An accounting of some ventures in the life of grandma and grandpa for the kids, grandkids, friends and those who drop by for a visit.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fishing Trip and a Mud Rescue

View from the lower end of Paddock Reservoir looking toward the upper end. The reservoir is a private reservoir established by ranchers and farmers along the Little Willow. The water is for their usage and so maintaining fish populations is not of concern. The Idaho Fish and Game has worked out an agreement to allow fishermen to use the reservoir and two boat ramps have been estabished along with a brick outhouse. Some years the reservoir is drained dry and all the fish are lost. This year that may happen. Yesterday one could not take a boat from the lower end to the upper end because the water level is so low. It is as if there were two lakes. There are some large bass, crappie, bluegill, even some planted trout, and bullheads. It will be a shame to lose these. The F and G just restocked the reservoir three years ago.

Perry and Jim from the fly fishers club and I went to try our luck Wednesday. Wednesday happened to be J and my 42nd Anniversary. [Pretty understanding wife, huh? We had a nice dinner at Murphey's the night before and used that trip to attend an owners' education class for WorldMark Wyndham (timeshare ownership association).]

We caught several crappie about seven inches long and a few blue gill about six inches. We could not locate the schools of the bigger fish. We were fly fishing with sinking lines.

We returned to the ramp to load our kick boats and saw a white Tundra pickup parked to the side of the ramp. A little girl crying caught our attention. A 25 year old member (Justin) of the Air Force out of Mountain Home had taken an exploratory drive for the day with his 4 year and 2 year old daughters. He had driven near the shore line and got himself hopelessly stuck in the muck left by the receding water level. It was not a smart thing to do, but then all three of us didn't express any criticism toward him remembering our younger days of doing some foolish things ourselves. I remember coming down out of Florence, Idaho (a ghost town that I have not been to since) on what I thought was the road along Allison Creek. Wrong! It was a double path jeep trail that was not meant for two wheel drives...and it had a BIG bog hole for entertainment. Tim and I had to cut uncountable small trees down to make a corduroy road to eventually get the truck through the bog. There was no turning back with the two wheel drive on a road that was so rugged and steep. And there are more stories.

Anyway, we unhooked the trailer. Justin had a tow strap. Good thing, I had no chain or strap. We tied off to the hooks on the front of my 2007 Dodge Ram 1500. We were both in four wheel drive, but I could not pull him out. So I drove around in front of him (keeping out of the muck) and we tied off to my trailer ball and to the brush guard on the front of his pickup. That worked easily. Whew! He was very relieved and I expect the four year old was more relieved. I told him that I needed to get one of those tow straps. He handed the strap that he had just wound into a roll and said, "Here it is yours. I have two others and have access to hundreds." I am thinking I may be the recipient of stolen government property, but have not made a close inspection of the strap yet. We were the only people on the lake. There were two pickups at the dam, but I don't think there was anyway that Justin could see them and he did not know they were there. He will probably be much more cautious about pulling up near the shore of a reservoir in the future, but we all tend to learn those lessons by experiencing the pain. Oh, but aren't we fools. As in the fool learns from his own mistakes, but the wiseman learns from the mistakes of others.

When I delivered Jim to his house at 10:30 , his wife was not too happy about our late arrival. i told her that if Jim was going to be going with me, that she had better prepare herself for some late arrivals. That California city girl recently retired to this small western town did not seem too happy with my warning. She had already called mywife. J could not see the urgency--heck it only had been dark for an hour. Jim launched right into the story about our saving a four year old, a two year old, and their daddy. He did not say anything about the mud and the stuck truck to start and left her dangling for a few seconds with images of us brave guys pulling the family from the clutches of the cold, gray waters of Paddock. His wife seemed to accept that we had good reason to be late. Hmmm, I did not think we were late. There was still an hour of daylight to fish and I only had kept four crappie. Oh, well, J and I enjoyed a late breakfast of filleted crappie. We had fish sandwiches. Yum.

Time to go read a book.


Papa Coyote loves you all.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Visit to the Zuni Pueblo

A church across the street from the museum.
The countryside where the Zuni Pueblo is located on the western side of New Mexico. This mesa is sacred.
These are the charms I bought from Stafford. One bear and two frogs. Bears when blessed are fetishes to bring good health to the owner of the fetish.

