Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Decisions


Jason and the shuttle guy lean against the truck and speak in low tones, both staring at the brilliant green, yellow, and red blobs that move across Jason’s iPhone screen as Chris and I pull on our raingear and begin to rummage through our tackle. It doesn’t look good. Eavesdropping, I hear the shuttle guy say, “I don’t know. Under normal circumstances I’d tell you to forget floating today. Anything could happen." "But,” he pauses, taking a quick glance in our direction, “you might just give it a shot. These two seem to know what they’re doing.”

I turn to see who he's talking about.

An hour earlier, Jason, Chris and I had been sitting in the Silva Wal-Mart parking lot, sipping our morning coffee in the comfy confines of the Jason's truck while dark skies pissed rain and belched thunderclaps. None of us wanted to say anything, but we each knew what the others were thinking – and we didn’t want to admit it. Jason worked the iPhone hard, bouncing between weather radar images, forecast sites, and texts from other guides who were also working their phones hard – calling clients to cancel the day’s trips.

But Jason hadn’t been ready to give up on the Tuckasegee just yet, so we had another doughnut and waited - waited for the first break, then headed down to The Tuck to see. High, a bit, but only moderately stained, though probably not for long. Any window would undoubtedly be small.

Jason and the shuttle guy appear to come to an agreement and walk our way. “All bets are off, “ says Jason. “Conditions are really squirrely. I’d be completely okay with rescheduling to another time. But, there’s a break between the fronts and if you’re willing to take a chance, I’m game. Worse comes to worse, we ditch the boat and hunker down for a while. One thing’s for certain - we’ll have the river to ourselves. Not sure if it will be worth having, though. It’s your call. What do you want to do?”

I look at Chris. Chris looks at me. The rain turns to pea-sized hail.

And, as one, we smile.

The shuttle guy chuckles and turns to take the empty trailer downstream to the takeout.

12 comments:

Howard Levett said...

Been there and done that. Great little story Mike.

Mat Trevors said...

I think I need to start hanging out with you guys. seem like my kinda people.

Are you into harbouring illegal Canadian aliens, by chance?

Rhythm Rider said...

Don't know if you don't go. Sound decision I'm sure (50% sure).

Mike said...

Thanks, Howard. It surprises me not at all that you've "done that" as well.

Mat, you'd fit in nicely, no doubt. And I think we've got a spare bedroom...

Nail on the head, RR. You don't know...

Fontinalis Rising said...

I've come up on the wrong side of that decision before. Glad you went, I'm sure it was memorable however the day went.

Mike said...

It might not have been the smartest of decisions, Jason, but we made it knowing that, one way or the other, the day would be worth remembering. It was.

Kirk Werner said...

You wrote:

"staring at the brilliant green, yellow, and red blobs that moved across Jason’s iPhone screen"

I'm not judging, but to me it seemed like a strange time and place to be playing Angry Birds...

Steve Zakur said...

I want to party with you cowboy.

No doubt that you made the right call. No matter how it played out you're going to have a great story to tell.

Mike said...

Hmmm... I did think it odd that every time we hooked up Jason screamed "Kill the pigs!" Thanks for the insight, Kirk.

We'll just have to make that happen, Steve. And there wasn't a wrong call to be made that morning.

River Mud said...

You could have said it was any river, anywhere, and the story would have translated :)

Mike said...

I absolutely agree, RM, and it's an interesting observation. I added the river name at the last minute. My writing mentor suggests that adding detail gives a piece authenticity and texture. I'm on the fence in this particular case. Good comment!

Sanders said...

It's always nice to know that no matter what you ultimately decide, that you will most likely be happy with the decision...I would say though, you made the only decision I would have expected.

Cheers