Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
August 2008

I was down there with the sharks, and... OK, this is in Las Vegas at the Shark Reef. I lied. :)

August 1st

Happy August! I hope I was first!

August 2nd

Click to zoom
What a cute picture of Nikki Crossley with Tred Barta!

I put Stan's column up! It's awesome and I think you've all heard of Mexico's Lake El Salto from Stan, before. But, this tells the whole story. Want to fish for Peacock bass? I always have! I think I may do that! Stan's column sure makes it sound great! Read it, here.
If you want to catch up on Stan's columns, make sure and read the archives. They are all there!
Hey! Today is the ifish picnic! Are you going to attend? I am! I'm on my way as soon as I shower and pick up some food!
Tomorrow I'm going to see Grant McOmie at the Tillamook Forest Center, Sunday morning, August 3rd from 10:30-11:30! I hope to see you there, for sure! He's done so much for us! Let's show him a little love!
Last evening I went to a crab dinner and party at Bud Hosner's boathouse. Bud has Big Tuna Marine.
What a hoot! They had taken Tred Barta out for the day, and it was fun watching the "East vs.West" banter, back and forth.
Who has it the right way? The Barta way? Or the Dick Crossley way?
Sometimes I get really anxious to go out to the ocean or do crazy wild things like I used to. Especially when I'm around those who are living the good and salty life, like this!
It's upsetting to me that I can't. Dang, I miss the days of running on the jetty and trying to hide from the crashing waves in the rocks, and feeling them wash over me, and try to suck me into the ocean! I miss being a wild child! But, since my dissection, I can't. Plain and simple. I can't pull in a tuna. I can't play a halibut. Ticks me off.
But, at the same time, I want to scream about how we take everything for granted. I'd much rather sit and watch, then not be here at all! I have to be satisfied and I'm spoiled rotten to want these things, still. Hey. I'm alive. That's pretty neat.
Anyhow... The bar had been really sloppy so Bud and crew's trip was delayed till 10 AM, but they slipped out on the ebb and came back in with TUNA!, real sneaky like.
Before I left, (LOL) the guys from ifish all yelled, "Wait! Did you get a picture of Jennie and Tred?" They wouldn't let me go until they did. I stood next to Tred and smiled. But, Tred said, "Ah come on, give me some love!" So, I stood tall and towered over him. I wrapped my arms around his cougar killing shoulders.
How come he looks so tall on all the shows?
It's a very full weekend! Hope I make it through to the end!

August 6th

The hard way! The Barta way!
I didn't pinch him! Really I didn't!

I have been getting e mails asking about my welfare, as I haven't written in a while. I have been so busy!Yes! I'm still alive, but barely! I have been so busy, but mostly I've nearly laughed myself to death! I don't think I've laughed so hard for so many days in a row!
Friday-A party with Barta!
Saturday-The ifish picnic! Here are Pete's awesome pictures!

Me, just about to laugh, again!

If that isn't a look!

Great pictures of everyone! Pete is so talented behind that camera! I can't believe it. I was late! I was trying to get David to the Sunset transit center and he had me laughing so hard that I nearly crashed. It was like that "giggling in church" thing where you can't stop, except we were in four lanes of busy traffic! I told David, "If you don't stop, I'm going to crash and we'll die!" For some reason, that was funnier yet, and we nearly DID die! Dang him! LOL
Anyhow, I finally made it to the picnic!
Sunday was Grant McOmie's appreciation day at the Forestry Center. That was so awesome! Grant is such a great guy and the people that drove to join him filled the room. That's tough to do on a Sunday morning in the forest, miles from home!
Don Sohler wrote this thoughtful message and Grant listened, off to the right, below.

Click to zoom
Don, reading a "short"
essay on Grant McOmie!

Here is the message Don wrote:

A special thanks to Grant for 22 years of great stories.
Without them the news is just boring!
A public speaker and high school teacher,
he has covered the great Northwest as only a dedicated sportsman could.
From steelhead fishing in May, to crabbing in the bay,
-to the fishing stories about the big one that got away.
Hunting stories galore-or a place to go explore-
No matter what the age, he set the pace.
Water falls to a hiking mile,
he showed us that special style.
Fish hatcheries to hunting banquets,
boat safety and the PFD's at Haag Lake are his specialty.
Poachers beware!
-as Grant will show your truck on the air!
The game wardens have a tough job and only Grant could write a story that was not gory.
Grant gets the point across, that crime doesn't pay.
The fish and wildlife have their hands full, with deer and elk that have lost their way.
Grant saw a chance to write a story how ODFW feeds them hay so they may get through the winter and see another day.
The steam donkey airlift was another story indeed!
He interviewed me and put me at ease.
When the story aired it went off with a breeze.
From camping to turkey hunters, and a trip to Fish Hawk Lake,
He traveled mile after mile
and covered each story with grace and a smile.
Alas, when the Forest Center became a reality,
Only a reporter with his class could put together a story that everyone would enjoy.
Grant, all you have to do is log onto ifish to see the report
How many people are here to support!
His Getaways are great!
You might want to have him sign one before it's too late.
In the end there is only one story that is too hot for even Grant not to give it a shot.
"How many men get in trouble with their wives the day hunting season arrives?"

