This old train trestle has served as a kind of backdrop of my life for as long as I can remember. It's where I learned to swim, spent hours fishing and playing and getting in trouble, where I rode my horse as a teenager to let him run far too wildly in the wide open fields, and even where Josh and I spent hours sitting and talking while we were dating. It's quiet, secluded, and if you ask anyone in Ben Franklin, TX to meet you at 'the Trestle', I assure you they'll know exactly what you mean. The trains stopped running years ago, but I still remember the days of looking up from the swimming hole below to see an old engine chuggin' by.
This weekend we drove out to my parent's to do a little fishin', and with the drought still in full swing the trusty ole train trestle is one of the few remaining water holes where you can do just that. My mom, Tirzah and I climbed on the 4-wheelers with Dad and Josh bringing up the rear in the truck, and meandered our way down the old backroads. It goes something like this: gravel road to gravel road, cross the old rail tracks where the gravel turns to dirt and clods, thru the farmland along the treeline until the road runs out completely, then zig zag your way thru the pasture until the river looms into view.
We parked our rides and grabbed our chairs and poles, scaled our way down the steep river bank and picked out a spot to sit awhile.
Josh was quick to reel in the first catch of the day. Being the competitive type he was quite proud of himself ;-)
It wasn't very long until we heard the sound of another 4-wheeler drawing near. My dad never even looked up but stated knowingly, "There's your Uncle Larry." (They well recognize the sounds of each others atv's you know, pick up trucks, dog barks, and shotguns as well. I'm totally not kidding.)
He wasted no time gettin' down to business.
I sat and snapped photos and fished awhile, but I wasn't getting so much as a bite! Finally I got up and marched past Josh to the other side of the water, grumbling to anyone listening about how I was going to show them all up. I kicked off my flip-flops, dipped my toes in the water, and settled in just where the fish had literally been jumping outta the water for the last hour....
...problem was, I found myself quickly distracted. Notice in the picture on the far right how I'm staring at my feet rather than my bobber like I should be?? Remember the 'fish pedicure' craze that hit a few years ago? Well, we country folk have had that one under lock and key for generations! Check it out:
And if you actually go for a swim you'll come out with full body exfoliation. Like a day at the spa I tell you, except no spa on the planet will ever be this organic! ;-)
Content with my all natural pedicure, I finally gave up and retreated to the shade of the trestle for a snack. But everyone else was suddenly on a roll! Dad hit the 'sweet spot' so they all crowded in and started jockeying for position...
After several hours and a nice sunburn I suddenly decided I desperately needed to make a pie, so mom and I crawled out and headed back towards the house. Tirzah and Josh decided they were finished too, so we left the overall brothers alone in the riverbed with the fish.
The official stats stood as follows:
Josh-FIRST fish of the day
Tirzah-BIGGEST fish of the day
Dad-MOST fish of the day
Me-A fish pedicure
(Plus two soft shell turtles which yes, of course my Daddy cooked and ate. Apparently soft shell turtles are known for their 5 distinct flavors: Chicken, pork, and so on. Who knew?! Ben Franklin folk, that's who. I admit I caved to the peer 'aka DAD' pressure and tried it, but I couldn't get past the texture... I immediately reminded him I was pregnant and would gag if he made me eat any more. There's #2 on my list again, still working quite nicely!)
There was also a lesson in filleting while I napped, and then awoke to a Mom-made feast of hush puppies and fish. Oh and Josh got his fix of 'shootin' stuff' in the pasture, too.
Apparently cooking the smaller fish bone-in is called 'corn cobbing' or 'corn cobbers' or something. That term was new to me, however I did not eat a filet with bone and tail. I couldn't do it. I'm pregnant, ya know ;-)
So what did you do this weekend?? Anything as fun as fishing and shootin' stuff??