Stafford concentrating hard so that he does not make a mistake and have to start over. He is using soapstone here. Fetish makers use about every stone imaginable including many stones imported from many places around the world. They like the softer stones simply because it easier on their grinders and thus less expensive to produce a fetish.

This is Stafford working on the frog charms I bought. You can see his grinder is partially enclosed by a homemade cowling covered with some plastic. He is trying to keep the dust from flying all over and into the house. You see the tall plastic drink container. It gets hot at the Zuni Pueblo. Real hot.

The Zuni Museum. See this site if interested in many pictures showing the Zuni people all through the year. I like this site because we were only there for a few hours and caught only a glimpse, a moment in time, in the Zuni Pueblo.

The shape of the bread is typical of the Zuni. The flavor is reminiscent of sour dough. I bought bread at the Taos Pueblo and told the lady that we had earlier bought bread at the Zuni Pueblo. She turned up her nose and said, "Oh, that bread tastes like sourdough. This is good bread." There seems to be some jealousy between the Taos people and the Zuni people. I thought both breads were real good. Give me some cheese and wine and all bread tastes pretty good to me!,-106.018066&spn=8.485466,14.0625&z=6 (Click on link to see a map locating the Zuni Pueblo) J and I were driving quite a long time traveling from Casa Grande, AZ, to Albuquerque, NM when we unexpectedly came upon the Zuni Pueblo. Unlike the other pueblos we visited there is no gate or visitors center where money is collected to drive or walk into the pueblo. A lady at the Taos Pueblo expressed a very low opinion of the Zunis because they do not control access to their pueblo. "They are even letting some Arab families live in the pueblo." We drove in and found the museum near the entrance. Paid our admission and took an hour or so to peruse the small museum, but nice displays and much to be learned of the Zuni history and of the controversial anthropologist Edward Curtis. See for more about Curtis:
When we finally arrived at our motel in Albuquerque it was about ten at night--a long day. And then after making reservations, they did not have our reservation. We found out about a month later that the lady at the central office for La Quinta had screwed up and told us one address and then put us in a different La Quinta motel in Albuquerque. We ended up getting a room okay, but the desk clerk was scrambling. The next day we we off to spend three nights at a WorldMark associate property in Sante Fe--very nice and within walking distance of the Plaza. J was thinking it was a long walk coming back, but she did fine. We really enjoyed the Geogia O'Keeffe Museum. I learned that she was a controversial figure in her day having posed nude for published photographs taken by her professional photographer husband.

After visiting the Zuni museum, J walked out the door and saw a man sitting on his back porch (talking real rustic, here) at a grinder making fetishes. (To us non-Indians, charms, because they have not been blessed by a medicine man or shaman) She asked him where to buy bread and he referred her next door to one of the pueblo houses. We are talking some seriously old housing now. You can see the two loaves of bread that she bought. That actually was our dinner that evening. You can see the ovens that our used by the pueblo people to bake their bread. Many pueblos have community ovens and one can see these ovens behind houses all over the SW. The ovens are called horno. Actually, these ovens have been adopted from the Spanish culture. See for more about hornos:

J suggested I go over and talk to the fetish maker. I did and ended up sitting down on a chair beside him for 45 minutes to watch him make some bear and frog fetishes. We had quite a conversation and I met his children. Turns out he is the straw boss for the Zuni Forest Fire Fighting Crew. Living in the West, I have heard of them . They are considered the best Hot Shot Crew in the U.S. His name is Safford Chimoni. He gave me his address and phone number and invited me to come back when they have some of their annual celebrations and he would take me around and explain what was going on and introduce me to other Zunis. I had told him that I teach Native American Studies. He liked that I was doing that. Actually, he had been in Idaho twice last summer because Idaho had an outrageous fire season. So far this year things have been pretty quiet until tonight when a grass fire on the outskirts of Boise got our of control with winds gusting to 50 mph causing ten houses to be totally destroyed and nine others burned. Anyway, Stafford is mentioned in two different books I bought about SW fetishes. He is considered a quality craftsman. I bought three charms for $60. He did not ask a price just let me pay him what I wanted. I hope it was about right. I feel badly about shorting any craftsman of the money they are due because they put so many hours in for so little return. But, I don't like to be cheated either.

