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The Great Beyond

There’s a land where the mountains are nameless,    And the rivers all run God knows where; There are lives that are erring and aimless,    And deaths that just hang by a hair; There are hardships that nobody reckons;    There are valleys unpeopled and still; There’s a land—oh, it beckons and beckons,    And I want to go back—and I will. 

From The Spell of the Yukon by Robert Service.


In continuing with the recent slide scan theme, this is one of my all time favorite images.  Nothing fancy, but oh the memories!
Twenty years ago my wife and I hunted the interior of Alaska.  It was mid-September, and for all the world, could have been the middle of winter.  The previous group of hunters had endured summer like conditions and biting flies.  Conditions changed overnight.  The landscape, now stark, was cloaked under a deep mantle of snow.  We arrived in camp and were greeted by the outfitter and our native guides.  One, an Athabaskan kid, guiding his first hunt, the other, an elder Inupi…

A Bag Full of Memories

Hunger motivated a trip to the garage this afternoon. While rummaging around in the freezer I found a bag.   I unzipped it, and out wafted the aroma of early autumn.  Damp and earthy.  A heavenly paradox, considering that we're barely one hundred eighty degrees seasonally from that other equinox.
Flashback to last autumn.  It was late afternoon, we were bumping our way out of the mountains on a dirt and gravel road.  I despise road hunting.  That day I made an exception.  Jo drove slowly, we scanned the road edge for our quarry.
A ha!  There!  And then, a couple more. White.  Egg shaped.   Shaggy mane mushrooms. Finding them is almost like finding presents under the tree at Christmas.
In our neck of the woods they usually appear in early fall, usually after the first rainy or snowy cold snap in September.  Years ago I found some along the Cassiar Highway in Northern British Columbia in late July.  But then, that's cooler, wetter country.
These mushrooms don't last long, e…

One Good Day Deserves Another

Saturday, we fished.  A once a year reunion. A couple of guys that have become friends in recent years.  And one, well, we go back decades.  It was a good day, too nice for fishing.  No, make that too nice for catching.  Everyone got a few.  But, the fish like to sulk on the brighter days.  At least that's our excuse.  In our defense, no day is too nice for fishing.  I'll share a few photos.












And on another day………...

Today, surprise, it's snowing.  Ever so lightly.  A gray day seems so strange after the succession of sun.   Yesterday I went to the creek.  The forecast was for sunshine and forties.  I couldn't pass it up.  It's January after all.  One must get out and take advantage of these windows into winter.
And so I went.  It was ridiculously nice.  Bright, perfectly clear.  No wind.  I think that it hit fifty degrees.  This would have been a great day were it the month of March.







Got a few fish, rolled a couple of real nice ones that I couldn't hold.  No ma…

Speywater Reprise

Can anything be too good to be true?  How about this?
Autumn Sunshine Daytime temps in the sixties  Nighttime temps upper thirties to forties New friends Old friends Smiles Sexy steelhead flies A big pull Steelhead Adipose fins A morning cup of camp coffee Incredible scenery Bright starry nights Full moon Sumac Bighorn sheep Bugling elk Canyon wrens Dippers October Caddis Campfires Dining by moonlight The last campout of the year A zillion things that I've forgot

My wife Jo and I floated and fished the Grande Ronde River with the crew from Speywater Guide Service last year.  Jo had such a good time that we decided to go back.  Hell, we had to, she bought herself a spey rod. She really had to twist my arm to go back.  Only kidding, I bought a new rod too! So, we re-booked the trip last December.  Flywater Travel arranges most of the trips.
The post from last years trip is here……so, I won't rehash the daily routine.
The why of the trip.  Of course, fishing is the primary reason…

Harvest Time and Apple Memories

Our kitchen and hallway are now filled with the wonderful aroma of ripe apples.  I picked them weeks ago.  Not by choice, but out of necessity.  They weren't quite ripe, but I figured that if I wanted any for our own eating, that I'd better pick some. Danged birds just couldn't leave them alone.  Why is it that they have to peck each and every piece of fruit just as soon as it shows the slightest tinge of color? No matter, they're still great eating.  They make great applesauce, bake well too.  Apple cobbler is cooling on the stovetop as I write this.  Soon it will be graced with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

The tree is a Mantet apple purchased locally from Cashman Nursery.  Fragrant and flavorful, it ripens early, which was one of the reasons for its purchase.  Now ten years old, the tree produces well.  It's just a battle beating the birds to the fruit.  It would be nice if we could leave the fruit on the tree just a little longer so that it could ripen fully.…