By Don Sohler

I think Grant was touched
by what everyone had to say. :)

I just thought that was so nice! It brought tears to my eyes, too.
I can't wait to see what Grant has next in store. I can guarantee you that he'll be back in our living rooms, soon!
Monday we had some work done on the house that required our attention, so I was busy with that.
Tuesday, Bill and I took Ken Lane (Papahog on ifish) to the Nehalem to fish for summer salmon. We saw one jack caught.
I wasn't feeling so well, so I wimped out, ditched the boat and headed up to Costco before the moderators met for lunch at the Wet Dog Saloon in Astoria.
Lunch was so fun! Roadsend, Justcallmedave, Papahog and I spent the hour laughing, talking and wondering how we ever get through a day, moderating at ifish!
But I miss my river! I miss my dogs!
The rest of the week, I'm spending packing and getting ready for Diamond lake on Monday. Plus, the Tillamook County Fair begins today! I have to make one trip there, just for the sake of going! I love going to see the animals and the vegetables and flowers. Fun!
I've been feeling a little wimpy, lately and thinking about "The Barta Way".
I have a challenge for Mr. Barta, though.
Although I would never wish it on anyone, try going through what I've been through with my aortic dissection, and STILL fish and hunt. Try that!
Maybe it's not the Barta way... but it sure is the hard way!
I needed that thought so I don't feel quite so bad sitting on the side lines of the Salty Dogs.
-So I don't feel left out so much, when I can't pull in a halibut!
-So I don't feel so badly when I sit on the dock and wave the boys goodbye, as they leave for another tuna adventure!
Off I go, now. I have to get the dogs to the river!
What an absolutely great week I've had! I have so many awesome friends!

August 7th

I'm a terrible business person. As my kids put it, "I suck." (Is that a bad word? I don't know, anymore, I hear it so often!)
I've had several business professionals try to help me to help ifish, and to little avail.
They all seem to be money oriented, and I have trouble with that. My love of fishing,, and money? What three go together? Certainly not those.
One man, a professional business man well known on the ifish boards, told me that he will never consider me successful until I'm laying on the beach somewhere doing what I like, without a worry on my mind. I would love that! Oh, how I would!
But is that success? I guess so. (I say meekly) But, I can measure success so many ways.
Personally, I tend to see ifish as very (and surprisingly) successful, and it is very simple. It makes me happy. It makes me whole. It gives me something to do.
My clients say I don't charge enough. Now, that's weird! But, the fact is that I love the feeling of everyone getting a good deal. I'm happy, knowing that the sponsors are happy! I just want enough to keep ifish running. That way I feel good.
I have a friend that once told me to "Charge them till they squeal!" LOL! I couldn't ever do that! I just couldn't! But, I guess that's the way business should be? Or is? Is that called success? If so, I don't want success. I'm no good at that game!
But, one very smart man from a group called "SCORE" ("Counselors to America's Small Business") said to me, "But, Jennie... they are really taking advantage of you."
I don't see it that way, but as a business owner, I guess I should, or am supposed to.
I do put alot of my heart and soul into ifish. I do. I suffer because of it, physically and mentally. Good thing, though, that I get equal joy and pleasure from it.
I laughed to my doctor, "I don't know if ifish is killing me, or keeping me alive!"
I think about the time I put in, and I could get myself really worked up about it. Yeah! Charge them till they squeal, cuz they are taking advantage of me!!!!"
But... I just can't! I love ifish! I love what I do! It feels wrong to charge for something I love! How can that be business? For some reason, I cannot mingle the two.
Although it's a well known statement to "Follow your passion and money will follow", I haven't found that to be true, especially if your love is something like mine.
Ha! Yeah, right! With fishing, money will follow right on down the hole in the boat where you put the rest of your money!
If you love law, or if you love medicine, you've got it made. Money will follow! But, fishing? The outdoors? Writing? Ha!
I have found a niche and was lucky to get in on fishing websites when it did. I suppose I could make money in this, but I feel like I'd have to take away the passion, or at least lower it a notch- remove myself from it, and then I could become "successful".
Guides guide because they love fishing. Yet, I know very few that are considered wealthy.
I think if you want to stay in love with fishing, you'd be best off being an accountant or something, and fishing on the side.
I get too wrapped up in it to think of it as a money making scheme. I love it, too much.
I got a letter one day from a member that said, "Stop giving your assets away!"
So what if I do? Just for fun, I add a couple extra decals when someone orders them. Why? Because I like to make people smile. I give a hat or two away. Big deal.
I do contests free of charge, pay for postage. It's fun! It makes me smile!
So, I don't charge for picture storage! It doesn't cost us that much.
I don't and won't ever charge for membership, as many have suggested. Ifish is about the people and the people make up the content. How could I charge for that?
And so, I struggle with finances.
The economy is bad. Some people can't pay their bills, so in turn, I can't pay mine. It goes on down the line. But, it's OK. I've always made it, and as long as I do, i-fish.
We have to all stick together and help one another. It's the way it is in the fishing industry. We all have to help one another and especially in these troubling times.
It's the same way with our organizations that stand up for the fisheries and fisher people's rights. It just really saddens me to see one pit their successes against another.
Instead, how bout adding to their strengths and with the power of numbers, reduce our collective failures? Wouldn't that be loverly?
Stick together, you guys. We need each other!
Just remember, in all that you do, “Honor is better than honors.” Abraham Lincoln said that and I firmly believe it. If we all took out the ego in fighting for our rights, then we'd get a whole lot farther and be a whole lot happier! --So would the fish!
Many people think of fame and fortune when they think of measuring success. Me? I just want to be able to sleep nights. I also want to keep alive and well.
When I look around me and I see the tall trees that surround me on every side... When I sit to gaze at the river, and the sky and trees perfectly mirrored on its glassy surface... When my dogs are playing, tails wagging on the sandy beach... I am successful. I am happy.
And when I sit down at my computer with those that have become a real family to me, and I can share with those on things nearest and dearest to my heart... well?
I feel like I'm the luckiest girl in the world. How can that not be success?

