Friday, June 21, 2013

Bear Season

After Kinkfest weekend, the next week felt horribly bland, but I was looking forward to yet another weekend, for an entirely different reason. We were going camping.

The boy, my lovely boy, loves monk bread. There is, though, only one way to get monk bread. Okay, there are two. You can have it delivered, or you can drive to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and buy some directly from monks. This had occurred last September when we decided to go camping while I was home. I decided this had to happen sooner rather than later, which had us up in Michigan around the first week of September, 2011. We camped in a beautiful national park that had a very convenient little outhouse right next to the campground. I’d helped my love put up the tent and we spent three days camping there. The first night, as we were getting ready to go to bed, we were packing up things in the camp when the Boy asked, “What should we do about the dog?”

“Tie her to a tree?” I responded.

“Well, she won’t like it, but there is also the problem of the bears.”

“What bears?”

“There are bears.”

“How many bears?”

“We probably won’t see any bears.”

“You didn’t say anything about bears.”

“Well, it the forest.”

“Then maybe the dog should stay in the car,” I said. The tent we had was small, with barely enough room for the two of us. The next morning we had gone so I could get some coffee. The lovely attendant at the little gas station/pantry-that-could happily helped me with coffee and chatted me up about where I was staying. I explained that we were camping out in the national  forest, to which she smiled and asked how long we’d stay.

“Probably three days.”

“Well, if you hear any gunshots, don’t you worry about it,” she said back.

“Why is that?”

“Oh, well, it’s bear season so there are a lot of hunters out there tracking bears.”

The Boy (who was listening to this exchange) just kind of smiled.

“Bear season. It’s bear season, really?”

“Oh yes, all sorts of bears,” replied the woman. My love was just quietly amused.

We did not get attacked by bears during the trip, although it didn’t stop me from worrying about getting eaten by bears.

The same day I did not get eaten by bears we were scheduled to go and get some monk bread at the Poor Rock Abbey. The Boy had been talking it up for a month, so I figured we needed to go and do that.

Poor Rock Abbey is a pretty little abbey tucked into a bend on the road in Michigan in the Keweenaws. The little abbey apparently supports itself greatly through the making of bread and jams. This is what brought us out the first time. Though it was almost an all-day drive we made it there and bought some bread, then went up to a little turn off to enjoy some of the great beautiful Lake Superior.

“So what is in this bread anyway?” I asked.

“Eggs, sugar, raisins, and about a fifth of bourbon,” he responded. He wasn’t kidding either; the bread, after being made, was then soaked to absorption in bourbon.

“Can you get drunk eating this bread?”

“Not quickly…” he trailed off.

“Should you be eating this bread while driving?”

“Probably not,” he responded and then munch, munch, munch on the bread. This was my introduction to the Poor Rock Abbey monk bread. He wasn’t kidding, either; the bread is practically more bourbon than loaf, and  it is to die for. For Christmas I tried the other way of getting monk bread, which was having it delivered. They called it air mail, and no matter what I did, I still couldn’t help but think of a Monk swinging his way out of a helicopter with a box of monk bread and jam under his arm, knocking on the door to deliver the bread, and then being whisked into the air on a rope line that he climbed up as the awed receiver of the bread package watched him fly away.

It had been six months since monk bread, and now it was time for monk bread. We were going camping.

No comments: