When Bruce retired from active management at the lodge, he was immediately promoted to minnow trapper. It was a position that he had held as a young boy. The promotion tells you which direction Bruce was going in the lodge hierarchy.
With the opening of fishing season quickly approaching, Bruce is getting his traps out. Pretty soon he will be hiking through the nearby woods to set and bait these traps. Like many people who have grown up here, Bruce loves to be in the woods but usually his hikes are in connection with a work project such as minnow trapping. He notices every change along his trails, sees all the game and generally enjoys the walks.
Over the last few years many different people have accompanied him about these rounds. Perhaps his favorite pal is Grandson Zach who now likes to lead the way. Eva and Lee's dog Tucker is another favorite. Tucker checks out every smell on the path. If you get asked along, don't expect a leisurely stroll. Bruce was taught his woods lore by our neighbors, Charlie Cook and George Plummer. They taught him a fast steady pace that never changed no matter how much or how little gear you were carrying.
I particulary like it when the wild strawberries are out. As soon as those tiny berries appear, Bruce takes along a one-cup margarine container. He will pick berries just long enough to fill that one cup. When he returns home, they are cleaned and frozen them until there is enough for a batch of wild strawberry jam. Usually by the end of the season we have about 24 jars of this delicious spread.
But at this time of year, just being in the woods is enough to make minnow trapping a joy.