The 49th Annual Wild Game Feed at Irvine Lake is scheduled for Friday, September 15, 2017, and nothing I can do will make it appear any sooner. Each year the third Friday in September takes about 200 centuries to arrive. The more I try to speed it up, the longer it takes to arrive, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. Believe me, if I had a time machine…
The holidays are over, and my Santa season has slowed down quite a bit. Almost immediately after the Feed is over each year I jump right into the red suit and ride the red sleigh for a few months. I don’t have time to even think about the AWGF, and that is a good thing, otherwise the wait for the Feed would seem even longer. But the red suit is now at the cleaners, and I have time to think.
In the past few days I began to prep for the Feed. I pulled out my shelters to check them over and discovered a broken leg and a rip in the top and side of one of them. Maybe I should go back to using just one shelter—it was easier anyway. I’m having difficulty finding quality quail eggs this year, but I’ll keep working on it. As always, no guarantees that I’ll succeed, but I’ll try. And I took stock of my cigars. Uh, I think I over-bought. Right now I have over 300 with more on order, and during the year I usually don’t smoke more than three or four apart from the Feed.
This year I’m planning to pack a little lighter than in the past. It’s just getting to be too much for this old man to handle, so my list of things to bring is getting an overhaul. If I haven’t used it in the past two years, I’m not bringing it. (The two exceptions are my small first aid kit and T.P.) I think this will eliminate about ten to fifteen percent of the burden. When I started going to the feed I was in my late forties, and the baggage was no problem, but now I’m in my late sixties and just walking from the parking lot to the entry booth is getting difficult. Time to reduce the ‘stuff.’
I was actually thinking of bringing only the basics as I once did long ago, but that’s just a bit too Spartan for me. I need a shelter, table, chair, mug, real knife fork and spoon, and my ice chest with a few bottles of cider in it. I guess I also need to bring my cigars and pickled quail eggs (if I can make them this year), and some plastic bags to bring a few morsels home in. Let’s see, paper towels, cigar cutter, heavy-duty paper plates and bowls (I don’t like the cardboard boats they serve the food in), barbeque sauce, mustard, cigar lighter, bottled water, and toothpicks. I think I’m back to the full load. So much for reducing the burden.
Well, I guess rather than try to reduce the load I’ll just start the process of obsessing over the packing procedure and modifying my checklist. There’s nothing as frustrating as last minute packing only to discover at the Feed a few important items were forgotten such as a ticket, or cigars, or a chair. All it takes is to forget just one essential to make for a less than perfect day. I forgot my ticket once (once), and had to drive all the way back home (over 30 miles away) to retrieve it. Pooh! But I discovered the problem early and was able to get back to the Feed in time to see the start of the procedure. I wasn’t first in line, but I didn’t miss anything either.
I hope to see everyone again this year. Remember, when the ticket order form arrives in late May or early June, don’t hesitate to place your order, or the Feed may go on without you.