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The stream was running a little quicker than usual, but "The Rock" could still be seen sticking out of water, which generally meant it was safe to wade. With his rod in hand, wading staff and a small box of flies, Frank was on his way. Realizing he had a challenge ahead of him with winds swirling through canyon, Frank decided to make it easier on himself and tuck in behind towering bluff and work "hidden cove", as a few locals liked to refer to it. Many a trout had come from this pool under just such conditions, and Frank was able to repeat his time honored tactics on this particular day to land and release at least a dozen decent rainbows. As he prepared to pack it in and call it a morning, Frank noticed a familiar silouhette off in distance. The unmistakable outline could be none other than his trusty old friend.
Harold Westinghouse was a brooding figure even from a distance, standing well over six feet tall, and sporting a grey beard of "biblical proportions". "Hey Westinghouse!" Frank yelled as he made his way back to streambank. "You wearin' your lucky shirt today? Your not gonna need it, fish are hitting anything that gets near 'em!" Frank laughed. Sharing their spots was never an issue between these two, as they grew up together on this land and helped lead way in preservation of this watershed through extensive conservation efforts. As Frank got closer to his friend, fog seemed to lift in an almost surreal fashion and he found himself standing midstream staring at a newly fallen tree that must have been knocked down in recent storm.
It was at this moment that Frank suddenly realized his whole world had drastically taken a turn in last six months with loss of Mary, preceded three months earlier by loss of his best friend. Now it seemed as though he was losing his mind, as he stood there staring for what seemed like an eternity, with scattered memories flooding in and consuming his thoughts, trying to get a grip on what he was going to do from here with his life. Thoughts of packing away those boxes entered equation once again, and it was time.
The last year of Frank Malone's life was spent travelling to all places he always refused to visit because he had very best in his backyard and couldn't bear thought of ever turning his back on something so dear to him. Some say he died of a broken heart and only returned to be scattered into wind that he was always trying to escape from while out in water. Those that never got to know him will wish they had upon hearing of his life-long passion for this great land. One only needs to look toward sky and hope for a glimpse of a bald eagle spreading it's wings as it glides off into pines, and they will come to know that Frank still watches over this remarkable place, and all is well in this little corner of great outdoors.
The End HeartlandOutdoorsman.Com
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