Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

September 2013

September 1, 2013

Happy September!
It's official. Summer is on the way out. Can you even believe it? What happened?
The sun has been shining daily. It hasn't been raining much- but with every lovely summer evening, we are losing a little bit of light.
No, wait. It's like last night, all of the sudden the light was gone too fast. What happened? Where did it all go?
I know that it was a day by day gradual thing, but why on earth do I just notice it all at once?
Last I really remember, I was wondering when summer would hit, and then it's gone, all too fast!
Again, as every summer fades, I see the deep blue of the sky turn pastel. One by one, leaves fall and litter my green grass. It goes from being able to pick up the few leaves by hand, to needing a darn rake, and then I need to get out the blower.
Pretty soon, (and count my words!) Fall will be gone, and winter will set in! The Christmas lights I have lighting the late summer evenings on my porch will be appropriate for a different season!
Steelhead? Really? It's days away! Well, after the Fall chinook season, that is. That always comes and goes so fast!
Every other vehicle on the Tillamook 101 will be a truck, pulling a fishing boat. The launches will be crowded, and the bay, full of boats. As I make my way from Bay City to Garibaldi, I'll study each boat at the ghost hole, and see who has a fish on, and who doesn't. Then I do the math, and tell Bill was the percentage is of fish caught, that day.
As each year passes, I seem less and less interested in catching a salmon out back. By the time they are up that far, the percentage of fresh fish lessens. I'd rather catch them at the jetty, or not at all. Maybe Memaloose. Fall salmon are just not my favorite fare. How spoiled is that? After you have Springer, well, Fall fish just aren't so tasty!
But, it's fun, darnit! It's a blast to have something tugging on your line that is that big!
My doctor is coming to fish the Kilchis for late cutthroat trout after I get home from Yakutat. That will be so much fun! He's bringing a doctor friend, and I sure hope that the river is in shape for cutthroat. Sometimes it's just too darn low that time of year.
Nothing is more fun, though, that watching the desperate Fall salmon fishermen try and try to catch those migrating salmon. We approach the water with a whippy little fly rod instead of a big old salmon rig, and cast an xciter to those salmon splashes.
"Fish on!" We cry, and everyone does an about face, expecting to see a salmon on. But, no! A cutthroat breaks the water, doing acrobats like a silver spinning fly wheel!! Whoo hooo! So much more action, and so much more fun!
I have no idea what I'm in for, going to the Yakutat, but I bet I'll come home with stories that I've never dreamed I'd experience.
Life is just amazing. So many things to do! So many new experiences! If it weren't for life being so darned amazing, I'd be a bucket of tears over the experiences I've been through, otherwise.
I made it past the anniversary of Andrew's death with only a few crying bouts.
I went to Taylor Swift's concert, the night of the anniversary of his death, and I brought tissue. I'm glad I did. I sure needed it. It was awesome, and I felt Andrew's spirit in that building.
Not only that, but I was healed! It was like those Christian shows on TV where they heal people that can't walk! I stood up and danced for nearly three hours! Sure! I can't walk now! I've been in constant pain, ever since, but it was SO worth it! As much as it hurts now, I was pain free and feeling good - so great! - that night! Taylor is so awesome!
I truly believe that the more awesome and exciting your life is, the more awful things will happen to you. It's that old ying yang... the old opposites theory.
Why did I have to go through breast cancer, aortic aneurysms and the death of my child? Because I've been otherwise blessed with awesome awesomeness.
I am so thankful for everything I've been given. I had 25 years with the most amazing son, and I spend my days thanking God for that, even when I'm in tears. I miss him with my entire being, but someday.... some very fine day (and all too soon, if the fact that Fall is already here-is any indication), I will see him again.

September 2, 2013

You know how we laugh about not being able to remember a word? If you don't know, you probably aren't old enough. :)
This morning, I was sitting in the late morning sunshine having a bowl of cereal. I was thinking about how many times, over and over, (53, to be exact!) I had felt Fall nostalgia come over me. Oh, man! So many times! Does it happen to you?
One of the important things that happened in Fall that we can all relate to, is 911. That happened on one of those days, like today. Sunny, warm, wind blowing just a bit, and Fall looming in the air.
These important things add up to how we feel about our seasons, but especially, for me, Fall.
I sat down and wrote this poem, and I when I read it back to Bill, my voice wavered.
I cried. It's scary, getting older. I could relate to this so well. Doh. I guess that's because I wrote it!
But-- I mean, it's scary to not be able to think clearly, to remember words, however trivial the problem is, at this point. Will it get worse? I mean, who will get Alzheimer's, and who won't? I go visit nursing homes, and I see how awful it can be. This could be me or it could be you! No one knows who!.
I wrote this as if I was really losing my mind, and, how it might feel. That almost child-like innocence. Maybe it's good, in a way. To get back some of what you had as a small child.
I mean, it's weird how you go from the fetal position, into an upright position and then at old age, back to the fetal.
----

Was it just this summer, or was it every summer past,
When I thought how summer passed by, all to fast.

