Monday, June 26, 2017


Since our black lab sheds approximately 3,427,912 hairs in the course of an average day, we vacuum with a big ass 6-1/2-horse 14 gallon shop vac in the vain hope we’ll get at least the majority of it. I started to give it a whirl today right after lunch, but it wasn’t sucking very well so I took it outside to empty it in the trash can and clean out the filter which was, of course, covered with a fine inch-thick mat of dog hair.
          Well, there sat my pickup truck and it occurred to me that I hadn’t given it a proper cleaning inside and out since before last hunting season. SO I changed gears and decided to clean the truck “real quick.” True, I might actually need a parka in mid-June in Montana (sure enough, we had a late frost the next night)  but it really was a long overdue project. Five hours later I was wondering if the job would ever end and a few thoughts had occurred to me.
          In back, I have an enclosed topper for hauling live goats, dead deer, and hay bales. First of all, you know you’re long overdue on cleaning out the truck when you find mushrooms growing in the matted hay under the particle board you use as a bed liner.
          Second, there was still quite a bit of crusted elk blood on the big piece of cardboard I threw in during hunting season. It was good to get rid of that before a highway patrolman someday started asking pointed questions and nervously fingering his sidearm. Besides, if you do happen to have any cardboard in the back of your truck when you haul your goats somewhere, you won’t have it anymore by the time you get where you’re going. 
          Third, in some parts of the country having 4x4 is a big deal. Here it is essentially standard and you don’t think anything of it. Four-wheel-drive is just part of the average commute. In fact, you don’t start to feel truly comfortable driving  around in winter (October to May) unless you have tire chains for at least one axle, a tow rope or chain, jumper cables, a extra jack, a 4-way lug wrench, a shovel or entrenching tool, rain gear, wool blanket, and fire-starters. I do have a pre-paid cell phone in the glovebox that I occasionally remember to take in and charge, but I can’t think of a single time when I ever needed to use the damn thing that I actually had cell coverage.
          If you have a dog who likes to ride shotgun sometimes, it’s just as important to wash the inside of the windshield as the outside. Usually the first topic of conversation that comes up when I have a passenger, especially my wife, is, “How can you see to drive with all these nose prints all over the windows?”  
          The best part was all the treasures I found that I figured I had lost a long time ago, to include the missing ratchet strap, my ski waxing cork, a good pair of gloves, two predator calls, and ammo. Hoo-boy the ammo. Well over thirty rounds, to include two center-fire rifle calibers, .22 rimfires, 12-gauge shotgun shells, and a stray .45 ACP pistol snake shotload. Plus about five bucks worth of assorted change from the ash tray, floor and glove compartment.
          I can’t wait to see what I find when I clean it out again before hunting season.

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