Heavy rains shorten tent camping trip


G. Sam Piatt - PDT Columnist



You’ll recall, no doubt (ha!), how I wrote in last Saturday’s column that I was heading out on Monday for a camping/fishing trip to Cave Run Lake.

I said I would give you a report. Here it is, even though on Wednesday I fell into such deep depression that I actually doubted that I would be able to pull out of it.

Aaron Brown and I arrived at the campground in the Twin Knobs Recreation Area at noon. We checked in at the gate and learned that C. G. Barker had already leased a double site for us.

We located the site and saw that C. G. and Herb Maggard had already pitched a tent and a fly cover and loaded gear onto the picnic tables. C.G.’s four-burner stove top and small refrigerator were there. As far as I know, he’s never tried to bring the kitchen sink.

So we drove on to the end of the campground road to the launching ramp.

Aaron parked the trailer and drove the truck to the campsite. I motored the boat up the lake and into the cove, from where it’s a short walk up to the campground.

BLUE SKIES

It was warm day, not a cloud in the sky, and not enough wind to hinder us. A nice day for fishermen: not a good day for fishing.

Aaron came down to the boat. All of our fishing gear was already loaded into the boat, so off we went.

The first order of the day was to attempt to put Aaron on one of the fish Cave Run is noted for, the mighty muskie. I took him to the places where I’ve caught three nice muskie over the past four years. We cast Slippery Sams and other large lures over the weed beds of Zilpo Flats. We trolled crankbaits off the shoreline near the cove where the active eagles’ nest is located.

The muskie were suffering from lockjaw.

We changed tactics and began casting the shoreline for bass, throwing tube worms and the wacky worm, plus spinnerbaits and crankbaits.

Cave Run regulations include a slot limit of 13-16 inches. Any black bass caught within that range must be released immediately. Most of the bass we caught measured in the slot. That didn’t matter because we were going to release anything we caught anyway.

But we would have liked to have hung a bass like the 6-pounder my grandson, Elijah Luke, caught on a spinnerbait during a family house boating trip on Cave Run some years back.

DINNER TIME

C.G. and Herb were back from crappie fishing. They hadn’t located as many as usual. Dinner was some of Kathryn’s (C.G.’s wife) hot and delicious beef vegetable soup.

After swapping a few stories around the campfire, everybody turned in and buzz saw-like snoring filled the chilly night air.

It was around six in the morning when I awakened to the sound of the pitter patter of raindrops on the tent. Then came a louder sound, almost a roar. The rain came down like in the days of Noah.

Rain ran in under the fly cover and pooled up three or four inches deep. There would be no breakfast of C.G.’s eggs fried to order, sausage, home fries, and biscuits and gravy.

The four of us headed for a small restaurant a few miles away. It was filled with campers. The waitress served us platters of the afore-mentioned breakfast.

The rain slacked to a drizzle. We all donned rain suits and headed out for another day of fishing.

THUNDER STORM

It was late afternoon when a thunderstorm came rolling over the hills. When there’s lightning bolts flashing about, in a boat on a lake is no place to be.

Headed across the lake for the cove, the rain came down so hard that for a time we could not see either shoreline.

Noting can spoil a tent camper’s trip like heavy rain. Aaron and I packed up our soggy gear and headed home.

On I-64, smoke started pouring out from under the hood of my beloved Ford Ranger. We barely managed to limp into the Morehead rest area. A raising of the hood revealed much smoke and flames, which we were able to extinguish with water from the rest area.

So there we sat, stranded 60 miles from home.

Darrell Hester from Hester Towing Service near Morehead came to the rescue. He loaded the truck on the flatbed and towed the boat behind.

It was about 10 p.m. when we dropped the truck off at Jason Briggs’s garage in South Shore.

It was the next day, when I was transferring all my water-logged gear from the truck, that depression hit me. Jason said the only cure for the Ranger would be a new engine.

How did I climb out of my depression? Later in the day, visiting Wee Care in South Shore, my 5-year-old great-granddaughter, Shayde, literally climbed my frame to hug my neck and tell me she loved me.

She’s one of 13 little greats. I realized anew that I have too many wonderful blessings to ever let the Big D have any control in my life.

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G. Sam Piatt

PDT Columnist

Reach G. SAM PIATT at gsamwriter@twc.com or (606) 932-3619.

Reach G. SAM PIATT at gsamwriter@twc.com or (606) 932-3619.