One late afternoon about twenty five years ago I was out in the middle of the Shiawassee Flats. Deep in the heart of the Shiawassee State Game Area, we had the whole place to ourselves that cold November day. The sun was setting as we headed deeper into the swamp. To our surprise a small boat was headed towards us up the river. Two guys and a gal all done up in camouflage, obviously they were bow hunters headed back to St. Charles. As we exchanged looks on the way by I said “Mark?” The guy looked and said “Lenny?” It was an old friend who used to drive me to the races when I was too young to drive. We shared a bottle of “anti-freeze” and laughed at our good fortune, running into each other in the 18,000 acre maze of rivers, marshes, and bayous.
We are both busy now with families and trying to earn a living, and it’s hard to get together for some good old fashion Johnny Panthering. A couple of nights ago, after numerous phone calls with logistical concerns, we headed out into the swamps in the small boat. Mark’s mission was to try and capture some good images to update his website. Unfortunately the light was flat and the sunset was fleeting, but we still managed to have a good time. By the end of the boat ride my stomach hurt from laughing.
Back in the old days, we had lots of spare time for having fun and bonding. Afternoons like this one are rare to come by anymore, I hate to see them end. Hopefully, because of the poor conditions, Mark will be able to somehow schedule a do over into the Flats for another photo safari. Nowadays our life styles are pretty diverse, but when we get hooked up for a little adventure, it’s like we haven’t missed a beat. Good friends are hard to come by, and getting the planets lined up so we can get together can be challenging. I cannot remember one time that it wasn’t well worth it though!