Category Archives: outdoors

2016 Montana Trip – Part 1

Well, I just got back from a week on the road.  The primary mission of the trip was to spread my mom’s ashes, per her instructions in north central Montana (more on that in a later post).  I decided to work my way up there in pieces, camping at a couple locations along the way.  First stop was at Lake Coeur d’Alene where I camped at Beauty Creek Campground, near Beauty Bay.  It is a pretty little campground, with only 19 spaces.  I had a couple visitors in camp my first morning…

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After a couple evenings there, a wonderful visit and hike with a dear friend, it was time to move a few miles east.  My next stop was Flathead Lake where I camped near Bigfork Montana at Wayfarers State Park, near the north east part of the lake (which is huge).  I caught a great sunset the first night (well after 9pm at 48 degrees north latitude)…

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Of course, no trip would be complete without the shameless selfie…this was the best I could muster…

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The next day I took a little spin up the Swan River where I played a little peek-a-boo with this eagle (a GOOD eagle photo is still part of my bucket list)…

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I also took my kayak to a little lake called Echo Lake that was supposed to have good bass fishing but that only resulted me getting jostled around for a few hours by the endless stream of wakeboarders.  It was still a nice paddle and if I wasn’t so lazy I’d post a video clip.

As always, clicking any of the images above will allow you to view them larger.

More to follow from this little drive.

Butt Lake Boat Ride

Took one more shot at fishing the hex hatch last night with my gal.  It ended up being more of a scenic ride than a fishing trip.

This little gal seemingly followed us along the bank for an hour or so…20160628_Butt Lake_Blog_005   20160628_Butt Lake_Blog_004

One of these days I’m going to get a decent shot of an eagle.  However, they always seem to show themselves when I don’t have a camera, the light is too low (as in this case), or any number of other “wrong” situations for photos.  I got a couple fair snapshots of this one though, considering I couldn’t get any shutter speed and the boat was bouncing a bit at the time…
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As to the fishing, the hex didn’t really start hatching until it was damn near too dark to see.  Mel had never seen them really popping though so she did get to see the spectacle before we left at least. Earlier in the afternoon, she got one little smallmouth trolling a crankbait (she then trolled the smalley for a bit, not knowing he was still there), I got about a 3 pound rainbow trout (on another bass crankbait) after it was too dark for usable video, and I got this damn thing which was a fun fight until I realized what it was (he’s lucky I didn’t have a knife handy or I would have fed him to the damn eagle…lol)…

Any way you slice it, it was a wonderful evening with my gal!

Koke Fishin’

I took James down to Redding this past weekend to, among other things, mooch a guided fishing trip from gramma and grandpa.  The mooching paid off and we found some good kokanee trolling on Whiskeytown.

The trip also provided an opportunity for me to test the towing capacity on my new grocery-getter.  Grandpa’s boat weighs in at 3500 pounds or so on the trailer and my baby SUV pulled it nicely…

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The fish were biting well as most boats in the area were catching fish.  That, combined with the fact that Ernie is absolutely the Kokanee Killer, and it didn’t take long before James was wearing his arms out…

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After the first dozen or so, the skipper DID finally let us deckhands reel in a few….

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Grandpa’s boat is faster than dad’s, as you can see by the kid’s hair…

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Now, time for the work to begin.  There’s only room at THAT table for 2.  I had to stand back taking pictures and drinking beer (I figured it was the least I could do)!…

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I can do this but I’m at about a 3 fish per hour pace.  They would have rotted by the time I was done!

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Looks like dinner…

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Here is a video for anyone interested.  The GoPro was running for 3 hours.  I trimmed it down to 13 minutes.  If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, the “meat and potatoes” (or, at least the meat) starts right at the 10 minute mark…

 

Mother’s Day Dinner

I decided to take my gal out to dinner for Mother’s Day last night but I wanted to go to a more exclusive dining locale than Susanville has to offer.  The Smoke Creek area seemed just the place!  On the way to our “restaurant” we almost ran over this critter (Mel saw it. I never even noticed as I drove by…lol)…20160508_Smoke Creek Drive_Blog_004

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Upon stopping we noticed he/she had a friend (or mate?) in the weeds…

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After we harassed them for a bit, this one decided it was time to fly the coop…

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After we drove on for a bit, we saw these jackasses (LOL) standing next to the road…

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We also saw a small group of pronghorns and a badger (first time either of us had seen one in the wild) that we didn’t get pics of.

