Friday, August 22, 2014

Lake Cd'A Salmon

My neighbor, Steve Nelson, and I went fishing on Lake Coeur d'Alene this morning and we caught four salmon.  Three of the four were legal length for keeping so we brought them home. Lake salmon have to be over 20" to be OK to keep. Our keepers were 22" - 24", and were very fun to catch.  Here are the brag shots.

Editor's Note: I went down to the boat and measured the area where we sized up the fish.  All fish were over 20", we didn't have to toss one back.  I guess it will go down as good karma.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Down Gold Creek to the Joe

Mid-week adventures are the best! You get to camp in places that on the weekends are packed and mid-week there is no one there! We drove east to St. Regis and then up over the pass down, following Gold Creek, to the Upper St. Joe River. Because we were looking for a camp site on a Monday, we found a great one.  There was shade, it was close to the river, and it had a clean outhouse!  What a find.

Ben and Sherma set up up river and we set up down river in a spot that could have held one more rig.  It didn't take long to get situated and in no time we were eating lunch and getting ready to fish.  We planned on trying to catch some Cuts and talked about maybe even landing an elusive Bull Trout. That would be fun!

Osprey across the river from camp.
Linda and Sherma set up their chairs and relaxed while Ben and I went up river to fish.  We found a spot and climbed down the bank to the Joe.  I had on a Stimulator with a black beadhead nymph as a dropper. I tossed it into the first riffle and boom I had a fish on!  It was going to be a great day!  I caught a couple more fish in that spot and then followed Ben down stream.  We did pretty good throughout the afternoon and returned home with a few good stories.

The stump is a salt lick so this dear visited every night.
Linda and I made dinner and then we all sat around the fire watching the night skies. The space station flew over and we watched its bright progress across the sky.  Stars were out bright and we talked while watching for satellites and shooting stars. Bed came early for the Bennetts, we are such wssies when it comes to bed time.

Then next day we went fishing again, this time down river.  We spent most of the day working the riffles and didn't do too bad.

Back in camp Ben cooked up a chicken dinner and we again watched the skies for space debris. Clouds came in and by the end of the evening we were seeing flashes of lightning.  The thunder lead the way of a couple of big storms during the night.  The second one brought so much rain and hail that we thought the top of the camper was coming in. Linda snuggled up close and we waited out the loud downpours. Once they passed we went back to sleep the sound of the river singing us back to our dreams.
Ben's Dutch Oven chicken dinner!
The next day we fished from camp.  Ben and Sherma went up river and I headed down.  I did real well considering the rain the night before. I used big sculpin patterns as I moved down river.  I imagine I could have done better on real small flies, but I didn't want to fight the tie them on my tippet.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Miles, Kilometers, What the Heck?

We drove from Anacortes to Lac La Hache yesterday. It took us about 7 hours and it was a very impressive drive.  I couldn't do a lot of looking around because most of the drive follows rivers and gos up over passes which kept my attention on the road and not on the beauty around us.

The highway led us up the Fraser River and then up the Thompson River breaking away North bound at Cache Creek. We monitored our progress in miles and hours on the road. I had mapped the entire route out with Google Maps but I think they use a combination of miles and kilometers when they give me their total mileage.  I had a tough time predicting our arrival and assessing our progress because of the combination of the measurements. To compound my distance problem further, all the towns and points of interest are named after miles distance. If you look on a map you travel through towns called 70 Mile House, 100 Mile House,  and an example of a lake would be 103 Mile Lake. None of these names match the kilometers driven, which don't match the miles, which therefore cause the metric impaired, to be completely confused all the time they drive.  Linda called out the metric speeds and then calculated the miles per hour, and then shouted to me to SLOW DOWN! By the time we reached our destination I was a mathematical mess.

We arrived at Jill and Barry's and were blown away with their home. It is right on the lake and is an awesome retreat.

During the day we were able to watch two rockets get launched into space and Barry and Jill took us for a boat tour of the lake. We had a great time. We closed out the evening with everyone sitting around watching lightning while telling each couples stories of how they met, got engaged and then married.  It was cute and funny at the same time.  Kobi hid under our legs but  in the end he either was board of our stories or just couldn't take the thunder any longer and he got restless to go to bed so the party died down.

Launching rockets into the blue.
Jani, Chris and Emma packed up and left Grandma and Grandpa with tears in their eyes. As a bit of a diversion we all loaded up and drove to Williams Lake to look around.  Locals call it Bill’s Pond, but it really is a lake.  Lakes are very prevalent up in this region.  I think we saw about 50 of them as we drove up.

On Friday we all loaded into the car and Barry drove us into 100 Mile House where we spent the morning cruising the farmers market, having coffee and buying groceries.  100 Mile House is rather small but it has everything that you might need to be comfortable.
Successful launch and return.
Once we loaded up on our dinner we drove back out to the lake and spent the afternoon sunning.  Our dinner choice for the evening was stir fry and we got a chance to eat some sesame tofu in vegetables with noodles. Jill through the dinner together and it was delicious!  Linda and I had never eaten tofu before and we found it to be very good.  I’ll be looking into some recipes when we get back home.

With dinner over and dishes finished we got in the boat and motored out to watch the sun set.  In one direction you could see a beautiful orange-yellow sunset and in the other the almost full moon sparkled off the water.  Full moon will be Tuesday night so the man in the moon was very visible.  Once the sun sank into the distance we slowly made our way back to the dock. It was our last night and what a beautiful one it turned out to be.

Keep an eye on it!
Saturday we packed up, said our good byes and hit the road.  It was a bit sad to go, but we needed to give Barry and Jill some time to get back into their normal life.  They had visitors for over two weeks and we were the ones stringing things out.  So we drove off to make our way to Merritt, BC where we had made reservations to camp.

Four otters playing in the lake.

Caterpillar, anyone? Anyone? 
Jill and Barry's place from the boat.
The evening conversations begin.

Maybe a pot of gold over there.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Our Visit to Anacordes WA

From the pier in Anacortes looking Northwest.
Our hosts Larry and Maggie.
Town was in Art Fair mode, so was Linda.
Mt. Baker
Fat seal
Old train car, in a field, taken during bike ride.
Dennis works in a old wood reclamation business. Very Cool!
Dennis points out all the Mountains around Edison.
Sunset from the roof of Dennis's wood mill area.
Views of the area around Edison from the roof.
Cows and fields around Edison.
Coming down after the great views. 

Sunday, August 03, 2014

About 1200 Miles

We decided that it was about time that we check out our next door neighbors and see where and how they live.  When I say “next door neighbors”, I am talking about our friends that live next door to us while we are in Melaque, Mexico.

A=D, in our trip map.
Larry and Maggie live across Reforma at the compound called Las Palmas.  We met these folks years ago and have kept in close contact with them since.  Last year when we did the Really Big Adventure, we followed them down to Melaque from the US Border.  They were our mentors and guides for the down and back exploration of the Mexican highways.  These two live in Anacortes, Washington and this was our destination for the first leg of the trip.

An old wives tale states that visitors are like fish; they are only fresh for a few days and then they get a bit stinky.  Our plan is to visit Larry and Maggie just long enough so that we don’t get to smelling too bad and then hit the road and mosey on up into Canada to a place called Lac La Hache where we will visit our next set of neighbors, Jill and Barry.

Jill and Barry are not really neighbors.  They are the people who rent the Pink House, the place where we stay in Melaque, after we leave.  Last year was the first year where we stayed longer and so when we moved out of the Pink House and they moved in, we got to meet and know them.  What a great couple!  Now we are making the journey up to their place in Canada and hopefully we won’t become like stinky fish up there.