Well, another lesson for the student of Native American cultures. I am not teaching this year so maybe that explains my need to do these posts. Besides it will help me remember our trip in future years when I look back on this post.
Time for bed,
Yeeeeeeeooooooowww... May the smoke blow in the other guys eyes...
Papa Coyote

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Visiting San Ildefonso Pueblo

The pot pictured above and below will be explained. Read on. My camera takes really poor detail pictures. I am sorry for that. The objectives of my photography deserve better. I really need to find the bucks for a better camera.
This pot is about three inches high and cost $55 but it is made by a member of the Aguilar family and is authentic. So I now have a sample of black on black pottery. It is not big, but I like it alot.
I did not take the picture of Maria Martinez as you can probably guess immediately. She is the most famous resident of Pueblo San Ildefonso. She died in 1980. Maria was a very talented potter who brought fame and attention to the Pueblo people. She perfected the black on black designs on her pottery. You would have to pay some serious cash to obtain one of her original pots. There are potters at the Pueblo who continue to create in the manner that she developed and they can make a living selling the pots that they create today. J and I visited Pueblo San Ildefonso while we were staying in Sante Fe this past June. If you would like to read about this amazing lady see: If you would like to read more about Pueblo San Ildefonso read:

And if you go to New Mexico to visit the pueblo people, be sure to go to the Pueblo Culture Center in Sante Fe. The nineteen pueblo peoples built the center so it is the real deal.

This is an old abandoned building in the Pueblo of San Ildefonso. I don't know what the building was used for, but possibly a school house. Pueblo is simply a Spanish word meaning village or town and so the communities of Indians that the Spanish "discovered" in the 1500's in what is now Arizona and New Mexico, they called pueblos. The name has stuck. The pueblo people revolted against the Spanish in a very well planned and coordinated attack led by Pope in 1680. The Spanish were completely driven out of the pueblo lands. The Spanish finally affected a return in 1694 but ruled with more compassion upon their return. To read a history of the Pueblo Revolt see: Oh yeah, the pueblos turned loose the horses in 1680 and that is when the American Indians first had access to the Spanish horses on a large scale. The pueblo people had no use for the horses so they were first adopted in a major way by the Commanches and then their first cousins the Shoshone who had as part of their range Southern Idaho. I think it is a tribute the people of New Mexico that they have chosen Pope to be honored as one of the two people each State can honor in the Capitol Building's Hall of Statues. Do you know the two people your State honors in the Hall of Statues? Most people do not. Idaho honors the man who commanded the Third Cavalry of Chivington's troops as the Massacre at Sand Creek in Colorado. For a well written sympathetic-to-the-Indian-view of the Sand Creek Massacre see: The The Third Cavalry was the unit responsible for most of the atrocities and sexual mutilations that occured during and after the so called "Battle of Sand Creek." Personally, I am not happy at all about Idaho's choice.
The Pueblo of San Ildenfonso is said to have 1,500 residents. The old village that we visited certainly did not have 1,500 residents so I assume they are spread throughout the reservation. They are located along the Rio Grande and that is their source of water. They have impounded some water and so have a lake. One can buy a permit to fish the lake for planted fish. I cannot find any mention of their owning and operating a casino. So I assume they are one of the few pueblo people who don't own a casino. J and I concluded that the pueblos would be better served to go together and build a few large casinos than to have so many small casinos competing against one another. But what do we know! There certainly must be a large number of jobs created by the casinos. There is quite a list of San Ildefonso artisans so I expect the people make pretty good money from collectors and visitors. They certainly owe a big thank you to Maria and Julian Martinez.

The above photo pictures the son of Alfred Aguilar. I think he is Joe, but I have forgotten and his signature looks like my son D's signature. There is no telling what his name is by what he signs. The Aguilar family home is just to one's right as one walks into the Pueblo from the visitors center. The Aguilars are well known artisans and make their living with their art work. Google "Alfred Aguilar" or "Aguilar Indian Arts" and you can get some notion of their work. The father's work is much more expensive than the son's, but his is plenty expensive. I bought the small pot above which is exemplary of his work and is similar to the work first created by Maria and Julian Maritinez on this reservation. I had a nice visit with the artisan. He told me their people's version of how his people came to arrive at the present village. He prefaces his remarks with the fact that his story may not be what the archaeologists believe, but it is the story that we believe. Actually his story sounded pretty reasonable.

