Monday, October 29, 2007

Scariest Fishing Trip #1

I'll now tell you about the scariest fishing trip. I was 12 years old and again fishing the Allegheny River. It was a trip to fish all day long. We went in the morning and didn't plan on leaving until evening. My Dad and I were with my dad's working buddy Red and his son Big E. Red got his name because he was a big Irishmen with red hair and the reddest cheeks you ever saw. He look as if he had been drinking even if he didn't have a drop. Big E was my age and later went on to be a descent division 2 college football quarterback.

We were fishing the west side of the Allegheny River and drive in by car. This part of the river comes directly up against the mountain. I'm sure it was similar to a lot of the West Virginia rivers in that configuration. We drove down the side of the mountain to the river. There was a wooden staircase about 100 yards above the river and the road went down the mountain to a parking place to a bottom that was near the river.

We had fished until close to nightfall and had caught quite a few. The fish we had caught were on a stringer near the stairway . We had worked our way downstream to the parking lot and someone had to go back for the fish near the stairway. I said I would go get the fish and wait for them at the top of the stairway. It took a while to work my way upstream, get the fish and climb the stairway. It was getting dark as I climbed the stairway to wait for the car. The only thing that needed to happen on their end was for everyone to drive up in the car from the valley.

I don't know if you have ever been in unlighted place in a wooded area but the dark sweeps in like there is no tomorrow. One minute you could see the fish you are holding and the next minute you are only feeling the weight of the fish. What's the problem here, I'm ready to go home but there is no car. An eternity passes and finally I see a car start and head lights proceed up from the valley below. My heart was filled with excitement as the car approached. I was so glad to see light and the security of the car.

WRONG CART, WHAT, there was someone else fishing the area. I didn't see anyone else fishing the river. The car passes without a glance. In the dark, even with head lights, I don't think they saw me.

More time passes and there is no activity. Did dad forget his own son? Wasn't I the number one son? How could he forget me? I had no answers, only questions. I didn't think it could get darker but I think it just did. Now I am hearing sounds in the woods as the forest seems to come to life. Is there a bear coming to visit with the smell of fish attracting the bear. Who knows, all I know is it was dark and I was scarred. We used to play in the dark all the time but street lights give you some light and there was always the stars and the moon.

Did you ever start to tremble from fear? I was to that point, no stars, no moon only dark. I had been in the woods when it was dark before but never, ever, when alone.

I hear a car start, Maybe dad didn't forget me. The car climbs out of the valley. I was never so glad to see my dad's car. "Where were you all this time?" I asked. "Was someone trying to get in a last cast?" I didn't care, I crawled into the back seat of the car, still shaking, and fell asleep in the the safety of the dark car.

I never did see a bear in the woods but saw one hanging from a tree once during hunting season. It was a big black bear. I wonder if it was ever near the Allegheny River.


Shark Girl said...

You were a lot braver than me. I would have never volunteered to go get the fish in the first place.

I have a fear of pitch black woods too, and the night sounds they make.

Where is that river you talk about? I was thinking you were talking about Ohio, but I didn't know Ohio had mountains, so I'm wondering now where your fishing spot is.

fishing guy said...

The Allegheny River starts in central Pennsylvania and goes north into NY then heads south through Pennsylvania to joins the Monongahela River to form the Ohio River. We were fishing in mid state where the Allegheny River is passing through the Appalachian Mountain range.
The confluence of the two rivers is where Lewis and Clark started there journey of discovery. It is known as Pittsburgh today but was called Fort Pitt at that time.
I grew up at the edge of Pennsylvania near the Ohio border.
We had big hills but no mountains.

Shark Girl said...

Dare I ask who Lewis and Clark are, or should I already know this?

fishing guy said...

Yes, you should know them. They did an exploration of the North West Territories in 1804 to 1806. President Thomas Jefferson sent them after the United States had made the Louisiana Purchase. There was a commemorative nickle series with pictures of the coast and the boat. I collected them when ever I came across them.
They left Pittsburgh and went down the Ohio River, up the Mississippi River and up the Missouri River to the Continental Divide. They ended up at the base of the Rockie Mountains which they crossed to get to the West Coast of Oregon. Sacagawea was a famous Indian Woman who help them on their trip.
We have the Sacagawea dollar made for her assistance.
Here is a good write-up on the explorers.

Shark Girl said...

I'm beginning to see the writing on the wall. I should have paid attention in school, but since I can't go back, I have to learn as an adult now.

I've been reading jedi's history stuff, even though that hurts my brain like laws do, but I'm learning.

I've printed out a long list of American history questions to study up on. I don't remember where I got the list from (as who blogged about it) but I followed the link from their blog to here

I was going to just take the test but then I realized how ignorant I am on history subjects, so I printed it instead and I'm going to educate myself on the areas I slacked off on in school, which was everything except art and fish and forestry.

*sigh* But at least I'm willing to learn!

Thanks for the history lesson and I'm going to read the link you gave me.

By the time the bloggers are done with me, I'll be good in law, history, writing, music and art. Am I missing anything else? LOL

fishing guy said...

What is really funny is my second daughter didn't like school. I have three children that have Masters Degrees and one that dropped out of college. She now has the three children I often post about. She has gone through the 4th grade with two and the oldest is now doing 8th grade work. She admits she is learning more the second and third times through school.