I didn't think I'd make it down the narrow, twisting and very bumpy forest two-track that led to my current camping spot in the middle of a marsh on the edge of Rush Lake, a compact little frown-shaped lake a mile or so south of Lake Huron at the tip of the Michigan thumb.
I'm surrounded by state land and cattails, a half dozen yards from where my buddy Jay launched our duck boat.
Jay and I have been coming up here to hunt ducks and geese for years. Usually, we stay in a motel in Caseville, the nearest town to the west. Jay, in fact, in in a room there now as I write this. I offered him a bunk with me in the Roadtrek but he declined. He likes the marsh, just not sleeping in it. Go figure.
But I'm in the marsh, and I like sleeping in it just fine in my Roadtrek eTrek. All the comforts of home in the middle of nowhere. It's the first time I've camped here and, for a while, I didn't think the Roadtrek would be able to get to this spot because of the so called road that dead ends here. I had to drive very slow and hug the edges of the road. No Class C could do it. And certainly no Class A RV.
But the eTrek did and as I write this post, I'm surrounded by a darkness that, unless you've spent time in a big marsh after sundown, you won't fully be able to appreciate. Trust me when I say it is really, really dark out there.
Rain is coming. Perhaps overnight but predicted for sure by mid-morning. By then, we'll have motored across the lake to our duck blind, where we'll be trying to stay dry.
But during our afternoon hunt yesterday, it was just overcast. We saw hundreds of ducks and lots of geese. We didn't fire a shot. And that's okay. I now shoot more photos than ducks. Jay cleans, cooks and eats what we shoot. I don't like to eat wild duck, ever since I nearly cracked a tooth on a shotgun pellet a few years back.
I come duck hunting because, well, I like watching the sun rise in a marsh. And set, too. And in between, I love to watch the cattails blow in the breeze, the muskrat ripple the water in long slow wakes, the waterfowl whirl and twirl as they set their wings to land in our decoys. One year, we watched a deer swim across the lake, emerging just a few dozen yards from our blind.
And when it rains and the wind blows, the ducks fly. So the predicted downpour may be uncomfortable for us. But its just ducky for the ducks.
When we return home from our duck hunting trips, Jennifer always asks”what did you and Jay talk about?”
I always answer the same. “Nothing.”
She always shakes her head. “How can two people sit shoulder to shoulder in a duck blind all day long and not talk about anything?”
I don't know. One time, Jay and I did talk about that. He told me his wife, Julie, asks him the same question. We were both puzzled by what they wanted to know.
We don't “talk.” We hunt together. I watch one way, he watches the other. “Two o'clock,” I'll say. “A small flock of mallards headed our way.”
Jay will offer a left-handed version of that when appropriate. “Teal. Three o'clock,” he'll say.
If we do shoot, we might say “nice shot,”when a duck falls, or “missed that one” when I fire but the duck doesn't fall. I confess: That kind of talk of gets on my nerves. I mean, I know I missed.
But the point is, we just enjoy the outdoors and each others company.
Last night, after we went into town for dinner, Jay dropped me back at the Roadtrek in the marsh. As I write, I have the Webosto heater cranked on. I have a strong 4G Verizon signal and am running my own Wi-Fi network as I updating this blog and answer questions on the forum. I was going to watch a movie on the DVD. But I decided instead to go to bed early as we're planning to be back in the blind by first light.
I love being totally self-contained like this, with plenty of power, plenty of heat and… in the middle of a very dark marsh where the only home is my motorhome.
Boondocking here in my Roadtrek has made this year's duck hunting trip even more fun.
Hey, maybe I'll talk about that with Jay in the duck blind.