Virginia is for lovers of outdoor sports. My father and I lived the motto by spending yesterday hunting on the south side of Massanutten Mountain, just east of Luray. The fields were allegedly teeming with wild turkey and black bear. The former is a good match for my 12 gauge and my father’s 16. As for the latter, well I can always outrun my old man.
The air was clear and cold when I got in to a tree stand at 6:45 a.m., with the sky still dark. There was a bone-chilling wind that caused the stand to rock. I looked down the path that led up the mountain and waited for a bird to come into my sights.
Four hours later, I was still looking. Meanwhile, my fingers were frozen to the butt of my gun and my toes had ceased to exist. The one consolation was that I had a gorgeous view down the mountain and into the central Shenandoah Valley.
In the afternoon, we got out of the stand and walked the forests, looking for wild game. Nothing was in sight, at least for two suburbanites smothered in camouflage. We headed back to the lodge and unloaded our weapons. The owner (in sympathy) gave us a pair of frozen turkey breasts left by an earlier party.
It was an unspectacular day. Except for the fact that I got to spend time with my father, keeping alive the same holiday traditions that he had with his father and his grandfather.