July 26, 2014
My softball schedule has a soft spot in it for the month of July so I have been doing a bit of traveling. The zombie hunting trip into Oregon and Washington did not live up to expectations. I returned home and played some softball, practiced some softball and visited the gym. All of this was in preparation for my next outing.
Normally, I would be playing ball in a tournament in Carson City at the end of July but my Legends team has figuratively and literally fallen apart. There are several guys on the team that need new body parts, some are just hurt, and some have just gotten old. I have none of those problems and feel a bit let down that the team collapsed. I had structured my travel plans for the year around softball trips and now none of those trips make any sense. I have non-refundable deposits so I am traveling any way. It is just another in a series of things that I do that do not make sense.
I spent the first night in Carson City working on my next book. I want to get it done by the end of November so I figured I needed to get busy. As it turns out writing a book is the easy part. All of the rest of the things needed to get it published are hard. And I am incurably lazy so that doesn’t help. But I wrote half of a chapter while drinking beer. It is much easier to write when drinking beer.
Helpful Blue Cow
Carson City/ Virginia City
July 27, 2013
On Sunday morning I wandered out to the ball field and watched some friends on other teams play ball. It was hot, without shade, and dusty out at the ball diamond. I was rather happy that I was not playing. Hot at 5,000 feet of elevation does tend to take it out of a person. Having said all of that, if someone would have offered to let me shag a few fly balls I would have had my gear out of the car in no time flat. I never travel without my softball gear.
Tiring of that, I went on to Virginia City which is one of my favorite stops in this part of Nevada. It really is like stepping back in time to go to this town which once was a thriving mining town filled with saloons. Now it is a thriving tourist town filled with saloons. I found a saloon to my liking and did a little gambling and a little drinking. I now understand why these activities have stayed popular throughout the years.
One of the many saloons in Virginia City
I eventually moved on to Reno to check in for the night in preparation for an early morning flight to Louisiana.
Reno to New Orleans and Grand Isle
July 28, 2014
I walked over to the Reno Airport which is directly across the street from the Best Western where I had spent the night, leaving my car at the hotel for the duration of my trip to Louisiana. I caught a 7 AM flight to Los Angeles and then a connecting flight to New Orleans. I arrived at New Orleans International airport, rented a car and set out on the 75 mile drive to Grand Isle which is off of the coast of Louisiana.
I got there about 7 PM and said hello to my sister Belle, husband Lou, her daughter Dee, her boyfriend Mike, her other daughter Amy, her husband Jason, son Gabriel and daughter Lilly. We sat on the upper deck and got a good visit in before calling it a night.
Crabbing on Grand Isle
July 29, 2014
One of the things I like about being on Grand Isle is the way the days flow along without a real purpose or direction. There is fishing, there is drinking, there is eating, there is napping and there is visiting. These things happen every day at the appropriate time for the correct length of time. Because of this, the rest of this report may or may not be factually correct as to time and date but it all happened at some point. I think. There was drinking so give me a break.
Every day at first light Belle and I were out setting the crab line and crab traps. This is always the first order of business for the day. The crabs are not on a particular schedule as they are stupid and unmotivated. But Belle likes to watch the sun come up while sitting on the beach, so we had to be out there before daylight.
On Tuesday the bite was not as good as we would have liked, although we managed to catch a good mess. Others arrived on the beach to help out and eventually we turned it over to the younger set. Belle and I got out of the sun which can be relentless in this part of the world. We had a crab boil for lunch and everyone ate well on fresh seafood.
That afternoon Belle’s other daughter Wendy showed up with husband Tommy, son Jace, his girlfriend Genna, and Wendy’s daughter Tomi-Lou. The beer began to flow in earnest, the food came and went, and we all had a good time.
Genna and Jace
July 30, 2014
On Wednesday after Belle and I watched the sun come up and learned that the crabs were not biting we took a ride to Golden Meadow to meet up with Belle’s 96 year old boyfriend, Luke. Belle and husband Lou have built a live-in boathouse in Golden Meadow and as near as I can tell Luke came with the property. Luke insists on doing things for my sister like bringing her loads of dirt and unloading it. He is 96 and in love with Belle so she lets him. And she needs the dirt to fill in a spot. We all gave him a hand with the dirt just to prove that we could keep up with him. He also gave Belle some jumbo shrimp and then we bought some more reasonably sized shrimp and ran home to fix them all for lunch.
After spending the morning crabbing and fishing and eating, people drifted off to sun at the beach or sleep in the air conditioned camp. I was always one of those that opted for the air conditioning. Somewhere around sunset dinner was prepared either by cooking in the boil pot under the camp or fixing something in the kitchen upstairs. There always seemed to be plenty to eat. Then we retired to the upper deck to watch the sun set and the stars come out.
Touring Grand isle
July 31, 2014
Other than on Tuesday morning we did not have much luck with catching crabs. As a consolation prize the guys would catch fish on the days when the crabbing was slow so we always had something fresh to eat. To add to all of that there was always a trawler near by that was willing to part with some of the shrimp that they had caught.
Belle gave me the grand tour of Grand Island using their golf cart for a tour bus. She is quite well versed in the history of the island having vacationed there for over half of her life. It was interesting to see the original settlement locations on the island and to hear about the exploits of Jean Lafitte.
On Thursday Amy and her family had to leave so we said our goodbyes to them. But not before the entire gang had a photo op on the beach. This group is big on photo ops.
Photo by Jason
I had a visit from Sandy T. and Helen T., Sandy having been a lady I went all through school with and who I had not seen in 50 years. As is often the case in these situations, we had very little in common after all of the years but spent some time catching up.
Touring Grand Isle Again
In order not to be outdone Lou offers a water side tour in his boat. On Friday, Dee, Mike and I got to take a ride and look at all of the expensive camps people are now building on an island that was hardly more than a fishing village when I was a child.
Since we were tiring of seafood, we talked Tommy into cooking up a kettle of his world famous sauce piquant. We had the six beer recipe. That is not how much beer the recipe calls for but rather the amount of beer Tommy has to drink before he is done cooking. I don’t think it is an exact culinary science.
August 2, 2014
Saturday Belle and I got in our morning walk before everyone started leaving. The early morning on the beach is the best time simply because it is cooler and there are less people. But today was a weekend day so there were quite a few people already set up for a day of pursuing the crab and fish that populate the waters.
Sadly, everyone started packing up and heading back to their normal lives. I too had to make my way back to the airport and make my airplane ride back to Reno where I had left my car. It was another good week in Grand Isle spending some time with people that give me hope that things are going to be okay.
Breaking out of jail.