Picture I took from the middle of the plaza. We talked to an older lady who was watering her small flower garden. She said it was so hard to get things to grow because it was so hot and the wind blew so much. She told us she was missing her son who had gone off to school. He took care of the yard and garden. Their concerns are pretty much like anybody else's in the USA.

The Catholic Church. Most people are Catholic because of the Spanish influence, but the Catholic Church has worked into their services much of the Pueblo people's culture. What do you suppose Jesus looks like in the paintings in these pueblo Catholic Churches. Yup, pretty brown with black hair and very Indian looking. That surprise anybody? Jesus in the Homedale, Idaho Catholic Church looks very Hispanic.
Oops, the above picture shows up again and I have not figured out to delete these duplicate pictures.

The picture below shows the Visitors Center and small museum. This is where one pays his fees.

The above picture was taken from the Visitors Center parking lot. The home pictured is outside of the old village. The pueblos charge people for the privilege of walking through their villages and if one wants to take pictures there is a charge per camera. They require a dated tag to be attached to each camera. The pueblos vary on the amount they charge per visitor and how much they charge for the privilege of taking pictures. San Ildefonso charges $3 per carload, but the Taos Pueblo charges $10 per person and $5 for each camera. It is money well spent. Take your time strolling through the pueblos. The people are very friendly and you can sit and chat with them about many things. The are secretive about their religion and history so you can seek an answer in those areas, but don't be surprised if you have the subject changed by their response. They have experienced some pretty bad treatment at the hands of the European and American people, so their response today to us Euro-Americans should not be surprising.

This is the Aguilar home where one can purchase their works of arts and talk to the family members. I found the son to be very friendly and willing to answer my questions about their culture.

I will be telling of our other visits to some of the pueblos and some of our thoughts about Santa Fe. I will also show some pictures of our Chaco Canyon visit. To me Chaco Canyon is most interesting and a wonderful place to visit.
Well, it is time for Papa Coyote to hit the sack,
Bye, Bye

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mudslides on the Lick Creek Road Along the Secesh River

Above and below are pictured some of the old log cabins that can be seen along Johnson Creek. A few years ago J and I were visiting Yellow Pine where I bought a local history book written by a woman I know about "Dead Shot" Reed who used to live along the South Fork of the Salmon back at the turn of the last century. I walked out of the General Store and an older lady looked at the book in my hand and said, "Why didn't you buy the book about the Cox Ranch?" I was a bit taken back, but the lady was nice so I said I just felt I only had the money to buy one book and probably would buy the book about the Cox Ranch later. I asked her why I should buy it. She said, "I wrote the book. It is about my Mom and Dad." Well, that put a whole new spin on the matter, so I crossed the street to the General Store and bought the book. When I came out she was getting into the passenger side of her pickup. I called her out and said that she had to sigh the book. She was happy to do so. I have Emma Cox's signature along side her picture when she was only a lass of three perched on a white horse. The story she wrote is quite good and written better than most local histories that I have read. A good buy and read!

Here you can see the heigth of the mudslide in the worst place. This is Lick Creek Road that services only about 100 people in Yellow Pine, Big Creek Lodge and Ranger Station and the Zena Ranch and Lodge.
The picture above shows well what was the most common problem--blowouts. The small streams that feed the Secesh fall rapidly through really steep terrain. The small, narrow canyons can fill with debris from the fire and snow can melt and freeze trapping water that builds up into small lakes then bust loose with tremendous destructive power taking the whole hillside out and depositing it in the river. I did not count the number of these, but ten would be about right. The river is a muddy mess and the road was impassable in each of these places. Sometime the washout occurred across the river from the road, but the mass of rock and mud that fell off the hillside spilled across the river and washed upon the road-- over ten feet high in one place.

D and I stayed at the Ponderosa Campground located on the Lick Creek Road at the point where the Secesh River crosses the road. The Secesh River is so named after the miners who came to Warren in 1862 from the Confederate States and camped along a Secesh River. They were called the Seccessionists by the Union men or "Seceshes". We drove to Yellow Pine on Saturday and saw the damage that was caused by the mudslides and landslides along the Secesh River. The rock and soil was washed away by the runoff from a larger than normal snowfall (for the last 20 years, anyway) and the fire last summer that burned away so much of the brush and root structure that held the soil in place. The fire was rather odd in that there are small and large patches burned out of the forest, yet there is considerable forest still left intact. The fires did close off all access to Yellow Pine. The people were told by the State Governor's Office to leave, but most chose not to and the elected sheriff chose not to enforce the governor's order. People were not willing to turn over the protection of their homes to the USFS without they being there to oversee the work or lack of work by the firefighters.

