Another time, we were hunting and had walked a LONG ways from our hunting camp…maybe close to a couple of miles. I was properly dressed in my one piece, hunter orange, hooded, heavy hunting clothing…and of course, being that far away from the camper when the urge hit me to have to pee, I didn’t want to have to trudge ALL the way back to the camper. So I did what I had to do…I unzipped that LONG zipper (after making sure no one was in sight…didn’t even see Dan for that matter), pulled my hunting suit down around my ankles, pulled my jeans, my long underwear, etc down around my ankles and squatted, all the while on the lookout for other hunters and hoping they didn’t think I was a white tail buck sitting on top of a mass of orange clothing. Usually when I assume this position, the best I can hope for is that I would only wet one leg and nothing else. Guys have it so easy.
I stood up and quickly pulled all my clothing back in place. I was very proud of myself! I hadn’t even peed on my hunting clothing pantleg!!! None of my attire was the least bit wet! Maybe I’d finally gotten the hang of this thing! I proceeded to flip that attached hood up over my cold head and the warmth was instant…and wet….what the hell???? NO, I HADN’T PEED DOWN MY PANTLEG BUT I HAD PEED IN MY HOOD!!
I went stomping off towards the direction of the camper, stomping right past Dan. He innocently inquired where I was going and why did I look so darn mad. I told him “Don’t ask!! I’m going back to the camper!”
By the time Dan arrived back at the camper, I had tried to wash out my hair, my shirt, my white long underwear top and my bra. I had those items, well except for my hair, strung out over tree branches (not a good thing to hang anything white out during deer season, but I wasn’t thinking along those lines). I had pretty much used our supply of water up which I also didn’t care about that either! Since we were camped not too far off the road, there were inquisitive eyes looking at our camp spot…inquisitive MALE eyes looking at my underwear! And guess what? I didn’t care about that either!
Dan got a very large laugh out of that experience. After we had retrieved my frozen clothing from the bushes, we had to go to town and get some more water. I’ve pretty much never lived this story down…but at least I’m not totally embarrassed to share it with others now!
This tradition, the HUNTING tradition, not the peeing in my hood, lasted from 1986 to 1991 because in 1992 we moved from Lower Michigan to “da U.P” and have been here ever since. I don’t hunt anymore because of the problem with my cold toes (turn purple when cold; frost bit them MANY years ago ice fishing) and after having that major shoulder surgery, I’d be afraid to shoot anything more than a 4-10 or a BB gun!
But now we consider the Mighty Mac (the Bridge) our driveway. To those Yoopers who live up here, you probably understand why I say that. To those NOT familiar with “da U.P”, I will explain. EVERYTHING is so far apart up here; our closest “big” town is 76 miles east of us and that would be Sault (pronounced Soo) Sainte Marie. The next biggest town is about 100 miles west of here and that would be Marquette.
I still get a lump in my throat when we approach the Mackinac Bridge to head southward and I get excited like a little kid to see the towers on the return trip…and I normally do have a tear or two. Dan no longer makes fun of my reaction to the Mighty Mac because he has come to feel pretty much the same way.
Many of you may live in beautiful parts of the U.S. or even of the world and you may think that YOU live in God’s country, but the truth is, Yoopers (people that live in the U.P. of Michigan) DO live in God’s country and we are all truly blessed to be here.
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