I have decided to embrace this whole “Throwback Thursday,” or “TBT” ordeal, and make it a day for me to write about my travel experiences. I love to travel. I get my best ideas when I am in a completely new place, out of my day to day habits, sights and people.
What better way to kick start this Thursday blog post than to reach back and recognize traveling I was blessed enough to do as a child. I am referring to the fishing trips my dad use to take my sisters and I on during the weekends.
It was always a thrill to make the sandwiches and pack the snacks for my sisters and I. Mom would be there reminding me not to forget things. She was my walking, talking checklist. (This is probably why I must make so many lists in my life now.) The most important one was always, do not forget the sunscreen. Also, when you get to where you’re going, PUT ON the SUNSCREEN.
Most of the time, we did not know where we were going. I suppose my dad always knew, but when we would ask, he would tell us we were going to the Moon. Our silver fishing boat, just big enough for the four of us comfortably, was hooked up to our Chevy Astro van. This was a good indication we were going fishing. The poles were packed, the life jackets were in their place, and I was ecstatic we were going to spend the day on the water!
We would cross the New Jersey/ New York line and head up state a little ways to a reservoir called Monskville. It was a fun spot to be, and there were rumors of big fish there but we always got skunked at Monksville. (“Skunked” is when you fish all day and don’t catch a thing.) My favorite were our trips to Greenwood Lake. It was always easy to fish off the dock for Sunnys, and Blue Gills and hence avoid getting skunked. My sisters and I would remove our clothing we wore over our bathing suits (or “baby suits,” as Diana used to say) put on our life jackets and grab our poles. We would fish off the dock, while dad got the boat settled in the water. Most times, but not always we would put on the sunscreen. We often got in trouble when we didn’t
reapply after being out on the water all day.
One day in the 4th grade, I walked out of the school building with my friends and saw dad waiting there. He was right in front with our rubber fishing boat strapped down to the hood of our van. My first emotions were embarassment and panic. It looked really tacky to say the least. These emotions were soon overcome with joy and excitement as I realized we must be going on another fishing adventure. This time we were heading to the Delaware River, which runs between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The river is rocky and shallow in parts and there are restrictions for boats and motor sizes, hence the use of our rubber boat. It didn’t matter though, we went to the Delaware Water Gap park where we were surrounded by woods and wildlife. We were busy taking in the scenery, there was no need to tempt dad to race other boats on the water way.
The Delaware River and surrounding wood, was home to many different species. It was always exciting to spot a hawk, a bald eagle or even a Black BEAR. I tried to get a snap shot of it on the disposable camera and share it with my friends at school. This is when and where my love for taking pictures came from. I would take photos of dad steering the boat, baiting our hooks, untangling our lines. I would take photos of the greenery and of course any wildlife I spotted. Last I would take pictures of my sisters and I being silly, posing with our poles, meanwhile missing good bites. Even on days where we didn’t have any luck, or even when dad didn’t have time to fish for himself, in the van on the way home dad would ask us if we had fun. The answer was always YES!