Was it two months ago that we road bikes on the old logging road?
Or was that long, sweaty ride in the sun, thirty years ago?

I sure remember it all the same.
They say that old folks remember long ago better than today.

We giggled in the irrigation as we got sprayed on the way,
We'd used this streaky self tanner. One they don't have on the market, today.

I sure remember these things all the same.
They say that old folks remember long ago, better than today.

The leaves on the trees are turning a bright shade of gold
I noticed them as I walked to school.
I'm just five years old.

Odd, but, when I look at them today, they are that same color and shade.
My hands look kind of wrinkly.
I wonder if I'm right about my five year old age?

Many people I've loved left this world during this season.
That's why I feel these nostalgic thoughts coming on.
(I knew there was a reason.)

Jim Erickson wrote me a letter about Fall.
He told of the sadness, the changes, how things die, and all.

Wait just one minute. He wrote that when he was sixty.
I must not be five. Maybe I'm fifty?

He wrote about Loretta, his wife, his companion.
How she'd have a candle lit in the window,
As he'd come fishing down the canyon.

I sure remember these things all the same.
They say that old folks remember long ago better than today.

---

It's not really finished. I think I just can't take any more, right now!

September 10, 2013

Oh me oh my. Where do I start?
Plus, I've been working all day trying to get caught up, and this is the last thing I should do. I mean, I have to do all other things, like resizing photos in order to do this column! I still haven't done all that, but I just have to say a word or so.
WORD!
Oh, I'm so funny. Right? Not.
So, at least I'll post a funky video. I'm no good at making movies, so please, just take it for what it is. Moving pictures!


So, I was really in Yakutat, Alaska! Whoo hooo! The entire time I was there, I kept thinking, "I could live here!" Oh, you really want to, when you see it in the summer or the Fall. You think, "Why don't more people live here?"
Of course, it's due to the winters, but you just don't see that, when you visit in the summer time. It's like the Discovery Channel!
It's a m a z i n g.
I really, really didn't want to leave my dog. I'm attached at the hip with Willie, but I did it. Bill and I even seriously talked about canceling, believe it or not. We are both hopeless dog addicts. But, we did it! And am I ever glad I did! Bill, too, I'm certain. I even got Bill through the airports with very little hassle. Bill hates airports. I don't use the word "hate" very often, but in this case, it's the truth. "Hate" applies!
But, you guys? I don't know how they do it. The employees at Yakutat lodge are amazing. Like, they really love it there, and they love their jobs and it shows! They are so enthusiastic, energetic, helpful, kind, and they will take the time out to talk to you, and tell you about whatever you ask. If they don't know, they'll get someone who does, to the best of their ability.
Now, if you had a business, how would you bottle and sell that ability? To get your employees to be that way for your business? I mean, wow. Ken must be one happy and satisfied man. He is the owner. His full name is Ken Fanning. They have owned and operated the lodge for over 35 years, I guess.
I don't know, but a good part of the excellence of the entire experience were the people there. You feel like family after a couple hours. Yes, a couple hours!
Driving down the road, you have to keep a permanent smile and wave on. Everyone waves as they drive by or even walk by on the roads.
We stayed in their little cabins on the bay. They are fairly new. There is the lodge, right there at the airport, and then the new little cabins on the bay. They are really cozy and comfy. Nothing fancy at all, but somehow, it's just fine, no matter what. I'd rather be in one of those cabins than at the Grand Wailea in Maui. (Fancy pants Hiltons)
The cabins are really rustic, not overly clean, but so comfy and warm and awesome. The whole thing... awesome! The opposite of sterile, but in a good way!
I caught so many silvers that I had to take breaks. The next day, Bill and I hobbled around, we were so sore from catching fish! How is THAT for a fishing report!?
I'm just giving you a short overview, here, as I'm running out of time. I will write more, as the days pass, and I remember something else to tell you, but man. I had the time of my life. When they say "Trip of a lifetime", for me, this was it.
I had to learn to fish all over again, as the way we fish here, is so different from the techniques, used here. The guides said to me, "There is nothing more difficult than fishing a Northwest fishermen or woman. So true. I had to learn a type of jigging so unlike crappie fishing that it's a skill, all of it's own. I tried to explain it to myself, while learning. You have to kind of think of an octopus, and how they shoot off the bottom and then float down. However, when I told a guide there, he said, "Not exactly!" Well, pheh! It's how I was doing it, and I caught fish! But, I guess it's the downward motion that needs to be really quick. It's a rhythm that is not natural for us Northwest Fishing folks.
You have to try it, in order to understand. I can't wait to apply this technique, here. In fact, I'm going out to our frog water later this afternoon, just to give it a go. If there are fish present, I'm in business. I'm just sure of it!
The rain... Oh, the rain. It rained even more than I thought it would. We almost needed a boat to get out of our cabin! No kidding! It rained so that they cancelled all of their guided trips, both salt and fresh. It was a danged storm like no other!
And... we STILL had the time of our lives! We just took the day off and explored! Learned the territory, took drives almost to the glacier, but the road had washed out. And we STILL had fun!
So, more later. But, for now, just know that if you plan one trip in your lifetime as a fishing fanatic. Make it Yakutat! But make sure it's Yakutat Fishing Lodge! Fish with Aaron or his protégé, Tommy.
Oh, man. Did I tell you we had the time of our lives?

