Just us and the turkeys…
March 29, 2010
The roads in Michigan are so well marked. Really. Every single one of them. We’ve spent two days following maps, courtesy of Trout Unlimited, outlining all of the access points on the Upper Manistee and Au Sable Rivers and haven’t gotten lost once. And that’s saying something.
Granted, the majority of them are sand and gravel, but there’s always a sign marking every intersection. They even have real names, like River Road. If Hoosiers marked these roads they would have an occasional sign, and it would say something like 1000 West, or 250 North, and we would still be driving around.
The roads have been just about as empty as the one in the picture. I bet we haven’t seen more than four or five automobiles other than ours, which is probably why we came across the neatest thing. This was one of those times when I long for a super human lens for my camera.
We drove up slowly as we saw a huge “something” on the side of the road. As we got closer it moved into the bush. We thought it was gone, but it wasn’t. “It” turned out to be a huge turkey staring back at us from the woods.
Then one turned into three gobblers and four hens. The gobblers were in full strut, what I have found to be their mating regalia.
They let me get out of the car and snap a few pictures before they headed off deep into the woods.
This was almost as cool as watching some tiny little bugs hatch and drop into the river, and into the waiting mouths of some hungry fish. Well, no. This was way cooler, but don’t tell John I said that.
The purported purpose of this visit, according to John, was to scope out the rivers in preparation for a trip later this year. I believe the true mission was to make me feel comfortable with a fly rod and reel, wearing all kinds of gear, waist deep in the river in a pair of waders. That’s right. Waders.
Mission accomplished. I’m ready. At least now I know I won’t be the only turkey out there.