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Mike and Mel table for two!…

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Between the rain and the recent fire in the area stimulating alot of new growth, the desert is as pretty as I’ve seen it in years…

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(As usual, you can click any images above to see them larger)

Wildflowers and Waterfalls

We had to be in Chico and Oroville for the past couple days to take care of some business.  We didn’t have as much time for recreation as we would have liked but we did get out for a nice stroll in North Table Mountain on Monday afternoon.  The place wasn’t in as full of bloom as I would have hoped but I it was still nice and green and a few of the small streams were still flowing.

This little waterfall caught my eye.  As were were there before ideal photography light, I had a difficult time capturing what I wanted to but I snapped a few just to give it a shot (as will all posts here you should be able to click any image to view it larger)….
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I’d say this old fence is about 20 years overdue for some maintenance…

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It was definitely a gorgeous afternoon…

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Spotted this pretty redhead playing by the creek…

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We did catch a FEW wildflowers still in bloom…

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While killing time before Tuesday afternoon’s appointment we took a spin by Lake Oroville.  Saw these fellas hanging out at the Lime Saddle Campground.  Probably a smart place for them to be since I do believe the season is open…

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I can think of way worse places for a drive home than the Feather River Canyon in the spring time.   We pulled over a couple times and snapped a some shots of a couple of the seasonal waterfalls that dump into the river this time of year…

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The new (to us) Grand Cherokee seems like it is going to run for us.  Hoping it takes us to many more great destinations over the next several years…
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Gila Cliff Dwellings – April 5, 2016

My cousin Roseanne and I took a drive from Deming up to the Gila Cliff Dwellings this past Tuesday.  I’m not super happy with the way the photos turned out but it was a fun little day trip.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and 3 Questions Cafe and Living Harvest Bakery in Mimbres is a great place to get a hearty one.  It is run by the local Mennonite clan who serve up a small but very tasty breakfast buffet for $6.50.  Of course, with all the baked goods and their wonderful “Jammly” (not jam, not jelly; jammly…lol) for sale, my $6.50 breakfast ran me a touch over 60 bucks…

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The visitor center at the park.  We got there just at opening time of 9AM….

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The first thing that caught my eye upon entering the park is the really cool rock formations…

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The first view of the dwellings on the way up the trail….

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The park service keeps the trail in very good shape for easy access…

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The Mogollon folks were definitely industrious…

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Genuine native American first aid kits inside…

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Another look at all the construction that was done.  It was tough to really capture it, even with my camera lens as wide as it could go…

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A room with a view…

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My cuz and I gettin’ the necessary touristy selfie shot before heading down the mountain…

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First step’s a honey if you continue this direction.  I found it a touch sad they felt the need to post this sign…

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Rockhound State Park – April 4, 2016

Earlier this week I took a trip down to Deming New Mexico to pick up my mom’s ashes and wrap up some final affairs.  As mom was as much of a shutterbug as I am, this post and the one that will follow is in her memory.

On Tuesday afternoon I took a wonderful short hike through Rockhound State Park, just a few miles south of Deming.

The diversity of plant life differs significantly to that I see on my local hikes…

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I thought of a Valentines heart for my gal when I saw this prickly pear (yeah, I’m a hopeless romantic at times)…

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I tried to get all “photographic” with this one!  I wish the sun was higher so the starburst could have been at the top of the yucca blossoms but I sort of like the effect anyway…

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Spring has sprung as this prickly pear’s new growth illustrates…

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The desert can be a gorgeous place when it blooms in spring…

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Does this qualify as a “selfie?”…

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Ok, same scene without some redneck getting in the way…

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Catchin’ Up

This will just be an assortment of videos from earlier this year that were shot before I started this blog…
James’ first smalley….Butt Lake…

A couple bass from Lake Britton this summer..}

Brook trout from Echo Lake (only bite I had that day but pretty fair fish for these parts)…

My best day of the year on Almanor Smalleys (lengthy video with music some may not like..lol)..

Just a quick paddling tip…

Nice evening on the water with my gal…just a couple fish but it was gorgeous to be on the water..

My first Almanor Smalley…pretty fair start (alas, the only one I hooked that day)…

Little early spring (or was it late winter?) trollin’ run to Almanor with the boy…we got 2 before we could get both lines in then nothing for hours..