August 9th

Click pic to zoom
Papahog on ifish (Ken Lane)

I had a great time fishing with Ken and Willie. Willie is Ken's best friend and he's so darling! He has this little briefcase that he hides in when he gets bored. He's such a great fishing dog! I want him!
Pets are such great fishing friends.
Yesterday, Molly the fishing cat and I went down to the river. The dogs went too, but were busy chasing things with wings, down in the shallows.
I figured they'd scare any and all fish up my way, so I jumped in the canoe to go take a look.
It's been so windy out, and yesterday was a canoe day come true. Not a breath of wind. The water was flat glassy.
I pushed off. I've got the mount and dismount on a canoe, down! I'm good! (Just when I think I'm good, you watch! I'll tip!)
So, I pushed off and cut the water like butter. It was lovely! Molly stayed on the shore. I invited her, but she ignored me with that snotty cat look. She licked her paw and looked the other way, as if to brush me off.
OK, fine! I'll go alone!
I studied the rocks deep in the water. Wow! I finally figured out that all the big boulders in the water were from a rock/mud slide from years past. How many years? I wonder! I mean you can just tell by the angle they are in the depths, that something really violent happened! It forms all kinds of neat little hidey places for steelhead, and it's really fun to study to figure out where I'll fish, next year. That is, if it doesn't change.
George, the cutthroat trout has been missing for several days. His friend is gone, too. I've canoed most every day and haven't seen them for about a week.
Just as I approached the deepest water, I heard Molly give out the saddest cry. Looking over, there she was. Molly the fickle, pawing the water, gazing longingly at me.
"OK, Molly..." Sigh. I paddled for shore, butted the canoe up on the rocks, so she could jump in. She's not so good at mount and dismount, and although she weighs so very little, she still rocks the boat, unknowingly. I steadied it and backed off the rocks.
She is so funny! She absolutely doesn't understand what could happen if she's not careful.
Under us is five feet of water, and she's walking the balance beam; the gunwale of the canoe! "Molly!" Just as I said that, thank goodness she fell IN the boat and not out.
I think she finally got a bit of fear. She then positioned herself back feet down and front feet on the edge of the canoe, peering out. What a sight! I need a picture of this! She is such a silly cat!
She rowed with me, ducking at swallows and staring down into the water, with me.
I brought along a notepad, and drifted, Molly exploring the canoe, while I made notes for what to bring to Diamond Lake.
I'm leaving tomorrow. I can't wait!
I hear that the fishing is good. Bill and I are taking along the duck boat instead of the jet sled. It's just easier to tow.
We have a lakefront cabin, thanks to my Dad. A Christmas Present to all of us kids. I hope the boys get to go, but their jobs may prevent it.
Yesterday, I made cake and cookies and pies, oh my! I know we won't starve!
I bought a wireless laptop card and I hope they have 3G there! If so, I'll be writing from Diamond Lake!
Have a great week!

August 15th

Hi there, I'm home! I'm so excited to be home, but I had such a great time! My family is awesome. As Bill says, "You are lucky to have such a great family!" Indeed!
I'm working on a picture page, so I'll be back when that's up, but here are a few highlights:

Arty the Fish God
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It takes a couple days to get dialed in on Diamond lake, and the pressure was on. In two days, my brothers and I were responsible for what? A trout dinner. Oh, no! And we weren't catching a thing! So, as a joke (ha ha, Erin!) my niece made this fish God for us, and placed it on a stick by the boats.
I think it worked, because in no time, I was catching fish! In fact, I came in with the largest fish, a 21 inch beauty! I have no picture of that, but my Dad does! I'll post it when he sends it to me. :)

My nephew Brett
with a huge 18 inch beauty!
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I can't believe this kid! He's a fish catching machine and never gets tired of it! I just adore him. This is my brother David's son. He's in the boat with Brett.

Kilchis, by our boat
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Kilchis just loved to get in the boat and go. We had a blast. We'd fish and then go to shore to let the dogs romp. Kilchis would have been happy to stay in the boat all day!

