonald's, Potatoes are made at the supermarket, and everything else a person ever needs is at a Walmart.  Unless Ed is fast asleep, he almost always has one of those fancy Rasberry III HD, 3-D, DDT cellphones in his hand.  If Ed isn't talking, texting, or checking his e-mail on his marvel of technology, he's downloading, uploading, or Twittering on it.  I'm not sure I've ever seen Ed's left ear.

Ed has never ridden a horse.  In fact, he's never so much as climbed atop a twenty-five cent drugstore pony ride. The closest he's ever been to to a real horse was sitting behind a barrel of popcorn at the movies when he took the family to see Tombstone, so you can imagine Ed's trepidation in coming along on a pack trip with Ladd Stokes and I.

Ed will be going with us for eight days.  We leave on Sunday.  It will be a week of firsts for the suburbanite from El Monte. This is his first pack trip, and not only will it be the first time in his life he has parked his fanny on a slab of leather in the form of a saddle, but that saddle will be on the back of an honest-to-goodness anvil-headed,doodle-donkey.  Ed is scared to death.  Actually, he is terrified; and he should be!

I have decided to put Ed atop Zane Grey. Not because Zane is my most trusted and seasoned mule.  Not because he is bomb-proof.   And not because Zane has the footing of a sherpa, is as safe as baby aspirin, and could care less who's driving.  No, I have decided to mount Ed atop Zane because Edward Goosecock is under the strange impression that the trip we are to embark upon is thirty-six miles over some of the most challenging, dangerous, and precarious trail ever crossed by man or beast, and that we should reach camp sometime around midnight if we can get on the trail by sun-up.  It is also Ed's belief that Zane Grey is frightened of chipmunks, and will buck, spin on a dime, and run the other way at the mere sight of one, but that he shouldn't worry; there hasn't been a sighting of a chipmunk in the southern Sierra's since 1938; the year before they became extinct.

 I'm not entirely sure where Ed got these crazy notions, especially the one about not looking a mule directly in the eye because it makes them furious, and how they will charge and stomp a person to death who dares to make eye contact, but I think that at least until we reach Kern Flat and get our deer camp set up, a vivid imagination is a healthy thing to have.

At any rate, I certainly hope Ed wears plenty of his wife's perfume, and knows all the words to "She'll Be Comin' Around The Mountain".  For some strange reason he is convinced they help to calm the disposition of nervous mules on a long, dangerous trail ride!

1 comment:

  1. Mules and eye contact, just don't do it!!! lol