Skunks always make interesting camp hosts. The first one I saw on the Deschutes sneaked into camp as my 14 year old nephew, his friend, and I were again sitting in the canoe chairs in a row in front of a
campfire, back when fires were legal. Jay was on the end of the row, telling stories, when he glanced to his right and noticed this furry, cat-like creature literally under the elbow of his right hand. It was so close and natural he actually started to reach out to pet it. "Oh Look, here's a........SKUUUUUUUNK!" I
got to see two boys actually levitate right into the air. Luckily, the skunk ran the other direction just as fast.
One morning, in another camp, the first early riser and bush waterer yelled out, "something's gotten into the food!" I got up and surveyed the damage. All the hamburger buns had been scattered and partly eaten out of the food boxes we had left on the ground. I looked for tracks. "I think it was a raccon," I said.
Jim Dougher's voice rose out of his tent. "It was a skunk."
"How do you know?"
"I heard it in the middle of the night so I checked with the
"You mean you just watched it eating our food?"
"Why didn't you do something?"
"'Cause I'm smarter than that!" And he rolled over and went back to sleep.
In the early years, my wife and I used a low tent that you had to enter on your hands and knees. So it was natural to kick off ones shoes or boots and line them up under the fly at the entrance. One year the last morning of the trip, when we would row out and drive home, she got up and slipped into her boots and visited the john. She grumbled sleepily about her boot fitting funny. We ate breakfast, broke camp, loaded the boat, rowed out, drove home 5 hours, unloaded all the gear, and, ten hours later, finally crashed in the house.
"Pull off my boots, won't you", she asked, sitting on the bed?
I pulled off her boot as she stretched back, and as her foot cleared the opening, out flopped a very flat, very dead, but still recognizable, mouse.
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