This, the Logsdon Lounge, after fishing
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We were responsible for dinner in groups. After dinner, we'd all gather at the main cabin to relax. Wait a minute, relax? The whole day, the whole trip was relaxing!

Dragonflies, everywhere!
no need to zoom, thanks!

I'll continue later with the pics. I don't want to give them all away!
But-- we had a great time, even though we had a little accident on the way home. It could have been much worse!
As we were approaching the last two hours of the trip home, (it took 8 hours to travel there!) I heard an awful noise, as we passed over a bridge. You know how you can hear noises when it bounces off of cement? Well, this was an awful noise! Really bad! "Bill, pull over! We are making an awful noise!"
Oh, my gosh! I looked back and the boat was totally lopsided. We had lost not only the tire, but the wheel and the bolts!
Good thing Bill had a spare, but man oh man, that could have killed someone!
A guy pulled up behind us and said we had lost it 3 miles back! No way!
We didn't feel or hear it or notice at all. That's scary!
Anyhow, it was an adventure, and so relaxing!
More later! I'm excited to be home. There were tears all around when we hugged goodbye. Why do we have so much more fun at Diamond Lake, then anywhere? I don't know, but I want to go back next year!
Keep care of yourself in this heat!

August 18th

I just put up Francis Caldwell's new column, and it is so great! He's going to start using chapters from his book, "Salmon On My Mind" for his column, and I'm so excited about that! I think... I think it's my favorite book by him! This particular column, though, is from the log of the Donna C. Read it!
Watch for his columns the 15th of each month. This one was late, due to my vacation.
Word of the day: Phooey Ten! Fishing wasn't so hot at B-10 yesterday, says Bill Hedlund!

Back at home....
I thought, perhaps, it was only the change in the density of air from the dry high mountain lakes to the coast.
It just felt different out when I climbed out of my car and welcomed myself home.
It had been a long drive. Nearly 8 hours from Diamond lake to Tillamook. Even longer when you consider that the tire on our boat trailer (and wheel, and bolts!) had all left us without our knowledge, somewhere on the Hiway from Salem to Lincoln City.
Less than an hour of fixing by Bill in 100 degree heat had us back on the road home. Thank God for men! Sometimes their pre-programmed "fixit" mentality really does come in handy!
I remember back to when I was a kid coming home from Diamond Lake. It was always like moving from one dimension to a remarkably different one. Everything changed. Like going from sunshine to rain.
Long days sitting on the front lawn playing with my friends was soon to change to a scheduled day of school and long days of activity. Football games, and 4-H.
As I took the dogs around to survey the property, I noticed that the majority of juicy raspberries I had left were dried up or mushy on the vine. I was able to pick a handful of survivors, and as I tossed them down the hatch, the sweetness of just a week ago had lessened. They just didn't taste the same.
But, the blueberries! They are finally turning to blue!
My nasturtiums were twice the size. Almost like a jungle, they climbed out of their pots, shooting for the sky, and trailing along the gravel. They now cover my dahlias and marigolds. The whole garden is a massive array of colors. Reds, golds and yellows.
My beautiful male goldfinch are losing their bright yellow mating dress, and turning a dusky, mustard color.
The trail to the river is overgrown for lack of use. Blackberry vines threaten bloodletting as they reach out to grab me.
"Don't go near the water!" They warn.
I see why. It's the pinch period on the Kilchis river. The water is low and still and oddly warm. The rocks at the edge, mossy and slippery. It didn't seem anything could survive in what little flow is left. The ocean seemingly pulled the plug and was draining any moisture left coming from the mountains- pulling it all out to sea. And all, without so much as a riffle of current! My poor cutthroat! Are they alright? A canoe trip finds no signs of George.
But, the things I see aren't the only changes that welcome me home. I feel it in the air. Like I said, I thought it was the change of mountain air to coastal, but it was oh-so-much more than that!
I finally pinned it down.
It was the change from Summer to Fall. But, it's not the normal feeling you get, when you change seasons. It's not the nip of the morning air, as oddly enough, we've had that all summer, this year. We never did get a warm morning.
The light of day is ending earlier than it was. I used to be able to fish till 9. Now, it's 8 or before.
It just happened all at once, while I was gone!
I can hear it in the wind that blows through full, dry trees at night. It's different from the summer wind. Almost like you can hear the leaves giving way, one by one, letting go of life.
The quiet mornings loudly pronounce the absence of young birds, trying out their new and squawky voices.
Where did they go?
They weren't in the pear tree, and they weren't in their houses.
The tree swallows that we had so carefully left the garage door open for were gone. No little peeps of the noisy young family. They flew the coup while we were gone!
Sadly, I think of a letter that Jim Erickson wrote me, once. I begin to agree with him. I'll never forget when he first talked to me about the sadness of Fall. I've always loved Fall and looked eagerly forward to it. The salmon! The Steelhead! The cold winter mornings! I love Fall and Winter! But, now? Why am I feeling loss? Sadness?
If I didn't know better, I'd think that Diamond lake steals away the summer! I grew up thinking so. When I got home, it was always shopping for school clothes, and gathering pencils and paper and pens.
The rain falls sideways today and lightning and thunder rumble in the background. It's actually quite beautiful and ominous out. They forecast 2 inches of rain in the next two days! That will cool off the river and bring the cutthroat in! Jim Erickson also always said, "When the blackberries are ripe, the cutthroat will bite!"
That's true, and you know what? I ate my first sweet blackberry, yesterday! Soon, there will be muffins and cakes and pies, oh my!
It just happened so fast, while I wasn't looking! I need to catch up to the idea of Fall. When I do, I'll be able to get more excited about it.
I really do love it!

