My hunting buddy Carl has gotten his “Slam,” although his Merriam was a jake, but that still counts. The Wyoming trip is finished and it is off to Kansas, a 650-mile trip.
We left the lodge at 3 a.m., and we needed to be at our guide’s house in Kansas by 2 p.m. in Kansas. (Remember there is an hour difference in time.) We were making good time, as the traffic was light that time of morning. Besides that we were in the west, where there’s not much traffic any time. The lights of a rest area came into sight and nature was calling.
I asked Carl, “ You need to stop?” “Sure do” was his quick answer. We went into the building, I found a stall the cleaning man had just cleaned and answered the call. I didn’t see or hear Carl. I thought for just a minute that was strange, but didn’t linger on the thought. I washed and went back to the truck. Carl was not to be seen.
I saw movement in the bushes — must be a dog, I thought — and then I heard Carl’s voice, “It’s me, Steve.” I was somewhat taken back, but just shrugged it off. Then a light went off in my feeble mind. I shined the flashlight and there was Carl with toilet paper in hand, his answer to the call. He put his paper into a bag, went in and washed his hands and loaded himself back into the truck as I just sat amazed at what just happened.
I replayed every move in my mind. Stopped at rest area, went in to the building, building empty, except for the cleaning man, stalls empty, and cleaned, and here Carl is in the bushes? What was going on? I said, what the world? He said, “Steve, I just can’t use any toilet, except the one at my house. I just couldn’t put my behind on that toilet seat, not knowing who had sat there.”
I felt like kicking him out of the truck, but Kansas is a long way from home. Daylight came without any more rest stops, and we rolled into Kansas right on time. As we talked to the guide, my friend Bill Anderson, whom I have hunted with for 17 years or more, I noticed that Carl was gone but really never thought much about it until we went to sit his blind up for the next day’s hunt.
“Where did you go?” I asked. “I had to use the bathroom again, so I got in one of the sheds. I hope he doesn’t go in there for a while.” Now I wanted to shoot him.
We will continue next week with day one of the Kansas Rio turkey hunt with Carl and Little Creek Ranch.