Papa Coyote has to run to Caldwell, until later
May all your trails be slightly downhill

Monday, August 18, 2008

Weekend Warriors Hike into Hum and Snowslide Lakes

This is Snowslide Lake. Since 1990 it has been stocked with some form or another of rainbow trout. We caught two brook trout and saw no other rises on the lake. Very slow fishing. The lake was stocked with brook trout at the time of the U.S. entry into WWII. Idaho closed all its fish hatcheries in preparation to ramp up production of war time necessities and the local fish hatchery managers were stuck with fish. The McCall manager chose to take his brook trout and put them in several dozen local mountain lakes. BT are prolific producers and often times overpopulate the lakes and they become stunted with large heads and snakey bodies. Fish and Game is still trying to solve this problem created at the time of WWII. The elevation of the trailhead is 5914 feet and the elevation of the lake is 7175. As you math whizzes can see that is a 1261 foot climb. The length of the trail is 1.67 miles. It is an old trail so it has no switchbacks. It is just steep. Whew! I don't know how long it took to climb it since we did not have a watch, but I would guess that we made the ascent in 2 hours or less. The trail goes on to climb to 8141 feet and then drops down to Maki Lake at 7283 feet. The fishing is reported to be quite good at Maki Lake, but I think I might be getting too old to pack my backpack into these high lakes. The trails are too poor and poorly maintained to take a horse into the lakes. Now that we have found a way to dump hundreds of billions of dollars into Iraq it seems that we can't take care of our own country's needs.
D and I on our way into Snowslide Lake Sunday morning. This is a really steep 2-mile hike. When the trial is so steep, the hike out is as hard as the hike in.

Here you can get a good look at the coloring of the California Golden trout. The CG is native to the upper branches of the Kern River coming out of the High Sierra Mountians. Idaho' F and G trades animals that we have an abundance of to other states for something that we would like to have. Several of the Idaho high mountian lakes are planted with the CG. It is fun to catch a different fish once in awhile.

D showing the California Golden Trout he caught at Hum Lake. He caught it on a skwala pattern while fly fishing with a spinning rod and reel and bubble.

D playing the Californian Golden trout.

D showing the Cutthroat Trout--the first fish we caught at Hum Lake. Since 1996 this lake has been stocked with CG trout, but we caught one golden, two cross bred CG/CT and several straight cutthroat trout (CT). I am surprised that the fish have been able to spawn so successfully. There is a good feeder creek that runs 30 gallons a minute into the lake (August 15). This would provide the necessary environment for the cutthroat to spawn and cross spawn with the golden.

Here I am with one of the cutthroat. We did not catch anything very big, but this lake has produced 16 inch fish for me in the past.
So in a three day weekend D and I managed to hike 12 miles and fish two lakes. On the second day we fished the Secesh River and Johnson Creek for steelhead smolts. They don't get very big (five to seven inches) but they are rapacious feeders. Anyway, we needed a rest after our 8 mile hike into and out of Hum Lake. We also visited Yellowpine. Should have taken pictures. See the next post for pictures of the mudslides that closed the Lick Creek Road from McCall to Yellowpine. Crews got the road open just in time for the Yellowpine Harmonica Festival.
Got to take a break and clean up more camping gear.
Bye for now, and may all your trails be slightly downhill.
Papa Coyote

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Grand kids visit; why are gold fish black; and a birthday party

E liked the swimming pool, too. And he liked the ants, the debris that falls from the oak tree, drops from the sprinkler and anything that he can fit into his mouth. He also likes life sans clothing when the temperatures are in the nineties. Maybe that is just human nature to want to be clothes-less when the the day is hot.
When the temperatures get into the nineties and even triple digits, the wading pool becomes real popular with the grandkids. Hey, the cool water even becomes pretty popular with their momma and grandma and grandpa.

G is so very socialable. Within minutes of meeting a new child his age or within a few years of his age, they are playing like they are the best of friends for years. He loves to play with his cousin L. She likes to play with G because he plays well and shares well.