August 20th

Whoo hooo the rain, and whoo-hoo the wind!
It's stormin, Norman! I kind of like it! It's so different from what I'm used to, right now! Now, this... this is home!
I put all my plants in a safe cozy place. My flowers aren't liking this at all! Just ask them! I'm so afraid to go look at my beautiful begonia! Yikes!
Bill always gets up on mornings like this and heads out to the truck to survey the river after I report the rain. 2.53 inches so far, this storm period! That's a bunch! Wind gusts to 15. It's one of those South blowing winds where we magically don't get touched. Garibaldi had one up to 41 yesterday. When we found that out, we both looked at each other in amazement. When? It had been dead calm, all day.
There should be cutthroat in the river and I can't wait... I simply cannot wait to take the canoe out when it becomes calm. What if? What if there are salmon to see? Is this the perfect storm for salmon viewing? And hey! If I wear my dry suit in the canoe, what if... what if I fished for them and caught one! What a hoot that would be! I'd absolutely LOVE to be dragged around the river by a salmon! Makes me giggle to even think about it! I need a kayak!
I have this lovely dry suit made by USIA that is a bright neon pink and black. They'd take me for a big bobber and bite me! Yikes!
Oh, wait a minute. A thought just came to me! When Ben and I went out (Tag) during a storm one time, well? I'll never forget it!
We went out during a storm on the Columbia. We were on Fort Steven's Beach at parking lot C. We drove out, our rods were bent over, due to the wind and driving rain. We couldn't even tell if we had a fish on. We'd just go randomly check and sure enough, fish on! And fish on again! It was wild! We caught our limit of silvers in no time flat! We were laughing so hard out there! We had the beach to ourselves, naturally. It was so nasty out!
What made me think of this is that another time, we went out during a storm, jack fishing. They were attacking our bobbers! The bite was that good! The fish were ravenous! I almost feel like going to visit a girlfriend of mine in Astoria. I'd knock on her door like old times and say, "Let's go!" Ester was my fishing buddy. We both had Subarus so that we could get out on the beach to fish! She'd love it if I showed up! Maybe... just maybe I will!
Think I have Fall fishing madness? Uh huh!

August 21st

When I get nervous, I laugh. Especially, it seems, at inopportune times.
The water looked canoe-able! It did! And there wasn't a breath of wind in the air! Perfection!
I mean, there was just one place in the middle that was a little bit iffy, and I thought sure I could make it through that. It was a strong current that had a little tiny curl back at the top. I mean, after all, there might be salmon in this water and I had to check it out, to see!
I put it on my list of "must do".
We had over three inches of rain during this storm and it brought the river up well over a foot. Two days ago, Bill had offered to take me cutthroat fishing on Thursday, but this morning we both sighed and decided it was just too swift and heavy for that.
Instead, I returned to cooking mode and put out another pineapple upside down cake, (since we polished off one last night with zero effort) finished a beef and barley stew from broth that I cooked down from meaty bones, yesterday, and whipped up a fresh loaf of chewy white bread.
I reminded myself to start up another sourdough starter before Fall really sets in. I'd forgotten the benefits of cooking during bad weather. It's fun stuff, even though I'm not so fond of the after effects.
My shoulders were really sore. I decided that's due to too many games of flinging hamsters in the sky. This is the latest, the greatest game that a bunch of die hard ifishers are addicted to, lately. I love that game! I can stop at any time! I've yet to break 800, even though I did one long record run of 465.
To loosen them up, I decided to take Kilchis for a walk. That didn't work, so I thought about the canoe. Off we headed for the water.
The river was three times the distance across as it was three days earlier. But, that's no problem. Right? I flipped it over and slid it down the rocks.
I just knew the minute that I held up the life jacket and decided to actually put it on, that I might be in trouble.
Still, it gave me a spooky, uneasy feeling that it had crossed my mind. Was I crazy to do this? Bill thought so. That's why I didn't ask or tell him.
I was fine at first, as I glided out into the river. It was perfect! No sweat!
Then I hit the first of the current. Oh my! It was strong! I started to giggle as I rowed harder.
The bow of the canoe pointed downstream and I fought to keep it inline. Oh, no! I laughed! I knew I was in trouble by the time I hit a full pitched guffaw and the canoe was racing sideways for shallow water, sideways. If I hit a rock at this speed, I was done for! This is not good! How come I can't stop laughing? I'm headed for a downed tree and....that couldn't be... that can't be a curl back?
Abandon ship!
I was laughing so hard, though, that my abs ached! "Kilchis! Rev! HELLLP!!!!"
No one even knew I was on the river! That made it all the funnier!
I can't write I'm laughing so hard, recalling it all.
I had no choice but to grab the life jacket and bail. I had to! Lucky for me, I kept hold of the canoe!
So, there I was, soaking wet, canoe rope in hand on the opposite side of the river. The cold water on my sides had stopped my giggling in no time flat as I sharply inhaled the shock of the freezing water and went under. It was only in two feet of water, but still- ahead of me was a downed tree with water sucking things up and spitting them out (most of them) on the other side! Yikes! (giggle!)
Now, I stood in two feet of water, stone cold sober, staring at the other side of the river that I had to get back to. Oh! Great! To add to all the stress, now a breeze began to blow! I wasn't laughing any more!
I got back. I did. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't as challenging as the way over. I didn't laugh at all.
Just don't tell Bill, OK? He loves it when I'm wrong and he has told me that I'm crazy to consider canoeing during high water.
I snuck in the back door and headed upstairs behind him. He said "Hi there, how's the water?" He thought I'd been fishing. "Fine!" I forced a gleeful voice and made way for the bedroom to change my clothes.
One thing, though... My shoulders hurt even worse, now. Laughing and canoeing doesn't do sore shoulders any good at all.

