I joined my family up in the mountains at our cabin for July 4th. Originally built in 1889 in the town of Steamboat, it was transported outside town in the 60s by close family friends and my parents acquired it from them shortly thereafter. We’ve been going up there for over thirty years. (Pics by Sarah.)
While I was sick and waiting for retransplant, I wasn’t able to get up there so the 4th was the first time I’d seen the place in almost three years. It was nice to taste the mountain air again.
One of my favorite activities at the cabin is recreational ditchriding. (As opposed to non-recreational — the job of maintaining a ditch and its flows.) Recreational ditchriding involves wading in the ditch up and down its length. If you’re feeling productive, you throw in some ditch clearing, pulling branches and other muck out of the water. The photo below shows me and my nephew at the end of a marathon afternoon of ditchriding.
We rode the ditch about 1000 yards from one end of our property to the other, going back and forth several times. It was important to pass on the art of ditchriding to the next generation. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously! As I instructed Max, there are four rules to ditchriding:
1. The value of a good pair of wading shoes cannot be underestimated.
2. Bring along a dog to flush out the bears as you are moving upstream and downstream. Fortunately, we had two dogs, my Mom’s huge black lab Percival and my yellow mini-lab McCaffrey. Percival liked following us in the ditch while McCaffrey preferred to scout ahead on either bank.
3. Speak softly and carry a big stick…for brushing away cobwebs and pushing aside low-hanging branches.
4. Have fun — and be careful out there. I.e., portage around the culvert. Crawling under foot bridges is permitted as long as you don’t tell grandma and you are very short.
I expect Max to attain Professional Ditchrider status soon and before long he will be traveling the PDT circuit. We are currently seeking corporate sponsorship. Maybe Off! bug spray would be interested.