"Little People Playing" The little guy standing at the playhouse is E. He is just learning to walk, but still prefers crawling because he can crawl really fast and when a door opens, he wants to get through said door really fast before it closes on him. He has invited himself to play with L and his older brother G. L loves to play with G, but she does not care to play with E because E has yet to learn any of the rules for playing. E even was so ghastly as to slobber on L's bunny. That was not cool. She came to me to tell me that she was upset with E for slobbering on her bunny and then wiped the slobber on my shirt. Nice, L! As you can see, L is bailing out of playing with the doll house when E barges in.
Here is son D assisting grandson M in his attempt to catch the black "goldfish". Anybody know why some of my goldfish are black and others are bright orange? They all went in bright orange last fall and about an inch and one-half long. Now I have four bright orange goldfish about six inches long, one six inch black "goldfish" and a dozen or so three inch black "goldfish" and one three inch orange goldfish. Mysterious. I told M that I would give him ten dollars for every black fish he could catch and put into the fountain in the backyard. He spent hours and hours. One of J's teacher friends (JoAnne) came to visit with her daughter to do a fitting for a bridesmaid's dress that J will refit for the daughter. The friend watched M fishing for the goldfish and caught his full explanation of what he was trying to do. JoAnne thought I was a genius because the task ate up so much of his time. The poor kid never did catch one of the black fish and it was not for a lack of trying. I gave him a pair of small Bushnell binoculars (10x25) that I have two of for some reason. He was pretty happy with that because he is a real birder. He carries his bird ID book with him everywhere and is really good at observing a ID'ing birds. He had a toy pair of binoculars to be used underwater. I am not sure of the value of underwater binocs and they really did not work well. Now he has a better pair of binocs, but certainly not what a birder would want, but the kid is nine and I don't think anyone wants to put an expensive pair of binocs in his hands at this time.
Picture of our friends Mason and Ria from The Netherlands. They visited for a few days while traveling through the Northwest. See earlier post about how we became friends. Mason traveled with Dean of McCall and some friends from New Zealand and other local friends on motorcycles for five days. Mason did not know where the trip would take him, but he was looking forward to renting a Harley in Boise and ride, ride, ride. Ria was to follow in the rental car. I don't think Ria's short legs would reach the pedals on a motorcylce and Mason was hoping his would. We introduced Mason to our grandchildren as the grandson of Santa Claus. The kids had to take a long look and weren't sure about that, but could see the real possibility. Yeah, he is nice enough to be the grandson of Santa Claus and his Dutch accent (both Mason and Ria speak perfect English along with several other languages) was enough to really intrigue the grand kids. I am looking forward to hear of the motorcycle trip. I will have to e-mail him after posting this blog. They leave tomorrow from Boise for The Netherlands. They start their school year about the same time we do in Idaho--about the 20th of August for teacher meetings.
J and I attendend a birthday party (the 80th) for Fred Beckman. He was an Ag. teacher (Future Farmers of America---FFA) at Weiser High School when J taught there. He ran a great program and was highly respected statewide and nationally. His daughter hosted the party for about one hundred guests. She and her husband have a beautiful Mediterranean home on about forty or so acres. The house is surrounded by dozens of fruit trees and a pasture of goats and sheep behind the swimming pool (Mediterranean style--Susan's husband is Persian). They built a house across the lane on their property for Mom and Dad so that they could look after them and assist them as they grow older. No pictures of the house. Sorry. Susan is owner of a skin care products business called Camille Beckman. All the products are manufactured in Eagle, Idaho in a green certified facility. Susan and her husband live within a couple miles of their plant and could easily ride a bicyle to work. I don't know if they to that or not. (For a story about Camille Beckman and her company's business philosophy see this story published August 10, 2008.) I love her philosophy because she will not sell to the big chain stores. Yeah, baby! The Wall Marts and their ilk (that is such a cool, nasty word) are sucking the hard earned dollars right out of the small towns and Susan is in the trenches fighting that trend to protect small businesses and small towns. Hope you all take time to read the article and support her business. The products are first class.
I have to tell you that J and I loved having our daughter and the three kids for a week, and having our friends from Holland visit and having them all to dinner including our daughter's husband who drove from Newberg for the weekend and our son and his wife and daughter L for dinner. Wow. That was so much fun and these old codgers were so tired the day after they had all departed. Can't wait for the next visit. J and I go to the Oregon Coast (Rockaway Beach) for a week at the condo in September. S and family will probably visit for a few days. The grandboys will love to go crabbing. That is a lot fun and eating the catch----now that is serious fun.
Papa Coyote has got to go do something even if it is wrong. D and I go walking into three mountain lakes next weekend. Hum Lake and Thirty-Three Lake both have California Golden Trout. I had better tie more flies. One can never have enough.
Bye, Bye. Yeeeeeeeooooooooowwwww, Yip, yip.
May all your trails be gently downhill and the mosquitos all fly, fly away.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Trip to Duck Lake

