Luther says he's going to start an album and call it the Wolf Hollow Almanac. It will honor his title cabin in the mountains of West Virginia, hard by the Cacapon River, where traditions are established with each view adventure.
There are plenty of adventures, because Luther never does anything the easy way.
Take trout fishing. Last spring we stopped at a trout hole. We found two local folks fishing there, and whenwe asked how they were doing they pulled out a pair of huge rainbows ona stringer and grinned through the holes where their teeth used to be.
Apparently the srteam had just been stocked and they were picking up trout practically at will. It was the chance of a lifetime.
"Let's get out of here," Luther said. "I'd rather buy those fish at the supermarket tham catch them like that."
Three weeks ago he and Jack went up to the cabin for some deer hunting. Luther didn't get his buck, but Jack found himself staring at a nine-pointer the very first day. He shot it cleanly, and then pondered the difficult task of getting it back to the cabin, which was two miles away over a dozen tall ridges.
Luther figured it out. He went back to the cabin, hauled out the canoe and paddled a mile upstream while Jack dragged the buck down to the valley. They met, rolled the 150-pound deer into the boat and paddled it home, through the whitewater riffles.
"See this bloody rope?" Luther asked, holding up the stained canoe tether last weekend. "Evidence of our successful hunt."
He managed to insinuate the canoe into a spring turkey hunt last year, as well. It did us no good at all, but added the new dimension of predawn paddling to the hunt and has a sustaining value for that reason alone, I suspect.
Now comes the last day of fall turkey season, and Lutherhad some innovations for it, too. Enter Parker.
Parker is Luther's turkey dog, one year old now, and guaranteed to do his stuff. The guarantee comes from the first owner, one Parker Wheedon, after whom the dog isnamed.
Just what a turkey dog's stuff is up somewhat to conjecture. most hunters have never even heard of a turkey dog.
Luther says he once saw the legendary peaches in action under Wheedon himself. "She justambles through the woods. You watch her tail. When the tail starts wagging, this is very significant. It means she's onto something. You follow then, and as she moves along she speeds up the pace. That means the trail is getting hot.
"When the tail wags even more vigorously and she begins to race through the woods, you begin running along behind. Shegoes faster still until you are racing full speed behind.
"Then, blam, she hits the flock and turkeys are flying and running every which-way."
The function of the turkey dog is thus dispatched. It has broken up the flock. Now it must sit quietly by the master's side while he calls the flock back together with his turkey call. If all goes well the day ends when he lures a big tom into shooting range.
This is all teoretical, of course, and no one knows if Parker is clued in to the theory because he has yet to encounter a flock of turkeys.
The purpose of our last-day hunt has to indoctrinate Parket, I suspect, but it was for naught because the turkeys, as always, were smarter than the hunters and never showed.
We did manage to walk 10 mountainous miles, morning to dark, and wear ourselves down to the nub, which is as Luther would have it.
We stopped for lunch on a high knoll. While the dog frolicked Luther asked for views on the morning's performance. "You do think he hunts well, don't you?"
Ruff Fant offered the opinion that Parker's romping appeared somewhat undirected.
"Well, you do think he's smarter than the average dog, don't you?" Luther asked.
"I believe the comparison may be an insult to the average dog," Fant replied.
And so it goes. That night we fixed a wonderful dinner of roast wild duck, which we plucked, stuffed and ate on the spot, plus a salad with a garlic dressing that defies description, it was so elegant. Luther worked an hour on the dressing alone.
We slept like dead men and in the morning fixed sausages and flapjacks and cutwood for the stove. We watched Parker doing battle with a runaway paper napkin, which won.
Thousands of Washingtons have cabins on the woods or access to cabins in the woods. I doubt that any of them gets the kind of dedicated use that Luther's gets. His place comes with access to 2,000 acres of hunting land and the river, and he knows practically every ride and riffle.
When the Wolf Hollow Almanac is done, if ever, it will represent real knowledge, won hard.