Monday, July 17, 2017

Salmon Surprise

The idyllic life of the late 70s would give way to the early 80s which, to quote Hunter S. Thompson, would be “a fast, strange time, and we would need to work in fast, strange ways.”

By the end of 1980, Ronald Reagan had been elected president, John Lennon had been murdered in cold blood and the new decade would represent a transition for everyone, especially if you worked for the U.S. Forest Service.
After one last “hurrah” together as traildogs in autumn, 1980, it was time for transition. My dream of a permanent position with the Forest Service evaporated when Reagan issued a federal hiring freeze, so it was back to grad school for me. Kelly Tjaden would return to the west side to finish his degree and peddle (and paddle) kayaks.

Returning to Eugene during the school year, I would continue to work at Lake Wenatchee for two more stints as a traildog; this time, we were accorded better accommodations, and lived in the home formerly occupied by the fire management officer (above), as we had added a new member to our family, Jacy Carmen Mitchell.

Kelly would visit us at Lake Wenatchee on occasion. One time, he popped in for a barbecue and -- just for laughs -- jammed a salmon head on the port bottle, leaving it in the kitchen sink for an early morning surprise. Unfortunately for Kelly, I wasn’t the first to come eyeball-to-eyeball with the fish head. You can guess who was.

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