By Mick Holien
Are you like me and hoping for even one additional day in the boat on Flathead Lake or have you settled into the opening of fall sports seasons and content to chalk up the summer to one of those rare smoke seasons that left the vessel moored and you and the family itching for some barbecue and maybe even a river day.
From my vantage point south of town yet looking out at the west side of Finley Point, the lake sometimes appears for just a period then is shrouded with drifting smoke only to clear later through the narrows and beyond.
And while much needed rain is in the near forecast I am reluctant to look forward to high temperatures struggling to reach into the sixties.
After just a half dozen lake adventures this summer I am holding my breath for just a pair more to justify keeping the Vox vessel in the water full time.
But along the lines of old dogs and new tricks when my buddy returned for a few days from Tacoma I learned the difference between being on the helm and not.
Upon returning I encouraged him to take the wheel while I just enjoy the afternoon sun and what I perceived to be a leisurely jaunt of less than a half hour back to port.
But after that trip I will never question when someone looks at me agonizingly when I power the boat on plane for a 30 trip maybe from Bird Island into Polson Bay and home.
I guess I had forgotten the beating passengers take as the boat skies over wakes bounding back to the surface all the time tossing passengers, no matter how secure, back and forth and side to side.
It wasn’t that I didn’t notice it while it was happening but it wasn’t until late in the evening when my back and my backside if you will let me know I had made a mistake by giving up the wheel.
So to all those deck boat passengers an advance note – I’ll be a better listener next time, not accuse you of being a whiner and encourage your input.
I’ll leave my high speed shenanigans to when I am by myself.. just sayin’