September 12, 2013

I'm going to back up, now, and tell you how the travel and accommodations from the trip goes. We flew from Portland Oregon to Yakutat and back. I'll remember as much as I can!
First, though, I have to say how nice it is to be home. Especially, to be at the coast where it is 60 and 70 instead of 90 and 100. I hate to go back to Oregon City, but a tree fell on my property during the storms, and I have to go take care of that. I certainly hope it didn't fall on Scott's boat! Yikes.
The dogs are so happy to have us home. I'm so happy to be with them, again!
So, on the day before we left, we went over and over our gear. We took five rods. 2 fly, 2 spinning and one backup spinning rod, in case on broke. Please know that if you go, Yakutat Lodge has rental rods, if you break or otherwise need one.
We made our own rod case out of PVC pipe, and it worked out quite nicely.
Bill and I were both quite nervous. Both, over leaving our loved ones, (our dogs and Molly, and chickens!), worrying about making the plane in time, and making sure we packed everything. Travel is stressful, no matter how good it is going to be! Don't you think? I guess even good things can cause stress. So, we got to the point of nipping at each other a bit. I found out that doesn't help things!
We are finding that we are quite inseparable, though, all in all!
Our friends came that day, to watch the dogs. They had a dog, also, and luckily, they all got along, famously. Whew! Willie had met Peaches previously, but Revvie had not.
We went over all the lists of things to do, and left for Oregon City. The good bye was TOUGH.
The drive was fine, and we ended up at my home in Oregon City by late afternoon. We went to bed at 8 or so, so that we could wake at 3 and get to the airport, as our flight left at 5:00 AM. Yikes. That was tough, but exciting!
We boarded our Alaska airlines flight to Seattle, so that then, we could board what they call the "Milk Run". That flight goes from Seattle to Juneau to Yakutat and then to... Cordova, I think? And around, and around!
We flew under three hours to Juneau, and waited while passengers planed and deplaned. Then, we were off to Yakutat, which is a short hop just like PDX to SeaTac. It was a good thing it was short! The Captain said that he expected a smooth flight. NOT. It was so bumpy! They couldn't even serve beverages, it was so rough! Bill is a nervous flyer, but not for the same reasons I would be. Turbulence unsettles me, but just plain travel and playing airport unsettles Bill. So, for that leg, we were both unsettled! We helped each other along the way. I'm good at playing airport, and he's good at comforting me.
Finally, we arrived with a very smooth landing. We were so excited to be there!
We deplaned to a really small airport, and a really small town! I instantly fell in love with Yakutat! I want so badly to go back there and live!! They are very lucky to have a stop there, as it is such a small fishing village! I guess the main reason a plane stops there, is to load fish. I can believe it! There are fish, everywhere! Even in the small sloughs that you drive by, by the road! No kidding! We'd stop and view silvers and pinks, everywhere! We even passed a truck, loaded down with bins of fish, on one of our exploration drives! OK, I'm getting ahead of myself...
We were met at the plane by a guy with a sign with our name on it. Bill went with him to get his rental truck, and I stayed at the airport, visiting with one of the lodges newest fishing guides, Tommy. Let me insert here, something interesting about the rental trucks, I learned from Tommy. I learned so much from Tommy! He said it costs 2000.00 to barge a truck over to Yakutat. There is no other way. So, they buy a car worth 1000.00, and then pay the 2000 to get it over there. So, they end up with a 3000.00 car, worth 1000.00! But, no worries! They recycle them! They take all the parts off of a dying car, to fix another car. All the mechanics have huge piles of extra parts to fix the cars with!
