Up early and another Con breakfast: bacon, eggs, and English muffin. Packed the remainder and headed to the plane. Loaded up, to include Con’s nearly 14 year old black lab Teal who was getting the honor of hunting first on the season opener.
It’s about a 30 minute flight across the harbor to the Duck Shack which is located near the mouth of the Susitna River. Keith, Phil, and Jerry were already there when as Con had flown them in the days prior to prepare the shack and the duck blinds.
The afternoon was spent completing last minute tasks and getting our decoys set. Jerome was in charge of cooking the magnificent 12 pound Prime Rib, he did not disappoint. One of the traditions at the shack was listening to Garrison Keillor’s News from Lake Wobegon on Duck Hunters and the Merganser. August 31 is also my fathers birthday and we toasted his memory. At sunset Con had something special planned. He had brought out red paper lantern that he had written the names of friends that no longer with us: my dad, Doug, and two others that I can’t remember. We all had a shot of Doug’s favorite bourbon as the lantern slowly rose into the sky. It took about 10 minutes for it to sail out of sight, with only a slight breeze it was beautiful.