seventeen miles from ice cream

We didn’t want to leave.

When I pack for camping and fishing, I no longer take my journal with me. Sure, it seems like a perfect time to get away and write, but even better is the opportunity to clear my head and not think.

Cast and soak. My biggest thoughts along the water line were : Oh wow, I haven’t had a thought in my head all day.  Sheesh! Thinking about how I hadn’t been thinking!

And this: does it count as thinking if you thought about how you hadn’t been thinking?

To be honest, when it got too hot in the afternoon we took a break,  loaded up and drove the 17-mile washboarded gravel road to get  ice cream lay in more provisions.

Past the lily pond where turtles sun on rocks; past the meadow we’ve named Sheeps Like Boulder (because the grazing sheep look like big stones); past the bend where Beth first saw the bear eating bugs beneath the boulders it had dug up; past the rock slide where we always sight the Looks Like A Badger Furry Animal also sunning on the rocks, watching us watch him.

Rock, boulder, stone, rock.

We know who hauls water best, who chops wood with the least wood chips flying through camp, which of us keeps the campfire burning. But who remembers to put the lid on the nightcrawlers? Who keeps leaving the bear spray at camp? And who catches the smallest fish? No matter how many big fish I catch, we  remember I’m the one who reels the minnow in.




About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website:

3 responses to “seventeen miles from ice cream

  1. Rose Hunter

    If you don’t put the lid on the nightcrawlers do they crawl away, even if it’s day? I am glad no bears and that the strange animal is Looks Like a Badger Furry Animal, and not sasquatsch, etc.

  2. kerry

    That’s some very Zen ‘non thinking’ going on Sherry…I believe that driving that far for provisions of a cold solid type is also quite meditative…all that non-thinking along the way and just taking in whats there…lovely

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