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By Laura Drake

Lately, if it weren’t for hard work and deadlines, I’d have no life. I’m watching everyone around me leave on vacation, reading blogs about trips (yes, I’m talking about you, Natalie) while I sit here, pouting, my nose skinned up from the grindstone. Yes, I have RWA National to look forward to, and it’s going to be amazing, but that’s not a vacation.

My vacation won’t happen until October, but it’ll be worth waiting for. Every fall, the ‘Kennedy Meadows Hookers’ hit the road on a fly fishing trip. Before you get the wrong idea, let me explain.

My husband and I used to belong to a motorcycle club. No, not the Hell’s Angels kind – the old guy, BMW long-distance motorcycling kind. There we met wonderful lifelong friends. Every year, a bunch of us went up to Kennedy Meadows (remote valley in the Sierra Nevada Mountains) for Memorial Day, to camp and hang out together. Wow, we have some legendary memories. One year, a few of us women agreed to bring fishing tackle, and the Kennedy Meadows Hookers were born. We had a wonderful time, catching the beautiful little Golden trout that practically jumped on our hooks. Well, as all great things do, those trips ended: people retired, moved away, passed away.

But the three most die-hard fisherwomen, Pam, Chris, and I, missed the camaraderie of those trips. So we planned a trip every fall, to Mammoth. We hiked and fished gorgeous little streams, amid the blazing poplars and golden meadows. We stayed in a rented condo, cooking comfort food at night, drinking wine in the Jacuzzi, giggling like high school girls on a sleepover. Other women came and went, but the core group hung together.

Last year, on the last day, I slipped on the edge of a bank, and broke my leg in two places. I thought I just sprained my ankle, so I iced it – by getting back in the stream and fishing. I wasn’t going to miss the Jacuzzi that night, so they loaded me on a luggage carrier, and wheeled my butt down there. Yes, wine was involved. Told you, we have legendary memories from these trips.

This year, The Hookers are heading to Oregon, to take on the rivers up there. I’m sure we’ll store up some more great memories, and hopefully, no more broken bones.

The fish better be afraid.  Very afraid.


11 Responses

  1. I LOVE the loading of your a$$ onto a luggage carrier and hauling you down to the Jacuzzi! That’s hysterical! You’re right about one thing…there’s something about “girl trips” and “time with the girls” that will recharge your batteries unlike anything else. I love my girl trips.

    I broke my ankle at my sister’s house. My husband (non-medical) and her husband (dentist) decided I had a bad sprained ankle. After a couple of days of hobbling around (we were on vacation), my husband (thoughtful man that he is) bought me a cane to help with my sprain. By the next weekend, the swelling in my leg was up to my knee. I finally went to the doctor about 10 days after my bad sprain…came home with a cast. LOL

    I’m not a fisherperson. I get bored. But I can sit on the bank and cheer you ladies on!

  2. Although I also am not a fisherperson, I’m a wine drinker person. I know I can’t cheer out loud while you fish, but I can silently (and carefully) wave my plastic cup.

  3. That’s awesome, Laura. Where in Oregon are you going? I lived in the Northeast part of the state for ten years, had some great trips into the Eagle Caps.

    My ‘vacation’ is a hike with my family planned for July 1– to the top of Chief Mountain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Mountain. Why? Because it’s there, right outside my window every morning. Also, among the Blackfeet it’s sort of a spiritual journey as it’s considered a sacred site.

    We have established 3 general goals for our outing: 1. Don’t get lost. 2. Don’t fall off. 3. Do not become one with a grizzly bear.

  4. Ah, Laura … I often feel sorry for women and men who have never experienced the sheer joy of getting away to dish and roam with our girlfriends. To let the world go by, to laugh, drink, eat and be merry !! Lucky you !! In the meantime, enjoy Nationals, keep hiking and don’t break any more bones … “old bones?” 🙂

  5. It sounds like an utterly fantastic trip! It’s sad how things can evolve and change so that we lose some of the most joyful annual events, but I guess losing them just makes us appreciate the memories more. And, of course, something just or almost as good can be created instead. Have a fantastic time, and I agree–no more broken bones! (I’d have done the same thing. It’s a no-brainer! 🙂 )

  6. I seem to remember a time when it wasn’t next to impossible to plan a girls weekend away. There are only four of us still in the area and we’ve spent the last three weeks trying to find three measly days when everybody can make it. Gack. So I wish you good fishing, good friendship, good wine, and no broken bones.

    • Oh, Shelley, I hear you! I’m just trying to schedule DINNER with my four closest local friends, and we’re already looking at the end of July because we can’t match up our schedules!

  7. That’s awesome! Such a wonderful way to reconnect using nature and shared interests. I love it! And I love to fish,too. One of my favorite ways to feel part of the world I live in. Looking forward to meeting you in Anaheim 🙂

  8. Thanks guys – where would we be without Girl friends?
    I’m very lucky to have such constant ones.
    Who like wine.

  9. What a great post, Laura! Love to fish, but I’m not so sure I’m as dedicated as you. LOL Sounds like you girls are a hoot! 😉 Love it!

  10. […] I’ve written about bicycling (you can read it here,) motorcycling (here,) and fly fishing (here.) I realized I haven’t shared my biggest obsession. No, not […]

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