Tommy was awesome! He filled me in on everything, and he was just so knowledgeable, that I told Bill that I thought we should fish with him.
We had made arrangements, I thought, to go with ifish member "1911", but those arrangements somehow got messed up, I think. 1911 was so helpful, too. I just can't believe how they get their employees to be so helpful and nice, and excited about their work for the lodge!
So, we decided to fish with Tommy.
He was young, fun, and knew the system well, for his short time, there at Yakutat. . I guess the famous guide there, Aaron, who most people want to go with, taught him the ropes. 1911 knew the ropes, too, though. I think they all do! They have the best guides, there! Every one of them!
Bill came back and we headed for the lodge. They don't waste time to feed you. It's into the dining room to eat, just about every 3 hours! Eat, eat, eat! The chocolate chip cookies in your take out lunches are TO DIE FOR! I want one, right now, darnit!
The food wasn't fancy very often, but it was good! The only thing I had that I didn't much care for, was the Seafood Fettuccini, which is usually my favorite. It was like soup, kind of. I think they probably used a mix, and it just wasn't what I was used to. The seafood in it was yummy, though! They do a good job of not over cooking their seafood. They just do a good job of everything, there!
Debora, the host of the lodge, led us into the lunch room, and she is just wonderful! We both felt instantly at ease and entertained by her. She is kind, helpful and soft spoken. She is a real lady, despite living in a mostly men's world! You'd think women there would cuss, chew tobacco and spit, but no! She was charming and feminine and yet, right at home, there!
She helped us get our fishing licenses, and pointed out our cabin, via a rustic hand made map. She answered patiently and kindly all of our questions, and we had many!
We found out there were storms coming, so decided to go on our guided trip the very next day, before they hit. Bill and I couldn't wait! We made those arrangements, and headed for our cabin.
The prior week, the fish had been stuck out in the estuaries, waiting for rain, but it rained right before we got there, so they were all over the river system. Let's go!
The cabin was awesome! Cozy! Rustic! Warm! The beds were bunk style wooden beds, with a mattress on top. I wondered how comfortable they would be, but they were so comfortable! Either that, or we were just so dead tired each night, that they welcomed our tired bodies, and we slept like rocks!
In the cabin, we had a coffee maker, a hot plate, a separate bathroom with shower, and all the amenities we'd ever need. Coffee, creamer, silverware, towels, soap, etc.
All the meals were free in a our package, so we just showed up at the lodge, which was 4.5 miles away, for each meal, whether we were hungry or not! I gained five pounds! FIVE! In a week!
We also had the choice to eat right at our cabin site on the bay. They had an igloo building, with breakfast served, each morning. This was handy for the charters on the bay. The dock was right there, handy, too, and the boat just pulled up to pick you up at 7 in the morning, whenever you chose to go. This charter trip was also included in the package. We could have done a fly out, or the charter package. Due to weather, we chose the charter. Frankly, I didn't go, but I'll save that for later.
I keep getting ahead of myself...
We ate dinner in the lodge, by ordering from the menu, that night. The lodge was fairly slow when we arrived, so the buffet hadn't been put out, that night. They do buffets when they have quite a crowd. The lodge diner offers a salad bar, and then a small menu to choose from.
If you go, try the halibut sandwich. So good for lunch!
After dinner, we headed for the cabin and a long winter's nap the night before our guided trip.
We woke to sunshine and about 55 degrees, and we were off to the lodge, once again. We had a big breakfast served from a buffet, and then we were off for the fishing trip of a lifetime. I'll save that, and more fishing, for the next time!

