The Great Outdoors

Ah nature. The great outdoors. It’s green and it’s luscious. It’s where it’s not hot nor cold but instead it’s always DAMN GREAT TO BE ALIVE.

That’s were we are for vacation. In the backwoods of Wisconsin. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to run into a bear not affiliated with a circus or a deer that was not hung above the bar of one of my favorite eating establishments. In short, we’re in the bush.

My wife has family up here and every couple of years we come by with the kids to visit. We stay on a farm and in a house that is 150 years old. No shit, there’s even a certificate issued by the state recognizing ownership of the house by the same family for that entire time. Right now there is a barn across the street. I mean a real barn with real barn things like wood and tractor parts and a hornets nest big enough to swallow a man whole. Seriously, it’s like cartoon big. And next to the barn of course is the silo which I had no idea how it really worked until I asked and got a 30 minute explanation. I ate up every bit because I am having a good time up here. My wife says that on occasion that I go “Grizzly Adams”. I’m fine with it, because I am in tune with nature and nature is in tune with me. Gods country. I’m very close to taking off my shirt and smearing my chest with mud.

I’m riding in the back of a pickup truck because that is also what you do when you are out in nature. Eventually some one will say “get in the back of the truck” and without thinking, it’s what you do. I don’t know why. You know all the dangers that your big city life has taught you about riding in the back of a truck. No seat belts, getting thrown out, no protection from the drive by shootings. But out in nature, you ride in the back of the pickup truck down roads that don’t really exist.

It’s more of a trail than a road but you go down it anyway with your wife’s 79 year old Uncle Larry at the helm. Because he knows these here woods and he knows where these here trails lead. So without question, when he says get in the back of the truck that’s what you do while Uncle Bricksalesman, who is also on this trip, jumps in the very bug free passenger seat. You would think that a man with the nickname of Bricksalesman would man up and jump in the back with me, but nope, I ride this trail alone. Jackass.

But it gives a man a moment to think and ponder. It gives a man time to reflect on his life and try to really determine what is important. While you look at the trees and spit the bugs out of your mouth, you really discover who you are.


Nature has just smacked me in the back of the head. Now this is not the first time that I have ridden in the back of a truck. However, the last time I did it I was around 12 years old and I suppose I have forgotten much of the rules of riding in the back of a truck, admiring nature. Namely, watch out for tree branches that do no harm to the wussy Uncle Bricksalesman in the front seat but like to bitch slap the moron who’s trying to get all philosophical in the back of the truck. Nature does not like that guy.

Nature needs to be admired close up and not from a distance. If you do that you can’t see nature coming and nature does not like to be ignored. And when you are going down a trail in the woods with Uncle Larry, it’s probably best to pay a little closer attention to the actual nature. So let’s move to the other side.

Whack Whack.

It would appear that nature does not like to be observed close up either. I suppose that nature feels that you can’t really enjoy her beauty close up. You’ve got to take them both in, the distant and the close and if you ignore either, Nature slaps you on the back of the head like a 10 year old boy who just pissed off his dad.


Apparently, there’s more in nature than just tree branches that like to hit you. Nature has spiders as well. It’s natures way of reminding you that she has multiple offensive capabilities. This time it’s a spider, maybe next time it’s Nosfuratu. One thing is for certain though—when you are in the back of a pickup truck there is no running. There’s just no where to go. I suppose you could dive out and tuck and roll but that only works for heros who are saving the girl in the movies but the only one I see that needs saving is a 250 pound man in the back of the truck.

But nature also provides you with your own defenses such as a stick that broke off on your head and a scream that a 5 year old girl would admire. It’s my battle cry.

Now back to admiring nature. I have a full appreciation of her now. Spiders and tree’s oh my. I got it, nature is beauty and danger all rolled into one. Like the canoli in the godfather, tasty but deadly. Got it.

We come upon a covered bridge.

I didn’t think these things really existed but it appears that they do. In Nature, in the woods, on a trail. Or County Road J. I’m not sure what to think about this. My experience on covered bridges, and there have been many, tell me that one of two things are going to happen.

I’m either in Madison County and about to score with a housewife or Ichabod Crane is going to show up on the other side holding a flaming pumpkin. I threw my stick over the side because it had spider guts on it. Now I’m screwed.

We start to go over and the bridge begins to creek and moan. There’s no way this thing is holding. I’m sure that Uncle Larry would assure me that he’s been over this a hundred times and I’m sure that Uncle Bricksalesman would be protected from the falling debris in the nice covered cab of the pick up truck. I’m glad they’ll both be fine and not be able to hear my death screams.

I see some dripping water falling as we cross. Uncle Larry seems to be slowing down. Is that another’s hornet’s nest? Probably not because that wouldn’t be terrifying enough. It’s probably a nest of flying leaches. That fits about right. The bridge creeks louder, did something just snap? I’m sure something just snapped. It may have been my sanity.

We make it through the bridge unscathed and unbugged which brings me to another lesson in Nature. She can resort to psychological terror as well. Good to know. She can make you think something is going to happen and nothing will. But it gives you a new vision on life. A new respect for it and for nature. You sit back and begin to wonder………


Another tree branch. Nature can suck it.


  1. MIL's BossmanJune 29, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    Sit with your back against the cab.

  2. Uncle Bricksalesman has known Uncle Larry all his life...he knows better than to climb in the back of his truck and then drive through the woods!

  3. Please spare us from the next blog titled "Woodticks dont belong there"... Emily is having little hoss withdrawl. Have a fun trip and dont forget cheese curds are your friend.