August 24th

Oh, by the way... I'm going to wear my dang life jacket EVERY day while canoeing. Yesterday I did the full trip thing. All the way down to the big hole and back.
I saw no fish. None at all.
Thing is, it's deep enough to barely skim through the shallows right now, so I can even get back up by paddling, rather than towing.
But... it was so weird!
Sometimes I almost fool myself into not being disabled at all.
The water is crystal clear, the light, the pure air, the sunshine, it all makes me feel like a kid.
It's kind of like the story of Heidi where she goes to the Swiss Alps and feels so much better!
Likewise, I need the Kilchis river for my health.
I was paddling and singing at the top of my lungs, (no one can hear, I hope!)
"Oh, the Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord!" That's pretty much my theme song. I'm sure my family would agree. My boys tend to roll their eyes, but I betcha anything they will always remember me singing that. I hope it sticks with them. The Lord is good to them, too!
All of the sudden, for no reason at all, and in over 15 feet of water, I began to black out! The whole world started to spin. The green trees swirled around me. Thank God I still had enough wit about me to hurry and row to shore!
Nothing happened. I didn't pass out. I have learned that when I feel like I'm going to faint, I'm to tighten all my muscles. That prevents me from fainting all the way.
But, can you imagine? Passing out in a canoe would not be great! A self righting life jacket like my new Mustang auto inflatable is a must. You can't even tell that you have it on, they are so comfy. They don't scratch at the back of your neck. Although they are expensive, I have to ask myself, "How much is my life worth?"
I've lived through the stupidity of youth. I've lasted through an aortic dissection. I'm sure as heck not going to give in to drowning!
The Lord is good to me,
and yes, I thank the Lord,
for giving me, the things I need,
the sun, and the rain and the life jacket I need!
Yesterday, besides canoeing, I went for a short walk. I'm trying to get so that I can walk up the driveway without being winded. I'm finally feeling as if I just might live, again, so it's time to try to get into shape. I want to feel better than I do. I've been told I can't work out, really, but I can walk, by golly. Can't I?
Half way down the road I ran into my 80 year old neighbor man and he is so nice! Fun to listen to, too. He has stories of the area that are just fascinating. He's lived on the Kilchis river road forever. He and his wife Patsy are just jewels. I really like them, both. What great people!
Last night I went to the weigh in and dinner for the Oregon Tuna Classic.
I absolutely had a blast! I took some pictures.
You can view them, here

Great crowd for dinner!

What a bunch of great people! The Salty Dogs are just awesome. I had one beer. ONE! And on an empty stomach, and because I'm not used to drinking alcohol much, I was one silly and giggling girl! I had more fun, though! So many, many people! Hundreds!
The ocean was kind to them and the sun shone brightly on all fishers. Catches came into the dock at a rapid pace. Some caught as many as 70 fish! There was a six foot swell or so, but no wind chop. Some of the gals had a great time staying behind, laying in the sun while their guys went out and caught tuna.

Bud Hosner and Dick Crossley

I was lucky enough to come home with two loins for dinner! YUM! I can't wait to warm that up on the grill and eat it! Oh, I can't wait! There is nothing... nothing better than Tuna just barely grilled with a little wasabi. Yum. I don't think I can wait. Maybe a little sashimi for breakfast... with maple syrup? (laugh)
It's foggy this morning. Kind of a soft entrance to the day. I'm happy. Life is good.
The Lord... Ya know? He rocks.
He's good to me.
Gotta go watch Tred Barta on my Tevo. I think I have a eensy weensy crush on him. I know, I know... He's married, but he's a TV star, right? That's permissible.


August 26th

What a crazy night!

