In Eastern Montana you can watch a storm coming at you from the middle of the river for a long time. You can see forever here. It is part of the beauty. Wide open spaces wherever you turn.
Zeusy and I was watching one for 45 minutes and as it grew closer a strong wind gust hit us right in the noses. The canoe was pushed sideways and the wind carried us 500 ft upriver. Time to hunker down.
The only landing I could find was a long mudbank. As I watched the lightning streak out of the sky and hit the ground the mudbank was all I had.
I steered in and Zeusy jumped out and headed for the trees. I got out of the boat and sunk to my knees in the most clingy hard to walk mud.
Then I heard a goose calling loudly from the bush. Then it came flying out and landed in the river. Followed by Zeusy who thought it wise to leap into the river and swim for the goose.
I screamed above the now high winds for him to return but could not chase him. I was still stuck in the mud with about three minutes until storm time.
He returned knowing I was mad. I made him stay on the bank while I struggled in the mud. I grabbed the gunwale of the canoe to bring it with me. I couldn’t loose it. The river is a long way off from any help.
Just then I looked down and saw four eyes. I had two mice in the form of stowaways. Looking me dead in the eye. Desperate, all I could do was to plead with them ” Please get out! ”
I pulled my left foot out only to feel the sandal rip. It was now only around my ankle. It helped! Mud is best negotiated barefoot.
So I finally got on solid ground, put on my raincoat and backpack, staked down the canoe and walked exhausted in my one broken sandle, and knee high mud into the bush.
I sat down, Zeusy laying next to me as the storm hit hard. I had one hand on monster dawg as I bowed my head from the storm. It friggin’ poured!
I then smelled a familiar odor. I had sat in a mint patch! Imagine the great luck! I sat and chewed on mint leaves for the 30 minutes the storm hit us hard. Even small hail for the reminder of who was boss. The planet I love.
Zeusy did not like the mint. No ranch dressing I guess.