Saturday, January 3, 2009

Road Trip! Chapter 1, The Meating

So today I began the epic haul from Southern Maryland to New York, Pennsylvania, and back. To start off with I drove from St. Mary's county to the pan handle of Western Maryland. I know that the description doesn't help anyone, so here's a quick sketch of what the drive was like:

Wait...what's that?

Oh Maryland, you name your cities so well.

Anyway, here's where the adventure begins. I arrive at the home of my friend Abigail Getty in an effort to help her move to New York. As the story goes she won't be having a car, so I opt to give her a hand. So, after about 5 hours of driving from damp and cold land to snowy and cold land I arrived in the shady woods of her home. Calm and serene as it seems, I had no idea what was about to happen. Here you can see my car from the next morning.

As luck would have it, I actually did not kill anyone and run them over with my car. Rather, as I arrived the previous night I was introduced to the skinned body of a recently deceased deer that we'll call Irva for the time being. Irva had been hunted down not one hour before my arrival by Abbie's dad, Abe Getty. When I walked up to her house I felt an eerie sensation of fresh death, and it was both unsettling and fascinating to behold.

So I start talking with Abbie's dad and soon enough, my vegetarianism comes up in conversation.

Abe: "So Trevor, do you like deer meat?"
Trevor: "Uhh, well actually I'm a vegetarian."
Abe: "Ah, a vegetarian! I love vegetarians! They're the only thing I eat!"

Hunter humor mixed with cannibalism is always a winning combination in my book. He charmed me over instantly.

As the evening progressed I was eventually invited to help butcher the deer the following morning to which I did everything I could to hold back my excitement and said yes. So at 7:00a.m. we set out to the garage with knife in hand, ready to sever some flesh.

Here we see Mr. Getty going to town on that little 'ol deer. In the process I had no idea what he was doing and if it were up to me and my own devices at the time I probably would have started cutting myself up. Fortunately, he was a ready and willing teacher. Mr. Getty had an unearthly amount of patience as we went to work on that meat sack, and what's more is that he affirmed me with every step. Albeit for me to say that I'm a vegetarian there is one event that might leave some to say otherwise.

Mini-chapter bonus, lucky you!

The story of the Backstraps

Around 10:00a.m., Abbie's father and I head back out to the garage after grinding up some choice cuts of shoulder meat. As I'm walking out with a Tupperware bucket in hand, Mr. Getty starts giggling to himself and begins to talk about the mythical and awe inspiring backstraps of a deer. He begins to grin a little bit and then, while cutting away at the spine he turns his head to me and says "you know if you weren't here, I'd probably be eating this stuff right off the bone."
***side note: A couple of days later when I was telling this story to Abbie, she told me that her dad was testing me. And then I passed.

So I said let's do this thing and before I knew it he stuck out his knife and offered a piece of raw flesh. Yumm.

As we continued through the day I learned a lot about Mr. Getty, aside from all of the lessons about hunting and butchering that he taught me he also showed me around his wooded property and told me about his life. Surprise to me, he's been hunting everywhere. After a missions trip to Africa, he decided to get a license and make his way back to the Kalahari desert where he tracked down all sorts of Seussically named animals. He's been buffalo hunting, bear hunting, zebra hunting and he's even taken down a cougar - which I might add he proudly has stuffed and mounted in his office. What's more, while Mr. Getty passionately hunts as a hobby he spends the professional portion of his life as a Dentist. Go figure right? Teamed with his wife, the two serve outstanding portions of savory venison to any guests that hap their way.

As the afternoon steadily approached us, Abbie and I decided to hit the road - heading to our ultimate destination of Brooklyn.

Things I learned from this part of the trip:
-The foreleg of a deer is not connected to the rest of it's body by any sort of bone, rather it is fastened solely by muscle.
-Everyone should know something about hunting/primitive skills, not only for survival, but also for the sake of being a real man! Abbie is already talking to her brother's about the establishment of a Man School in her backyard. Details of enrollment will be included on this blog when the details of how much it costs to start a university get figured out.