Ramble with Storm: 2 days, 600 miles, mostly smiles

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Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family’s mixed Lab.

As usual, as I pulled on the first layer (my Starved Rock Resort vest), the meathead went into his usual start to our morning routine: barking furiously and racing around.

He knew what was coming.

I knew what was coming.

It’s good to slip back into a routine, the routine of our morning walk of a mile and a half or so.

Dawn is coming much earlier. My head must have been up my butt the last week. I hadn’t noticed. It’s light again by the time the meathead and I wandered off.

The weekend was a torrid race that piled up more than 600 miles on our Saturn. So busy that I haven’t had time to sort out things. So busy I power-napped in the parking lot of the McDonald’s at the Chenoa I-55 exit Saturday afternoon.

First the Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic Saturday afternoon in Peoria. I could have spent a day there. Too much stuff. So packed it was hard to get around inside the Peoria Civic Center.

That’s a show with products and deer porn, walls and walls of big racks.

Snapshot: A little girl in pink, sitting on her dad’s shoulders to avoid the crows, reached out to touch the racks.

Then back home to grab my wife, gussy up for the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame banquet and off to Drury Lane. Till we got home it was close to midnight.

I need to sort through everything on that.

Snapshot: Ed Mullady’s knee tricking on him as he started to climb on the stage, so his guide son Matt and IDNR director Marc Miller helped him.

And to the credit of the crowd, he got a small standing O.

Some other time I need to straighten things out in my head about all that was said there.

Then Sunday, the long back drive out to Spring Valley for the MWC tournament. Almost didn’t go. The MWC doesn’t have prestige it did back in the days when it drew 225 teams to fish sauger on the Illinois River.

But it was an event again this year because the sauger fishery is just blowing up big time. I was glad I was there.

Snapshot: Biologist Ken Clodfelter showing fish to fascinated spectators as the biologists and fish techs sorted fish for release or the hatchery.

Even the drive home, much later than expected because everybody weighed fish, added moments to a packed weekend with setting sun pouring orange light in my back window.

This morning, only one pair of mallards flew off as Storm and I neared the town pond.

The last few mornings the ditch behind has had shell ice on it. This morning, there were patches on the ditch with true-blue ice.

It was 21 overnight according to my high-low thermometer, not much warmer when we got back.

After throwing a scoop of dry dog food in his dish, then shucking my layers of coats, I settled into the wooden chair in front of the computer.

Back at it.

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