POINT A TO POINT B
by: Eddie Trapp
Water in the rivers is getting warm enough to have enjoyable float trips. Having a nice day or two on the water does sometimes get a little complicated. If you are going from point A to point B there is the problem of getting back to the starting point. Do you leave your rig at the start then figure out some way to go get it? Do you have somebody drop you off then meet you at the finish line? Should you just launch, play up and down the river, and then go home from where you started? Seems like if you don’t start at one place and end up at another you lose a lot of the Tom Sawyer type thrill. These are just a few of the things to consider when having fun on a river.
Many times I have gone from point A to point B then had to hitchhike back to the start to get my vehicle. That is a little dangerous these days but I still trust that most people are honest. Some of my family asks how do I know the one picking me up doesn’t have a gun. I answer with, “How do they know I don’t have a gun?” If you do decide to hitchhike back to the start, carry a paddle with you. Most people traveling regularly near rivers know about floaters and understand what the paddle represents. To make it clearer wear a life jacket if not too warm. That really should make them get the hint. Another hitchhiking trick is to carry a small gas can with you. That really increases your chances of getting a ride but the helpful person may get mad if you tell them the truth. You can also enhance your chances by standing just past a broken down car on the side of the road if you happen upon one. You may or may not wish to tell them the “rest of the story” if you get picked up.
In article 1224 I told about Dean Houchins and me floating to the Highway 37 Bridge north of Hagansport then having to walk three miles after dark to get to a telephone to call Jean. Got home at 1:30 a.m. That was one of those point A to point B trips. We left our canoe and a boat we rescued under the bridge so I got up at 6:30 the next morning to go get them. Let’s go back to 1985 and get that canoe and boat.
Tuesday, May 28. Up at 6:30 and started to Charleston on my Honda 250 dirt bike. My pickup was at Bluff Bank where Dean and I started our float yesterday. Ran out of gas in front of Scotty Calvin’s house. Got a ride to the Charleston cutoff then walked to Post Oak Creek on 895. Caught a ride with Cole Chessher who had driven a milk truck to Tulsa and was on his way home. Stopped at Dean’s, got in his pickup, and drove it to Bluff Bank. Got my pickup, went back home, hooked up trailer, and to Hagansport. Got canoe, boat, and Dean’s gun we had hidden in the grass. Pete McKnight from Cunningham stopped by and we talked about me floating rivers. Home about 11:00.
Saturday, June 1, 1985. Bret, Dean, and I went to Bluff Bank to grabble about 10:00 and checked several hollow logs with our hands but no luck. Still a little early I guess. On down to the Templeton pecan orchard where we checked a few more logs. I felt a catfish and knew immediately it was a male channel with is head and lips all swollen up like they do in spring. (Note: Area fishermen at that time called male channels “blues.” With their big heads and lips they looked like another species. Only after Cooper Lake was stocked with real blue catfish was the truth accepted.) They can bite harder than the flatheads, or aps, and are a lot more aggressive also. This one was only an eight pounder but he tried to eat me up. Nearly broke my thumb with his strong jaws. Finally got him.
About 2:00 p.m. we decided against previous plans of camping at Pat Mayse so I helped Larry cut a tree at far end of West Waco in Cooper. Sheriff L.C. Talley came by with his loudspeaker advertising the fire department’s barbecue. “If you’re hungry don’t make Mama cook tonight. Go to the civic center and support your local far department.”
Sunday, June 2, 1985. Ben Runyan from Plano called about his horse I was breaking and it was ready so he came to get it. Dinner at Papa’s. Somebody got a new dryer. Carol made a playhouse out of the big cardboard box it came in for the kids. Nephews Ryan and Clint were inside it eating dinner. Larry put his mouth down to a big crack in one upper corner and started making scary noises. Clint jabbed him in the mouth with his fork. Bret, Greg, and I went to Charleston where we dug worms and seined crawfish. To Red River northwest of Chicota where we caught channel catfish and a Mississippi map turtle. More later.
Lake Fork is famous for big bass but at a recent carp and buffalo fishing tournament, whoppers other than bass were caught. Austin Anderson set a world record in his junior male division by catching a 50 pound, 6 ounce smallmouth buffalo. Bogdan Bucur caught a 66 pound smallmouth buffalo which was a Lake Fork record. Paul Dinea caught a 35 pound lake record common carp. All fish were released back into the lake.
Bright Venus will continue to dominate the western sky each night during May but will be moving around to morning star by the end of the month. May 7 Antares, the orange “heart” of Scorpio is to the left of the Moon at dawn.
A steel worker was a hard core optimist. One day he fell from fifty stories. As he passed each floor you could hear him say, “So far so good.”