Greetings, Pond Boss fans! As usual, it seems we're busier than we should be! But, I wouldn't have it any other way. As you may have read in another thread, the Queen and I took a drive to South Dakota.
Here's a pretty cute story. Last time I wrote this blog, I was in a hotel in College Station, Texas.
On Friday night, November 5, at dinner, I bit into a hunk of fantastic red meat...and broke a corner off a molar. No big deal. It was distracting, but no big deal. Later that evening, after we left our third stop...the Dixie Chicken (a famous College Station haunt), it was about 10 pm and that dang tooth was distracting even more. So, I did what any logical Pond Boss would do. I tapped into the Pond Boss network of best friends and made a call. You see, when I got home on Sunday afternoon, Debbie and I were immediately headed to South Dakota to give a speech to the AFS Chapter and others at South Dakota State University. The speech was scheduled for 6:30 on Monday, the 8th. That meant we would leave...and drive 840 miles from Sunday afternoon and arrive by 5ish on Monday.
So, at 10 pm on Friday night, I called Dr. Bruce Condello in Lincoln, Nebraska and asked him the odds of repairing a broken tooth on Monday morning around 9:30. He immediately responded, "100%!" Holy Cow! By 11 Monday, the Queen and I were back on the road, headed to South Dakota...and giving a speech at 6:30. Condello had done his dental magic and the tooth was way better than before.
The next day, Peter and Cindy Maffei, long time Pond Boss subscribers, hosted us for a fantastic day of pheasant hunting and good food.
Debbie and I climbed in with Dr. Dave Willis and Lily, his setter. Lily was in the kennel, but her heart was already afield.
We had a great day! Peter has done a fantastic job managing his 160 acres of perfect pheasant habitat. He's surrounded by corn fields and a stream/wetland gently strolls through the middle of his land. With serpentine shaped food plots and well managed native grasses...and virtually no hunting...wild birds have a chance to survive...and thrive.
Dr.Brian Graeb, fisheries professor, with Lady, Sauger, Yours truly, Lily and Dr. Willis and our quarry of the day. It was truly a memorable day...all of it.
Two of the birds were worthy of mounting, so the next day, Dave and I headed to a local taxidermist. As we left the shop, here's what we saw. That may be as close to the pot of gold I'll ever be.
Dave and I hopped in the truck that morning and tried our luck on public land. Lots of birds...but they were way smarter than this Texan.
That evening, Dr. Willis invited us to dinner. Dave Willis and his bride, Susie, were our hosts. Susie is 2nd from left. That's Debbie on the left. Also attending were Dr. & Mrs. Mike Brown, Dr. & Mrs. Brian Graeb and Peter and Cindy Maffei.
We were in Brookings until Thursday morning. Late on Wednesday, Debbie said, "Honey, I've never seen the Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore...or any of that. Let's go." I bristled a little bit because she said it so fast that it sounded easy. She had no idea how far it was. But, I'm a sucker for her wishes and after I thought about it for a minute (or two), I agreed. It was 420 miles due west.
I kinda-sorta wanted to leave early. Not. So, we leisurely woke up...at least one of us did...we loaded, bid farewell to our hosts and headed due west. Saw some pretty cool things as we wound through the countryside.
We were clipping along a state highway about 65, topped a hill and saw this. A cattle drive. We stopped and gave them plenty of room. Pretty cool.
We hit the Interstate for a while and then went off for the circle through the Badlands. Rugged beauty.
Saw this herd of deer, about 30 yards off the highway.
After that, we made our way to the world famous Wall Drug. It was worth the stop.
With lots of miles behind us, we got to witness this beautiful sunset as the Black Hills loomed.