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Experience the ‘experience’

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POSTED May 29, 2012 9:52 p.m.

You can do a lot in 26 days.

You could drive to Sydney, Nova Scotia in Canada and back almost five times. If you don’t like long road trips you could do the short round trip to Pinecrest a few hundred times.

If you wanted a workout and you didn’t stop, you could walk to Hope, Ark. But use caution, because according to Google Maps, “This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths.”

If you prefer indoor exercise you could be 3,744 reps into your 10-minute trainer by Tony Horton routine. If that all sounds outrageous, you could just relax and watch A River Runs Through It — 304 times.

There’s a lot you could do and I could have done over 26 days, but from April 28 until last weekend, one thing I didn’t do was fish. It was the longest stretch without wetting a line since a 28-day hiatus covering parts of January and February last year.

The trip was worth the wait. I caught a few fish, lost a few more, but the whole experience screamed summer.

Knights Ferry was quiet when I arrived with the exception of a compressor shooting streams of air into inflatable rafts that were then piled on the shore. Knights Ferry is not the best place to fish. You compete with rafters, there’s graffiti and trash, but it is close and sometimes people aren’t a bad thing. For the same reason I like airports, places like Knights Ferry bring together all sorts of people.

I’ve walked past people on the covered bridge speaking something very not North American. People take wedding, graduation and scenic photos there. Schools have field trips. Families have birthdays, barbecues and bar mitzvahs.

Saturday was a convention of a particular demographic — the self-guided weekend, party floater. Most of the raft renters had disembarked by the time Brad, Nate and I returned to our trucks to head home. What remained in the parking lot were three dozen inflated water crafts and their skippers “hydrating” before a drift.

We took our time breaking down our rods, to truly soak in the details. There were flip flops, sleeveless shirts, homemade jorts and a camo cowboy hat. There was bottled beer, canned beer, mix drinks and water. And since it was almost Memorial Day, there was one person paying classy homage to our country with an American flag bikini.

Not only were the three of us in the minority wearing waders not shorts, vests not sleeveless shirts and holding fishing rods not beer cans, but we only had one and a half tattoos between us. Everyone else had two per appendage.

There were tats supporting everything from professional baseball teams to handguns. There were words, there were symbols, there were pictures. We looked completely different, but they were still my people. Whether fishing or floating, they were fellow weekend recreationalists and watching them prepare to enjoy a warm afternoon on the water couldn’t help but get me even more excited for this summer.

There is no chance I will deprive myself of the fishing experience for 26 days again.

To contact Jeff Lund, email aklund21@gmail.com.

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