We left Montgomery at 11:30 a.m. with Liberty, Mississippi entered into Matilda as our destination. After a quick stop to fuel up and grab a sandwich we were on the road; one hour later than expected. We made two more stops before arriving in Liberty; one to buy my license and the second to top off the fuel tank.

One thing that became blatantly obvious to me is the fact that getting a bigger truck only meant taking more stuff. As in many of my past trips I have shared photos of the Lil Silver Pony packed to the max…well, Clyde indeed had more room but it was evident that it only allowed me to not be so selective over what I packed. Good thing I am a resourceful packer…hmmm, or is that a curse?

Packed to the roof

Packed to the roof-but I didn't forget anything!

Attending this hunt were women from several different states: Kat Fresenburg from Missouri, Daphne Nutter from Georgia, Christy Turner from Texas, Tommie Lea Clanton and Joy Castlen from Louisiana, Cyndi Penn from Mississippi and Rita Sumrall from Mississippi, who had no clue that she was attending a hog hunt with 7 other women this weekend. Chris, Rita’s husband contacted me over three weeks ago and signed her up for the hunt with him attending as her guide. He actually kept it a secret the entire time telling her only yesterday that they were going camping for the weekend with some friends. He called me on my cell at 4:30 p.m. when they arrived in Liberty, Mississippi and handed the phone to Rita. I introduced myself and told her what Chris had planned and that I had no clue how in the world he kept it a secret. She was a little emotional over the phone and I was really touched that Chris was able to play the whole thing out…way to go Chris, you’re one-of-a-kind.

Kat Fresenburg

Daphne Nutter

Christy Turner

Tommie Lea Clanton and Joy Castlen

Cyndi Penn

Chris and Rita Sumrall

We arrived at Bubba’s Camp at 6:45 p.m. A fire had already been started at the bonfire and John (Cookin) was steady chopping wood while Tommie Lea poked the fire and helped stack the wood. Bubba and Brent had Joy, Christy, Rita and her husband Chris riding the trails on ATVs. Kat was in the camp house getting familiar with a new camera. Daphne and Cyndi were shortly behind me in arriving at camp.

We sat around the fire getting acquainted with each other and sharing a few stories and laughs. Bubba headed for the camp kitchen to start cooking his Legendary Mudbug E’toufe. We tossed around the idea of actually going out on an evening hunt but I think we were all having such a good time visiting at the fire that we shrugged the thought off.

Hanging out at the fire

Getting acquainted

Around 9:30 p.m. Bubba rang the dinner bell and as cows coming to the milk barn we filed in one by one into the camp house. The aromas from Bubba’s dish were wonderful that it made my stomach growl and my mouth water. We all filed in line and spooning a spoonful of rice into our bowl followed by a big helping of the divine dish I have waited 3 months to try. It was so delicious…the texture, the slight spicy kick, the roué….simply divine, I tell you. We all grabbed a seat, some standing, and some nested on chair arms but all were oohing and ahhing over the dish. There were a few that first dished out a little bowlful…but those went back for a second helping.

Bubba cooking up his famous Mudbug Etoufe

Bubbas Famous Mudbug Etoufe cooking and rice boiling

Tommie Lea and I eager to learn about this new dish

After dinner we all returned to the fire and had a great time cutting up. Tommie Lea brought fixings for S’mores and we tried our hand at making them in the fire; one was enough for me…whew, I don’t remember them being so sweet—but still good. Daphne and Tommie Lea made triple S’mores in a neat basket that several folks scooped up right away….Brent was talked into eating a second one and we all laughed as he painfully ate every last bit. I made a note to never take a pre-roasted marshmallow from Richard or Tommie Lea…don’t ask, just take heed—Joy survived though.

Tommie Lea and Daphne working on the S'mores

Eating S'mores by the campfire

We all headed to our bunks around midnight with instructions to be up in the morning and ready to head to the woods at 5:30 a.m. I think I remotely heard the sound of a hog squealing off in the distance as I fell quickly asleep exhausted by all the excitement and happenings of the day….but I may have been dreaming since I peacefully went to sleep saying a prayer for a successful harvest of my first hog this weekend.