Tuesday was Deer Day here in Michigan, a legit day off of school for kids, and sort of like Christmas Morning for gun loving, blood thirsty, meat eating adults across the state. Actually I take that back, it is indeed like Christmas Morning for many, but the rest of that made it sound like I have an issue with hunting and hunters when in fact I don’t. I have an issue with me hunting, but not with the act itself. I’ve never fired a gun or launched and arrow in my 45+ years, but I’m pretty, sort of, kinda sure I could kill an animal, cook, and eat it. It’s the everything in between (guts and stuff) that I couldn’t do. I will happily eat any venison that any of my friends want to give me though, especially summer sausage or jerky!
Hunting here in Michigan is a bit different from the hunting I grew up seeing in Pennsylvania. Here it’s tree stands and blinds, most of which look like the guard towers from the show Hogan’s Heroes, except way crapper and made from cobbled together wood and leftover siding. Or as my friend Chris from out in rural Minnesota described them “guard towers at shitty prisons.” Back in PA we didn’t have the flat open land, so it was tree stands for archery and everything else was lugging your ass through the woods or up and down mountains looking for a deer, trying not to have a heart attack. The lugging myself up and down mountains parts really appealed to me, but instead of buying a gun I bought a bike, and these days I continue to be more inclinded to shooting a deer with my camera than a gun.
I truthfully don’t know where all that was supposed to be going, but I think it was my long-winded way of saying that on Deer Day, I did not ride. Especially once I saw a friend of mine, who lives on a dirt road south of town, post on Facebook that due to the amount of gunshots she was hearing she was forgoing her morning run. Seemed legit, so I headed down to the basement to start Day 2 of my attempted return to treadmill running and weight training.
I seem to attempt this every fall and winter, and eventually I quit because I’m crap at running, riding seems more appealing, and…well… lifting weights. All that happens right about the time I start planning on running a 5K in the spring, Wifey says my arms look good, and my pecs no longer look like I breast-fed a litter of starving puppies.
However once Wednesday rolled around, I thought I too should roll around, and headed out on the PrOcal to ride dirt and gravel north of town. I put my faith in the hunters of Michigan and hoped that my red jacket, and the fact that I was not covered in fur, lacked antlers, and was riding a bike, would give them a clue that I was in no way a deer. What can I say, I’m a risk taker.
There were a crap ton of folks out, and just about every field with a blind, had a pickup truck parked in it, indicating that the blind was indeed occupied. I rolled by one hunter walking along the road with his rifle who sort of looked like the late Don Zimmer. I asked if he saw anything, and he replied something in a language that sounded like it might be English, but I think it was some bastardized version of Yiddish, Welsh, and American South, and I couldn’t understand him. So, I just said “good luck,” and took for granted that the shake of his head meant no.
As I continued northward I passed a lonely table and chair in a large side yard. For the life of me I couldn’t figure it out. Then as I got a bit further on, I noticed the targets set up in the distance. I guess this was the business end of a makeshift, dirt road shooting range.
I stopped to take a few pics of some of my favorite big ass bulls, and noticed that one was sort of like me. Off by himself, covered in what looked to be mud mixed with his own feces, staring off at nothing like he was David Puddy. Yep ladies, I’m a real catch, bet your sorry you missed out. [Like any women other than Wifey read this dross!]
I was once again fooled by the early morning temperatures, riding in a jacket and knee warmer, only to be soaked in sweat once the sun broke through the clouds and the it warmed up. You would think after 20+ years as a cyclist that I would know better! You would be wrong.
I was happy to have got out for a ride, and to get spend some time with the camera. That beats being holed up in a 12′ x 12′ room “running” on a treadmill and lifting heavy things for no reason any day. Of course, my workout plan for today is to do exactly that. Idiot.