September 16, 2013

I just can't believe that it's already time to start thinking about the annual Kwikfish coloring thread! Wow! I keep getting e mails asking how many I should order. Yikes. That's always a biggy for me. How many?! Last year, I didn't have quite enough. Thing is, I want them to be limited. I want them to be collectable, but I don't want there to be so many that they aren't special to folks. I want everyone who wants one to be able to have one... Where is that exact line? Well, maybe that's why it's kind of fun.
I usually pay for these, myself, and one year I ended up with many too many of them. Ouch on my wallet! But, I don't want to go through the hassle of pre paying. That's too much stress on me, with my health the way it is. Imagine not being able to deliver because my aorta burst again? Not good! Not either of those things!
OK... onto my fishing adventures in Alaska!
There was no getting up at "0" dark thirty in Alaska. We got up at a leisurely 6 or so, to be at breakfast by 7, and out on the river by 8 or 9.
We rose in our warm cabin, put on our street clothes, (trail clothes!) and went to breakfast at the lodge. We brought along our chest waders and boots. Remember-- no felts on the Situk. Another great new way of limiting the transfer of invasive species.
We met Tommy, our guide, after breakfast, and hopped in his old and comfy Suburban for the trip to the river.
Darnit, anyhow, but I'm in Oregon City. I'll see if some of my pictures are in my cloud. If so, I'll link them there. But, I don't have them here to resize and to put in my column.
If you go to Yakutat, or on any fishing adventure away from home, and you are a coffee drinker, we found it helpful to bring along our refillable Contigo coffee mugs from Costco. I don't care anymore that my coffee cup is sparkly and pink. I just want my coffee hot, and those Contigo cups are awesome for that! They never spill, either!
They were not only great in the airport, before, and on the plane, but during fishing. We'd just fill the cup at the lodge and off we flew! The guide was able to refill them on the trip. I can't promise that every guide can do that, but ours did!
We drove up to Nine Mile Bridge, where the put in was. Nine Mile Bridge is accessible via Alsek Road (FH 10). From the main lodge, we drove approximately 4.5 miles on the main road into town. Just before town is the only road intersection in Yakutat. We'd take a right there, and drive approximately nine miles to the bridge.
The Nine Mile area is really nice. I can't believe how nicely everything is taken care of. It's either that, or it just doesn't get the heavy use that our put ins do. It was clean. The gravel was fresh, and the park was immaculately clean.
Folks are able to not only put in there, but camp.
From the Forest Service:
There are six campsites with tent platforms and fire rings around Nine Mile Bridge.  Camping around Nine Mile Bridge is limited to these designated sites only.  Groups are only allowed to stay at campsites for two weeks at a time.  There are many good campsites located along the length of the Situk River between the boat launches.  Camping within 50 feet of the high-water line of the river is prohibited. This means no camping on gravel bars.  Remember a good campsite is found, not made.  It should not be necessary to cut vegetation to create a new site.  Please follow "Leave No Trace" principles and camping in bear country practices while on the river.   
There is also a very clean porta potty available, there.
Fishing at Nine Mile bridge can be productive at the right levels. When we went, the pinks were still heavy at Nine Mile Bridge, so we pushed down the first couple miles, until Tommy felt we would meet with more of the silvers. Like it states on the Forest Service page, when the river is running low, it's a strenuous trip down the 14 mile drift on the Situk. However, we'd had quite a bit of rain just before our arrival. This not only pushed the steelhead up from where the mouth, where they were sitting a week before our arrival, but it made for an easier trip, down the river.
I read an article before leaving, written by Pat Hoglund that you can access here, regarding fishing for Steelhead on this drift. I found it very interesting and exciting, even if we were fishing for Silvers, instead of Steelhead. Sure makes me want to go back for Steel. Oh, my!
Fishing this river was an education experience for me. Everything I ever knew about fishing had to be rethought and re taught! Some of the things I learned, I plan to practice in my own waters, here in Oregon, but man! I felt like a novice!
"The most difficult job we have is teaching and guiding Northwest Fishermen", stated Aaron, the head guide from the Yakutat Lodge. We met he and ifish member Ed Fast on the way down river, and stopped to have a chat.
Please feel free to visit Aaron's website, here. It's full of pictures and great information.
It's always fun to meet up with ifishers on any river system, and I was so happy to meet Ed! I'd read his posts on ifish, but don't think I'd ever met him? Maybe I have. I get so confused with so many members!
Anyhow, we'd had 4 hours on the river or so, before we met up with Aaron and Ed, and I was reassured to hear that I'm not the only difficult fishing person they'd dealt with. -That it is hard to teach Northwest fishermen, due to the differences of conditions and methods.
The main thing that took me so long to learn, (and I'm still not good at it), is the Situk method of jigging. Everyone in the Northwest knows how to jig, right? Yeah! We learn it during crappie fishing, when we are young. It's easy! Up and down, up and down... NOT.
I still don't understand it totally, and no, I can't teach you by writing about it. In fact, I still can't do it very well, myself! But, it's all about the fall of the jig. That fall has to be exactly right. Oh, never mind. I'm not even going there. I won't even attempt to teach it! I'm not an expert and I refuse to lead you in the wrong direction, up or down! You must go and learn it for yourself! You must!
I learn most everything about fishing by listening. I learned how to cast with a casting reel by listening to Bill's cast, and I did my best to learn Situk jigging by listening. I can still hear it in my head. You can't hear the wrist action of bringing the jig up, but I could hear the drop. And it's that drop that is all important!
You think a slack bite in Tillamook bay is difficult to detect? Well, try a slack bite on a jig! Pheh! So frustrating! I mean, it's usually during that drop that the silvers take your jig, and so you can't even feel it!
Thing is, like you know, I can't see so well, so I had to rely ONLY on the feel. So, I relied on Tommy's eyes, while I tried to feel- well, nothing! He just told me when I had a fish on, and instead of hitting the fish, trying with all my might to sock it to 'em, he told me not to do that, and just give them a steadily pull.
OK. I had to learn to fish all over again. Even as he was netting my fish! I had to learn again.
Bill and I have our system down, right? How to net a fish? Well, Tommy does that differently, also!
I never had such a frustratingly good time in my life! I caught so many fish! Well, so many for me! My wrist was sore! My arm was sore! And I had a perm-a-grin on my face all week! In fact, writing about it now makes me smile!
OK, enough for today. I have to rush off to the river, but more- oh so much more, later!

