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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. "
Thoreau 1817-1862


Hunter-Gathering-fishing parties have existed pretty much since the dawn of mankind...groups would assemble and leave behind their homes and loved ones in pursuit of the necessities for existence. Undoubtedly times have changed as we no longer find "sustenance" to be the driving force compelling us to go forth into the world in search of...whatever it is we seek.
Romanticized tales of the "fishing trip" have been the muse of outdoor writers for centuries. To journey into the wilderness...testing our skill and ingenuity against the forces of nature is a time honored tradition among men.
Factor ice into that equation and you will have effectively separated the daytrippers from the devout.

Here is where our story begins.....
Lake of the Woods, Minnesota

"What could possibly possess a man to willingly subject himself to inhabiting a small shack situated on the ice for any length of time?"

This was the curious question reiterated numerous times throughout our adventure by the men whose significant others failed to comprehend our endeavor. Most commonly taking the form of..."My girlfriend/wife thinks I'm crazy."

Perhaps...at least to a certain extent...we are.

Admittedly...enduring temps in excess of 30 below, black bag walks of shame and the stench created by 4 grown men coexisting without running water in such confined quarters certainly gives a certain measure of credence to declarations of borderline insanity.
The query became a consistent recurring theme towards topic of conversation...and I found myself lost within moments of contemplation attempting to justify our chosen course....as much as for myself as for those that with raised eyebrows challenged our idea of a good time.

The plain and simple fact that the staff of Arnesen's did not see fit to place our shacks over exceptionally productive iceholes gave me ample time to ponder this allegation.

First and foremost there is camaraderie...male bonding...the act of delineating and strengthening friendships.
"Our" group has done their time...easy interactions, drama free synergy and harmonious collaboration not only describes...but defines the dynamics within this crew.


But this is just one of many "easy answers" or more appropriately excuses for men too proud to delve further into their own psyche...uncovering not so easy truths.

We could also just say we went to catch some fish....



...but to be perfectly honest in regards to both quantity as well as quality...our expectations were nowhere near met.

Don't get me wrong...we caught plenty enough for a fish fry...



I can say that any fish unfortunate enough to make the mistake of wandering under our shack and within the cone of our flashers was somewhat easy prey...and every last one found themselves on the wrong side of the ice....but to say we weren't hoping for a few trophies would make us all liars.
Shack placement conspiracy theories aside...I'd have to say it just wasn't in the cards.

And yet every man still walked away touting the positive aspects of the experience....which in my perspective was to be expected.

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."
Thoreau 1817-1862

Frankly...the people I choose to associate with on the water and with any semblance of consistency, fathom that quote to it's full extent...no exceptions.



I should probably note that as mouth watering and delectable those fish were...Choup's Saturday morning breakfast of Champions...kicked their ass.

Plain and simple.

Onions,Green Pepper, Garlic, 2 types of sausage, Gouda and Polish Swiss smothered in 18 eggs...and washed down with a small amount of Maker's Mark was a taste sensation that defies written description.
All alcohol consumption was done with restraint and in extreme moderation....as it should be.

Our kitchen was well kept and our shack well organized.

Osprey's makeshift rod rack(above photo) across the ceiling of our shanty impressed even the lodge staff..


A few more random images of the sights seen exclusively within the relative obscurity of shanty town..







Every evening cellphones would chime announcing incoming text...calls were made or at least attempted to those we missed...but it wasn't until the drive home...


...during the longingly tinged tales of what each could expect upon their return...soft sheets, hot showers but most meaningful and pertinent..love's embrace....that the resonating lucidity danced conspicuously through my thoughts.

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them."
Thoreau 1817-1862

It is the rare moment that I will be assuming enough to presumptively speak for my brothers...but this is one of those occasions.

You..our wives, girlfriends, children... for some even our pets..collectively our "loved ones"... are our foundation.
Sometimes we need to remove ourselves in order to bring forth the clarity of appreciation.
And it is both the anticipation as well as the actual accomplishment of home coming itself that at least in this specific instance we were seeking.

As much fun as it was...it's so good to be home.

GoodFishin'

Darth
 

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Much like Mark Twain painted a picture in our minds of Huck, Jim, the Duke and King, and the mighty MIssippippi, DarthWader has painted a picture of his adventures for all of us.

That, my friend, is one hell of a post and an awesome read!

Great to have here my friend!

(admin note: what a pleasant break from all the nonsense and junk posted on this site as of late, thanks for keeping it real Darth)
 

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Nice Report as well as some nice eyes!!! Looks like qa great! Must of been cool to ride in some of those rigs.. That's an ice trip of a lifetime! Awesome post!

You make me jealous! :lol:
 

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Awesome read. That would be such an amazing trip! Thanks for sharing.
 

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The beds are in the shanty?!?!?! Thats awesome. Looks like a very comfortable fishing atmosphere. And the vehicles! Love that pic of the Firebird and the Tracker. Poeple can really get creative up there. And some nice fish there too! Great adventure, and thanks for sharing.
 

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Big Bass Lee said:
That breakfast looked awesome. What was that? 24 eggs with 2 lbs of swiss? Great report.
What was that? It's called get the hell out of the shanty after 24 eggs,swiss and makers mark for wash! :lol: Nice report Darth and eye, to bad they could have not made you guy's more mobile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the kind words everybody!=)

Jason and Matt an especially heartfelt thank you for your hard work in providing the rest of us a place to share our thoughts, ideas and adventures=)

Bossman I couldn't possibly agree more...on both accounts :lol: Next trip the power auger is coming with :wink:

Thanks again everyone!
 
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