Got a call from my friend Ben in Minnesota right after Christmas and we planned a get together. I left all the details up to him. "Surprise me!" I said and hung up the phone. I flew into Minneapolis and there he was waiting for me, grinning from ear to ear. "You like cold? I gonna show you cold!" Now he had warned me to dress for being outside in a Minnesota winter, so I did bring my best outdoor gear. I didn't pump him for information, I just let him surprise me.
The next day we had breakfast at his place with his wife Ellen and then we took off, getting an early start. He had a small ATV on a trailer behind his truck and everything was all packed so we left right away.
When we pulled up to the lake my jaw dropped open. What the heck were all those blue tents and ATV's doing right ON the frickin' lake? Oh my goodness, it finally dawned on me, we were going to be doing some ice fishing! Modern ice fishing. I had no idea! Ben always was one for the hunting/fishing/trapping side of the outdoor sports scene, whereas I prefer to challenge myself physically and opt for camping, hiking, backpacking, climbing, etc. There was going to be a huge learning curve!
But Ben was up for the challenge of taking out a novice like me and ignored my surprised look on my face as he pulled the ATV out onto the lake. Then he showed me how to set up his portable 'fising tent' as I called it and he cringed every time. He had one of those clam ice fishing huts, and man was it great. It was large enough to stand up in, it was easy to set up, and it really did keep us warm. We could not have fit one more guy in there, though.
Ben caught a few fish and I caught one and it was a lot of fun. I was surprised at how much fun I had.
Ben if you read this, I hope we get to do that again next year!
Thanks for visiting Weekends Outdoors.