Helicopters gone wild!
Click Pic to zoom

I came to Portland for a doctor's appointment and for a business meeting. I'm staying downtown.
Last night, I arrived back in my hotel room on the 12th floor, and my gosh! In the background, there was the sound of helicopters. I didn't think much of it, until it got loud, close, and my window blew shut. What is going on? Curiosity drew me to the window.
Oh my gosh! Military helicopters filled the air. They were flying in between buildings at warp speed and at eye level. I didn't know whether to be excited, put my hand to my heart and feel patriotic, or to be scared witless. I ended up feeling a bit of both.
It WAS cool!
Every once and a while one would attempt to land on a peach colored, mostly reflective glass building, just two buildings over. I should know what that building is, but I don't! I have a picture, though. Anyhow... it was just amazing, and noisy!
But, pretty soon as the evening wore on and the helicopters were thicker, more active, and flying even lower, people around were beginning to panic.
For some reason, our floor was asked to leave, but now I'm not sure if someone just panicked or if it was a real order. All I know is that my neighbor knocked on the door and told me that they were evacuating our floor. Interesting. That's when I began to wonder.
It's just that no one knew what was going on and everyone seemed to want it to be OK, yet no one was talking. Not the news, not the police, not the security, no one!
Down at ground level is where I began to understand what the general reaction was. Panic! One poor lady was nearly in tears! Another man was taking a video and cussing at them. A homeless man stumbled by, proclaiming the end of our time, here.
It was just weird, and certainly not restful!
The army guys were hanging out of their fully armored helicopters, and had cameras or night vision scopes out. I mean, they flew by my window so close that I could see them talking!
They seemed to be flying in a grid pattern, up sixth, down fifth, and so on, but every once and a while, they'd stop, hover down and land gently on the side of a skyscraper, and then back off.
This went on until a little after 10 PM. People were up in arms over it on the KGW forum. NOT happy!
The news regarding it was just so weird. Past tense, as if it had been written for them. They put this up while it was happening and wrote it in a way like it was for readers Tuesday morning. Just strange!
I didn't sleep well, and usually I sleep so well, here!
I woke up certainly expecting some kind of news explanation, but no one is talking! At all! Considering the uproar, that's so weird!
I'm off to my errands-

August 28th

I've come a long way, baby.
When I first moved to Tillamook, I went to the food bank once a week to get food for the kids and I. Due to my decreasing eyesight, I had given up my entire flock of piano students to move here to the Kilchis river, and I was hurtin' for certain! was still fairly small but it was what I did, and I loved it. (Still do!)
Funny, but I read this in the Metro section of the Daily Oregonian, and I thought, "Executive Tower, huh?" I giggled.
My sister called and teased me. "Heard you were staying at the Executive towers!" Oh, man.
But, I don't have my nose too far in the air. The single digits in my checkbook lowers my nose level quite nicely, thanks.
I use the Hilton Platinum American Express card for all of my business bills and I have earned enough points to stay free. I don't fly much, so I haven't used my Alaska card for a long time.
I do love the credit card games, though. If you use them for everything, you can really gift yourself with fun things! I really adore staying in fancy hotels and playing with the electric curtains. Actually, the Hilton doesn't have electric curtains, but they do have really nice rooms and great bathtubs!
I went to Bath and Beauty and got some fun bubble bath and headed back to my room to relax. Ben and Jerry's is just around the corner, too! What more could I ask for?
I love the city feel of things, and the hustle bustle around me. (Helicopters NOT included!)
I filled the bath tub and every time it got quiet, I thought I'd get in and soak. But, every time I got near it, the helicopters came back. (Whop, whop whop!) Frustrating!
Oddly enough, I saw a commercial not too long ago about the Hilton Platinum card, and I could so relate! It was this guy swimming in a beautiful pool and saying, "Everyone thinks I'm rich!" LOL...
Anyhow, thinking back, it still makes me feel like I've come a long way, baby! And... I have!
A long time ago I spoke to Willie of Willie Boats. He told me that he made just enough to do what he needed to do every year, and no more. That's why he'd only take on 'so many' new boats to build a year. He led a simple life, and I admired that. He kept really busy by doing this, but only made enough to pay his bills, go to Alaska, and to live a happy life.
I'm trying to do the same. Some of the ifish sponsors tease me, and tell me that I don't charge enough. I charge enough to get by, to pay the ifish bills, and to make sure I have enough to go to Las Vegas to the ICAST show each year, pay the bill for the Sportsman Show, etc. It works for me. I'm happy.
It does get difficult, sometimes when there are unexpected expenses. For instance, I need a computer. I have to work harder or plan differently for these things.
The older I get, though, the more simple I crave my life to be. I'm really thinking of trying to get rid of almost all that I own except essentials this year. I'm thinking that by selling these things, I can buy my computer and have a whole lot less "stuff" to confuse my life.
Exception: My fishing stuff. Those are considered essential. :)
"Things" weigh you down, and I don't want things. I want people in my life! I think when you have a brush with death, you start thinking this way. I have been writing down on the backs of my treasured things who it should go to, when I pass. We all should do that. Our lives are so fragile!
This year has really been one of the toughest due to the economy, and I'm barely squeaking by. Each month, like most other people these days, I have to figure out how I'm going to make it, and by month's end, I have single digits in my check book. This month I have 8.00 dollars left. Yikes! It's scary, but I'm hanging on! -- and so is my old computer!
The other day, I drove by the church in town where they have the food bank, and thought about those days when I needed to worry about what would be dinner. I was always so embarrassed to have to go there, and driving by is a warning to me that I don't ever want to have to go back. I feel like I've come along way to move up and on with my life and I don't want to back peddle!
On the same note, though, I don't want to be one of too much money. People with too much money don't appear happy, either. I can honestly say that my poorest years were some of my most treasured memories, looking back. I'll never forget having enough money one time to buy "Comet" to clean my sink. I was so happy, walking home with that can of Comet! So proud!
Some days are harder than others, as with everyone else. Some people at that Executive Hilton belong there. They have enough income to actually pay for it. All the same, they have struggles in their life that I bet equals anyone elses in difficulty.
The other day my friend Ginny sent me one of those pass around e mails. It said: "Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
That really hit me! So, so true!
I came home from the "executive" city the other night and filled up my bathtub with the bubbles I'd bought. I got a candy bar out of the boat stash and cut it up in little pieces and took it upstairs on a silver tray.
Kilchis sat by the tub, and looked longingly at the treats.
I sunk into the bubbles with my silver tray of goodies next to me, and handed a small piece to Kilchis, to share.
I smiled and decided then and there that home is about as good as it gets!
We've come a long way, Kilchis. Haven't we? He licked his lips.
I wonder if I should get some electric curtains.
Nah. That's just "stuff."

