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Ramble without Storm: Coffee pot & fishing trip rituals

COOK, Minn.–Mulling things on my morning ramble (in this case without Storm, the family’s mixed Lab.)

When I start the coffee pot, I want coffee.

Which means as soon as there is about a cup or two brewed, I pull the pot out and pour myself a cup.

For some, this is like swearing in church. Just something you don’t do.

Thinking of that as I woke up in a strange place this morning at my usual 5 a.m. in utter darkness.

Quite disorienting. Until I remembered I was fishing the Gil Hamm Memorial Chapter Challunge on Lake Vermilion. And I was in a back bedroom at Spring Bay Resort.

I finally figured it had to be time to get up. And it was 5:20 or something. So began setting up the rituals for myself for the week.

Up and started the coffee. And waited for sunrise to come, or at least the easing of the darkness before I rambled off down the road to meet the day. This far north, this time of year, dawn comes later and dusk earlier than back home.

I need rituals, not just on fishing trips, but in life.

On fishing trips, especially longer ones like this, rituals set up easily.

Last night, guys told stories of what they saw or did that first day. There was sharpening of hooks on muskie lures. Settling of tackle boxes.

Some eating. This is not a drinking bunch. I have a 12-pack of Leinenkugel Red along for the week and only had one last night. I was bushed and in bed by 9:30.

This morning I stretched it out on a cold gray morning. Tomorrow morning is supposed to be in the 20s. But it was cold enough this morning with the north wind that I needed my camo hunting jacket and black stocking cap.

Two ravens, at least I think they were ravens from their calls, landed in the top of a bare tree as I neared the crest of the hill above our cabin. I will need to check if this part of Minnesota has ravens.

It certainly has crows. Crows will become part of my morning ramble this week the same way that mourning doves or Canada geese are back home.

I found good cell phone coverage for Verison at the top of the hill. That is an essential part of a trip into the woods, water or wilds.

A deer crashed off, coming and going up the hill. But I could not find it. At least I assume it was a deer and not a moose. Not that is something I do not see on my rambles at home.

A great blue heron flapped off from the docks around the boat launch as I circled back to explore further down the road the other way.

Mallards quacked out on the bay. I found the general store–Moosebirds.

And the landing, the restaurant just down the road. There is another launch there, too.

Fishermen are welcomed. I bet they are. There is a lot of money on fishing trip getaways.

Feels like a morning for good muskie fishing. We shall see.

As I neared the end of the loop, what will become my morning ramble for the week, two mallard hens waddled around the boat launch. Two gulls wheeled out over the bay.

May we establish a ritual of raising or catching muskies every day.