Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

  • Music:

White bass

Today I got up early to join my friend G. for a morning hike at Cooper Lake State Park, near Sulphur Springs, roughly 80 miles from my home. Sulphur Springs is a town of 14,000, and features an Ocean Spray cranberry factory.

Cooper Lake is a gorgeous large lake. I arrived about 8:15 a.m., and began to fish. The other people were catching fish but I was not. A man asked me if I had a ruler so that he could measure if a striped bass was ten inches long. It turned out later that he was asking the wrong question, because stripers had to be eighteen inches long before one can "keep them". Then my friend G. came up, and we went for a walk.

We hiked 2.5 miles on the Coyote Run trail, a deeply wooded hardwood forest trail, laced with ample birdsong. We talked about my work, his work, our mutual friends, music, and the parlous state of things.
Then I fished some more while we chatted, from a picturesque large wooden fishing pier. Again, others around me caught fish, but I did not, although one fellow said he spent six hours to catch his four crappie, while I spent forty five minutes to catch my zero. Also, I use worms rather than minnows, for personal reasons, and this crappie/white bass lake is really more a "minnow bait" lake.

When we finished our walk, we hopped into my friend's convertible red Mazda Miata and he took us for a drive with the top down on rural country roads, with Radiohead playing on his CD player. The state park was gorgeous, and we drove around it to see its cabins and things to do. We then headed off in search of nowhere's exact center, passing goats and rural churches and blooming evening primrose. We went into the town of Commerce, a place where I almost got a master's degree in English from East Texas State University in 1981, until I decided at last (to cause my father to lose a bet) to go to law school. We looked at the historical marker for the town library, which said the library building used to be the post office, and was built haltingly during wartime in 1917.

I drove home in time to go to my Weight Watchers meeting, while he departed to go home to Texarkana by way of Paris.
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