September 17, 2013

Time out from Yakutat adventures to tell you some sad news I've received.
I loved my post office angel and I have written about her often.
Judy Wadley was my post office lady in Bay City.
A month ago or so, I became aware of her dire situation, but was convinced from the daughters information, that she would be back to work, soon.
This wasn't to be.
Last week, not knowing of her passing, I wrote her a card, as she'd been heavy on my mind. I colored it in with felt markers, kind of like what you'd do on a pee chee from high school. I had fun with it, knowing that she would get a kick out of it.
I went to deliver it to her, or to her daughters, who worked the Post office in her absence. Such good daughters to help her out!
The post office was closed, though. I slipped it under the door, thinking sure she'd get it.
Yesterday I was shopping at Costco when Bill called. I knew the instant I heard his voice that something was terribly wrong. One of "those" phone calls.
He told me of Judy's passing.
I'm going to miss my post office angel so much. She would always teach me a bible lesson, for just about any situation that arose in my life. What will I do without her messages of hope?
She always made me see the good in things.
I was touched by this "Fencepost" entry in the Tillamook Herald.
I have been so blessed to have known her!

September 20, 2013

Sure can tell a storm is coming in. My body aches! Do you get that, too?
Yikes.
Last night, I put the canoe up, expecting the storm. That didn't help. That thing is heavy, even empty of water! I flipped it over, and slowly pulled it out of the water, in little pulls.
Before that, I took a little evening cruise with my cat, Molly. It's so odd how she likes a canoe ride. I get in the canoe, back up into the water, then pick her up further down shore. She waits, with little meows of, "You forgot me!" Funny cat. Then, she sits in the bow of the canoe like a hood ornament. Sometimes she nearly falls asleep. But- get near the other shore, and she goes nuts. She wants out to explore. As fisher people, we can all relate to "the other side of the river". She's leapt out of the canoe from 3 feet away, just to land on a rock "on the other side of the river". It's scary, trying to get her back in the boat, and home, safe. Silly kitty. Everyone should have a canoe cat!
Alright... where did I leave off, on our Yakutat (one day) fishing adventure? LOL. I'm trying to stretch it out, as really, we only had ONE day of real fishing. Count 'em. ONE.
Frankly, I've pretty much covered it.
Tommy drove us up to 9 mile bridge, and we floated down 14 miles. We didn't fish for the first couple miles. It was just pushing through to get to the fish. There were some pinks mixed in with the Silvers. I guess if you get there too early, it's difficult to keep the pinks off your line, to get to the silvers. But, if you aren't silver fishing, and just want to catch fish, I don't see a problem with that. We weren't really meat fishing, although we did take home 50 pounds of halibut and silver. That's so nice to have and to be able to share with friends! We also took home 2 big zip locks of eggs. I can't wait to put some up! I love trying new recipes with eggs.
We chose to put up our fish, ourselves, although it's part of the gig for the guide to clean and filet your fish. If you want it vac packed, it's $1.50 a pound. Tommy was expert at cleaning and filleting, and got the job done fast. That was a treat for Bill, as it's usually his job.
You know, it didn't rain once during our 9 hour trip. I can't believe that I stayed in a boat for 9 hours. I usually can't do that! I just had no choice! The next day, I did literally nothing but lay in my bed, in the cabin. I was so sore! My arm felt like it was broken, due to catching so many fish, and trying to learn that jigging thing!
The second day, they nearly cancelled the ocean trip that we had scheduled, due to the weather. It was pretty nasty out! It was blowing sideways, and sheets of rain were falling. In the end, they decided to go! They had hardy guys and a good captain! Staying shallow, and right along shore, they fished mostly for silvers, and got their limit. It worked out really well, as the guys Bill fished with didn't want to keep their halibut, but were instead interested in the silvers. So, we got to take home some halibut, and they took the silvers. Yay!
Like I said, I spent the day in the cabin with the heat turned up. I had a good internet connection that day, as there weren't many guests sharing it with me. If it's busy while you are there, do not depend on internet. It's shared, as I said, and you get barely enough to e mail. They have a rule not to stream or download anything. As if you could!
