This year our group had one of the toughest seasons ever. Between the four of us we ended up sharing the one buck my brother Luke got last Sunday. Some friends of ours, that hunt near by, came up completely empty handed. Statewide the deer totals were way down from years past so I guess we weren't alone.
The weather for the last two weeks I was in town has been unseasonably warm with temps averaging 10-15 degrees above normal. I held out hopes that the weather would hold for another week but today brought a dose of the real winter weather we should expect (with snow and highs in the 30's) so it looks like it will be a chilly start to the trip after all. With all my deer hunting gear dried out and put away, I've got five more days to get the last details ironed out before the launch next weekend. Tonight my mom presented me with some early Christmas presents helping me out with a few bits of gear that I needed. One of the items was a nice wide brimmed hat that actually fits my head and is going to be great.
My parents are going to be driving me to the put in and following along as a support crew for the first week or so. My mother actually volunteered for the task mostly out of her own fears of seeing her second born freeze to death on a sandbar in the middle of the river. I'm geared up and ready for winter camping but I won't turn away any help they (or anybody) are willing to lend. One hiccup has come up with my support crew and the launch date, however. My dad (with his big white beard) plays Santa for different pre-schools and such this time of year. It turns out he was booked for a Christmas party next Saturday (my planned launch date) but he had forgotten about it until today when my mother bumped into the teacher that had booked the event with my dad. So, due to this prior obligation, we are being forced to push the start of the trip out one more day to next Sunday. It's only one more day over a trip that I plan on taking ten months so, as anxious and ready I am to get started, I am happy to have one more day to get ready.