August 30th

I pulled the covers up to my nose. A cold wind blew in the room from the crack in the sliding glass door. For months now, the air has been refreshingly cool after long, hot days.
This morning it was down right cold! Brr!
It is Fall, in August! I felt it first, last night, as I went to bed. It was colder yet, this morning! Cold as the handle of your steelhead reel in January!
Labor Day weekend used to set the end of the summer tourist season, -but no longer.
I used to look forward to the Tuesday after Labor Day weekend. I'd drive to the intersection on Alderbrook and Hi way 101, and look both ways. I'd pause to marvel at the lack of traffic. Both ways, as far as the eye could see would be empty. Behind me, empty! If a car happened to come along, it was most probably someone I knew in town!
In the summer busy months, that intersection is horrible and dangerous! Sometimes I'm stuck trying to get onto the hi way for up to five minutes! It's panicky, too, because a line forms behind me, while I'm waiting for traffic to clear. It creates an urgency to dart out into traffic before I'm totally comfortable doing so. I can't count the times I've been honked at, impatiently. I'm not much of a risk taker! I have enough trouble, just getting my ticker to keep beating during the calm. Sometimes, I admit to taking a right, instead of crossing traffic. I then find a place to turn around. There. That works, too, and is a bunch less stressful!
Just living and breathing is a risk for me that most people don't experience. That explains to me (and now you!) why I don't do the things I used to enjoy so very much. No more hiding in the jetty rocks while beach waves crash over me. No more wild driving in Porsches with my girlfriends. I'm happy just breathing, thanks.
Although-- Although I am getting past the scare of an aortic dissection, sometimes, I think! I find my mind wandering to those things that I loved and I long, once again- to go to sea.
The Tred Barta visit gave me want to live a little more dangerously. I found myself lusting after those who live the wilder life. What's better? Living a little while wild, or longer, calmer? I'm not sure. I'd hate to pass, not doing what I love. But, I do love life. Do I want to risk losing it by playing a tuna that could kill me? Not sure. Let me think on it.
Good to know I still have a bit in me, even if I don't give way to it. At least, yet. :) Hey-- I even had a beer the other night. Look out! LOL. Wild child.
Yesterday I drove back from town and as I did, I noticed the fog crawling over the sky from the ocean. Like millions of stubby fingers, a bank of fog with tendrils reaching out, tried to fill in the crevices of the mountainside that encloses the Kilchis river valley, where I live. It was enchanting. It smelled like Fall salmon. The sun gave way to a misty dark and coastal dampness. My heart raced.
I drove down my bumpy gravel driveway, and took sanctuary at my computer. Home, to ifish! I read the discussion board and came upon a thread where someone was tying hooks in advance of a sturgeon trip. They noted how it made their heart beat faster in anticipation. A member wrote that there was something about working in his "man cave" that was exciting.
Hey, wait a minute! I feel that, too, and I refuse to think of it as a man cave! What about a woman cave? Where is that, I ask!? I'll tell you where it is. It's at my kitchen table and it's not male.
Here's a secret for ya: It happens to women, too! So there.
As the world grows, I find myself pushed more and more toward my "woman cave", with each passing year.
There will be tons of traffic on 101 on Tuesday. I know that, because the traffic seems to grow each and every year and last year was a zoo. Just as the kids go back to school, the older folks have discovered that it is a beautiful time of year, here at the coast. The weather is gorgeous. Warm and sunny most days, and cool and crisp at night. Not only that... but (sh!) we have... Fall salmon!
Tuesday will not find me driving to town to explore the vacant hiways and biways. It will find me tying up salmon rigs at my kitchen table. My "woman cave". And yes, it makes my heart beat like crazy and it's wild enough for me!
I also apologize ahead of time for giving away the zipperlip of "Salmon at the coast" during the Fall. Now it will be crowded. Shoot.