The worst person I ever knew was myself, and I hated him
The clerk at the Family Dollar is taking her sweet fucking time as she checks out my groceries (12pack of Bucsh Beer and 30 ramen noodles). My bloated body is sweating profusely, I’m becoming nauseated and anxious as I stand there waiting for this country bumpkin to crank things into high gear.
I want to slap this cunt for being a loser at a loser job. Can she not sense that I need that beer in my gut, can she not sense that I’m a man on a mission? She hands me my bag of shit, I mustard up the courage to say thank you. I’m out the door.
Before I leave Knoxville TN I’m making sure I have everything I need for my grand adventure. Fishing rod, lighter, tarp, knife, flashlight, every Cormac McCarthy book ever written, books on philosophy and religion, books about edible plants on the east coast of north America, ramen noodles and beer. Oh, I’m set, and ready to make the the great outdoors my bitch.
I crack open my first beer for the road, I pound it in 2 gulps. Let’s get this party started.
2hrs later I’m at The Upper Clinch. You have the Upper Clinch and the Lower Clinch. The Upper Clich is before Norris Lake, a man made lake for Norris Damn. Norris Damn is massive and supplies energy for hundreds of the surrounding counties. The lower Clinch which is the tail of the river is freezing cold. It’s cold because the water supply comes from the bottom of Norris Lake, which is very deep. Both sections of this 337 mile long river have their own Majesty.
Lower Clich is loaded with Trout, because of its cold temperatures and high oxygen source, Trout thrive there. But the lower Clinch has a lot of development along it. The upper Clinch is loaded with Smallmouth and Largemouth bass, and just about every species of SunFish in North America. Saying that The Upper Clinch is a fishing paradise would be an understatement. There is little development along the upper Clinch, which starts in Virginia (ends in Tennessee). A perfect place for someone leaving society behind, a perfect place to disappear.
A man named (Ron) who is the dad of a close friend of mine has hundreds of Acres on the upper Clinch. There’s a spot we call “The Line” on his property, when you stand there, half your body is in Virginia, half your body is in Tennessee. Besides dead Native Americans of the past, I assure the people reading this story that nobody knows this section of the planet better than I do. I’ve been exploring and fishing this expansion of land for over a decade (the trees and animals call me by my first name when I’m out there).
I step out of my Isuzu Rodeo. I instantly feel the cool, fresh air of The Clinch River. Even in my disgusting, drug induced, alcoholic state, the atmosphere of these lands still have the power to relax me. Ron is there to greet me with a smile as he stands in front of his self made, 2 story Log Cabin.
Ron is one of those people that doesn’t have a tooth left in his head, hasn’t had a job in 20 years and loves cocaine, pot and booze. He’s also brilliant and self reliant (just don’t get on his badside). Back when Ron had a lot of money he bought his land from Country Folk singer John Prine. Ron has always called me (and introduced me as) his Illegitimate City Slicker of a Son. He’s fond of me to say the least.
ONE LAST BUZZ
Several days before I set out on my life changing experience, I partied, and I partied hard. Cocaine, marijuana and the devils brew were plentiful as always. I hadn’t planned on several more days of exercising my right to kill my organs, body, soul and mind. But hey, I’m an addict and those drugs were coming in hot and free! And these Back Country Ladies are alway more than willing to suck the cock of a handsome City Slicker such as myself (these females of the back country always assume a better life awaits them if a city boy gets them pregnant).
I leave a note on Ron’s rusty old pickup truck. The note says that he can use my car if he needs to, and if he doesn’t mind, to turn on the engine occasionally so the gas doesn’t turn sour. I thank him for the good time and letting me use his land.
June 4th 2011: I set out for the middle of nowhere. I set out incredibly sick in the mind and ill in the body. That Man-child was going out into the great outdoors to die, then to be reborn as the self aware, humbled man that he is today.
Nature and isolation was about to kick the living shit out of me.
Welcome to The Clinch…