The third day, torrential rain fell. We decided to take it easy and to play tourist. We drove around the town, and went to see "Jennie's gift shop". That place is amaze balls! She makes these awesome fur hats, and blankets and all kinds of traditional indian goods. She is a member of the Yakutat Tlinget Tribe and has spent hours learning how to bring back some of the art of the indians, there.
If you visit Yakutat, I'd say Jennie's is a must see. It's more like a museum, than a gift shop. She takes time to tell you about her art, and Bill and I learned all about her tribe. She has brought back the art of weaving tree roots, and it's just amazing.
We went, thinking "gift shop"- "things imported from china"! But, it's so far from that! There wasn't anything imported from anywhere, except the past! Thank you, Jennie, for the education and thank you for keeping your traditions alive!
I guess that Tlinget tribe is doing all kinds of neat things, teaching their children the native language, and the native dances that nearly were forgotten. Makes me feel really sad for what we have taken from these tribes. What were we thinking?
The day that we played tourist, we wanted to drive to the glacier. We asked at breakfast about bear spray and one of the guys who worked there just let us borrow his. I thought that was so nice! I mean, things that people didn't have to do, they did. The employees at Yakutat are just awesome!
We drove on a very bumpy road, past the MP 9 put in, where we put in to drift, and on and on.... Driving slowly, navigating pot holes, we drove. It was such beautiful country, but a very slow drive. 30 miles, maybe, but many many minutes!
We drove for probably an hour and a half. We almost were there, and.... the road was washed out! We could have probably made it through, but who likes "maybe" when you are out and about in the Alaska wilderness, with no one around for miles? So, we turned around, sadly, and drove back to camp. We went into town, if you can call it that, and watched silvers and pinks in almost every water way. Like I said, the fish were in ditches, in sloughs, and everywhere! Wouldn't doubt if you could find them in mud puddles!
Watch this video, if you have time. It's amazing, and exactly what we saw, the day we had good fishing!

September 23, 2013

"Bill?" I yelled from the kitchen, trying to compete with his television. "The neighbors called and asked if you might turn down your T. V."
I like to give him a hard time. I thought that was funny. He grumbled. Guess he didn't think so. Made me grin, though.
I was working hard, trying to get fat. Why is that? Why do I spend hours in the kitchen, working hard, creating things that aren't good for me? That will make my pants fit tighter? That's so stupid!
This time it was pumpkin scones.
I have had the darndest time trying to find one this year, so I decided I'd make my own. They are not easy to make. At least, they weren't for me! Not hard, maybe, but time consuming.
When I make something like this I like to do it right. Grate my own nutmeg, make sure the butter is frozen cold. I grated it, before I mixed it in the flour. That worked pretty well!
It's Fall. In the Fall, you need pumpkin scone(s). (Yes, plural!)
So, I went to Starbucks. The home of my favorite pumpkin scones. Sometimes they are really good. Sometimes fair, but that's the nature of scones. I mean, they are even weather dependent, as far as how good they come out. And, that's OK. Makes it an even better surprise, if they aren't consistent, and you get a memorable one.
But, what's this you say? Starbucks changed bakeries! They no longer have scones! What?!
No more pumpkin scones at Starbucks?
Well, Andrew, I bet they have awesome pumpkin scones in Heaven.
Andrew and I would text each other when Starbucks started their pumpkin celebration, each Fall. "It's here! It's here! Starbucks has pumpkin lattes and pumpkin scones!"
The Starbucks at Freddies and Safeway still have pumpkin scones, but I'm always too late in the day. You have to get up early in the morning to get a pumpkin scone, before they are gone. The Starbucks near my home in Oregon City isn't a store one. It's a real Starbucks. And the real Starbucks, like I said, don't have pumpkin scones. That's just weird!
So, I made scones. They are... OK. I even did the double glaze. A base glaze of just powdered sugar and half and half and then a pumpkin spice glaze on top of that. Just like Starbucks does. They are pretty! They just aren't the same. They are good! They just aren't the same. Did I say that?
Plus, my back hurts, now. I leaned over and carefully drizzled the pumpkin glaze real pretty, over every single scone. I hurt now, in order to make something that makes me fat. Does that make sense?
Oh well, Bill likes them a bunch. So, he can turn up his T. V. real loud and have Pumpkin Scones.
I'm going to Oregon City and I'm leaving the darn things here with him!

