Despite a few very minor setbacks in our trip logistics — once I hit the road, I found my friends’ campsite easily. Captain Amy found us a site near a runoff river from Lake Cle Elum. When I arrived it was past 80 degrees and the sky was perfect.
After dark, various neighbors we’d met during the day on the river came through our group’s camp area. We sat and talked and handed out marshmallows. The most memorable guest would have to be Jim, a loquacious yet friendly and well-meaning fellow who was a bit rosy around the neck. Jim showed up when he needed a break from the family squabble happening with the people he came with (not his kin, and never will be).
We got to chatting with and came away with our trip catch phrase:
That dog will not hunt.
Applied usage: If those crackhead campers two sites over start screaming about their missing pipe between 2 and 6 AM tonight like they did last night, THAT DOG WILL NOT HUNT. Ain’t happening. They been warned.
(Jim and another fellow brokered an agreement during the day amongst several sites, all banding together in the common goal of ensuring a good night’s sleep in the forest. It worked.)
The conversation veered into his recent past. Jim’s taking off soon for the Alaskan Highway. He worked in AK for years — half the year at the Pipeline, the other half here in WA, until he was injured in ’96. He divorced six months ago after 35 years of marriage. He’s been living in his camper.
He’s says he’s going back to a place where things still make sense.