RasJane and her three children (our grandchildren) came to visit because our friends, Mason and Ria Van de Laarshott, are visiting from The Netherlands. Her husband drove over from Newberg the next day. That dirty word "work" prevented him from leaving a day earlier and he had to be back by Monday. RasJane spent six weeks with the Mason and Ria and their two, now adult sons, the summer following her senior year in high school. I taught for one year with Mason when he taught at Fruitland High School on the Fullbright Teacher Exchange. His wife Ria is a really fun gal and they both fit in so well with our family. They have been to visit us three times since their year in Fruitland, but we have yet to go to visit them. Something about the weak dollar and I assume that The Netherlands compensates their teachers a whole lot better than Idaho compensates their teachers. Since Idaho ranks something like 47th in the nation in teacher compensation, my assumption is probably correct.

We had a wonderful Friday night dinner of roasted chicken in the Dutch Ovens. Our friends from The Netherlands had never heard of these Dutch Ovens. We thought that was hilarious that the Dutch don't know of our much beloved Dutch Ovens. How could the West have been won without Dutch Ovens? Both our children's families were here at one time and with the Van de Laarshott's, we had a super visit and good time. Gabriel and Lauren play very well together, but sometimes they thought the ten month old Elija was a pest. See picture at top of blog for an earlier picture of Lauren and Gabriel playing on Memorial Day Weekend. Mason, who takes professional quality pictures, must have taken a hundred pictures of our family gathering last week. I am hoping that he will send us some of his pictures.

RasJane and boys have spent some extra days with us. We have lazed about the pool and enjoyed playing with the boys.

I took M to the mountains yesterday. We drove to McCall and then out Lick Creek Road for about 45 minutes to the Hum Lake/Duck Lake Trail Head. Duck Lake ( is about a one and one-half mile hike over a gently climbing trail. Very gentle. Brook Trout live in the lake and it is planted with cutthroat, but we only caught brook trout. The lake is popular with out-of-state people who want to experience a hike into a mountain lake and do some fishing. It is also popular with families who have young children. While M and I were fishing, we counted 18 people. That is a lot for a mountain lake. Reminds me of the Uinta Mountains in Utah. ( M caught six brookies. We actually landed one and while trying to get the camera out, the fish flipped and flopped and broke the 8 tippet leader. Got the fly. Fortunately, I had tied two others exactly the same--size 18 hook. We had to use such a fine leader because the fish get so much fishing pressure that they are super wary. The other fish M got to shore or close to, but lost them because he does not quite have enough experience to continuously keep the slack out of the line and I only tie flies with barbless hooks. Using barbless hooks makes it difficutl for a beginner to land fish, but barbless hooks can be freed from a beginner fisherman's fingers easily and since I don't keep any mountain lake fish unless I eat them shoreside, barbless is the only way to go.

The brook trout are a beautiful fish in a few Idaho mountain lakes around McCall. They are rarely found larger than 8 inches and often have large heads indicating that they are stunted-- too many fish and not enough feed. Idaho F and G is experimenting with a means of ridding some of the lakes of the Eastern Brook Trout (not native to Idaho) by introducing 1250 6-9" Tiger-Muskies to 8 mountain lakes. My guess is that the theory being the Tiger-Muskies will eat all of the Eastern Brook Trout in the lake, then die out for a lack of feed. These fish cannot reproduce. I hope they don't end up down stream. I know that in Upper Hazard Lake it is possible for them to go down stream which could ultimately place them in the Salmon River drainage possibly reeking havoc among the young salmon and steehead smolts. I hope that does not happen.
Papa Coyote needs to go and take M on a trip to Indian Valley and the scene of our last elk kill. I need to look for rib spreaders that we lost in a foot of snow while cleaning the elk and Gramma and Momma need a break from us bad guys.