September 28, 2013

So we have a storm rolling in, huh? Are they making more of it than it is, or is it really as big as they say? We'll see! Thing is, this is the first time I've been in the protection of the valley, rather than right in the thick of it, at the coast. Poor Bill! All alone! I wish I were there with him. (Kind of?)
I don't know. There is something about a storm where the electricity goes out that I kind of love. I miss it. You know, reading by the wood stove for warmth and light, with nothing else that you can do. I like that. I miss that. It's good every once and a while, but then, when the lights go back on, that's good, too.
Sometimes we need a good storm, just to wipe the slate clean. It breaks the monotony of things, and gives us a fresh start. Somehow. I hope you can understand what I'm saying. I can't put it into words very well.
There is just something about a full blown storm, where everything changes.
Joan Baez says it best.
"Sometimes I get lonesome for a storm. A full-blown storm where everything changes. The sky goes through four days in an hour, the trees wail, little animals skitter in the mud, and everything goes dark and completely wild. But it’s really God—playing music in his favorite cathedral in Heaven—shattering stained glass—playing a giant organ—thundering on keys—perfect harmony—perfect joy.
I heard that when I was in high school, and I've never forgotten it. I think my sister did a dramatic interpretation in a speech tournament, using that. I was impressionable.
Hey, lookee! It's Grant! It's fireman John!


Grant's Getaways

You can find many more of Grant's shows on Travel Oregon, or on KGW! I'm hungry for a trip out to the jetty. I guess today wouldn't probably be the best day. Or, the best weekend!
I'm busy trying to kill sugar ants, today. They are everywhere in my kitchen and every year at this time, they invade me! I think there is a huge infestation, somewhere! It's driving me crazy. I finally read something that gives me hope. You mix mint jelly with Borax and replace it as bait, every day. Just a bit, on a piece of masking tape, where their trail is. Also, put baby powder by it, so that you can follow their trail to their nasty little home! I'm so sick of ants! I have never had this problem, ever-- in my lifetime! What is up with this ant mess?
I have much hope for this remedy, as I read so much on the internet about it, and that it works! Yay! Can't wait to try it. You can find some reading material about it, by googling sugar ants and mint jelly.
I think it's 2 tablespoons of Borax to 8 ounces of jelly. Good bye, ants! Oh-- and if you have protein loving ants, you can do the same with peanut butter, sugar, and Borax. Try a little of both, and you are sure to get them all, no matter what those little ant buggers are!
Went to feed Willie some treats this morning, and guess what? They were in his bag of treats! Argh!
Tammy is moving out, soon. She got a job in Lakeview, Oregon. So, I'm interviewing an exchange student from China, today. I can't wait to meet him! This will be educational and interesting! David is happy to have someone his age. I think this will work out! Yay! Another problem, solved! I need a roommate, as I can't afford this place on my own. Frankly, I can't even afford it with a roommate, so I might sell it and move back to the coast. We'll see where I'm lead. I'm praying about it, and I will have an answer... In His time.
Well, there is a break in the rain right now, and Willie needs some exercise to get him through this storm. Off we go to the puppy park! What a muddy mess he'll be! I've given up on keeping my car clean! It's all I can do to keep it running.
The other day, I was coming up the hill in Oregon City and my old faithful car died on me. The engine was running, but it wouldn't accelerate! I couldn't get out of the road, even! It was scary!
But, I finally got a tow, and the car fixed at Canby Ford. The mechanic said, "Good news! It's not expensive!" I asked how much. "Only 400!" I was speechless. That's not expensive!?
It was the throttle body, and there may be a recall associated with this problem. I guess it's been a safety concern, and there has been complaints about it. So, I'm saving my receipt and hoping for a refund, someday. Some way!
It disappoints me that Ford knows of this safety problem, and yet hasn't taken care of the customers. The Ford Escape is a great car, except for this! So, if you have this problem, know that it is known, and that there may be a recall. I sure hope so!
OK, off we go, before it pours on us, again! I don't even have rain gear, here! Yikes!

 

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