Sunday, September 16, 2018

There Is A Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Well, the leg problem. Where to start.

The first doctor who did the spinal X-Ray, I find missed the problem. I was sent to physical therapy who said he could hurt me for 6 sessions, but it really wouldn't fix the problem. I think not. 

My regular doctor who had me do the MRI, missed the problem. When  I asked for the results of the MRI, the response was that it showed the same as the X-Ray. "That's it" I asked, "That's it" was the response. 

So we tried the float tube. You know the last post. That didn't work very well. It took almost three weeks until I felt confident enough to put the cane away.

Enter the chiropractor earlier this week. No, I'm not sitting around, I'm doing. Push, hurt, pull, hurt, bend, hurt, results............... Not my back, but probably a hip replacement. Makes sense, kneel down and pressure on the hip. Walk on uneven ground and pressure on the hip. Duh!

Did I mention both the doctors missed this even though I said left side hip to foot?

Prognosis, possible hip replacement although getting my current doctor on board (he knows everything) might be a small problem, BUT let it be known I'm driving this bus although I need his referral to get to the Orthopedic Surgeon (my nephew the Orthopedic Surgeon never called by the way). 

Time to fishing the rivers again, about 6 weeks after surgery. This confirmed by the chiropractor and Frank at California Fly Fishing who just had this done and is back on the water. Talked to him earlier this week. Once I talk to the Orthopedic Surgeon I'll pass along that info. We'll see, stay tuned.

OK, second light at the end of the tunnel. You all remember the Yuki kayak incident Since that time my wife has been death on kayaks. She finally relented when we got the inflate-a-yak a couple years ago. Three problems with the inflate-a-yak.

One, doesn't do two people very well (Sea-Eagle 12' two people kayak).

Two, seems to get holes pretty easily. We had one at Upper Lake this year and even though I patched it, it still leaked as does the blow up seats. Paddle around, float by, pump, pump, pump, and on her way. A little later, same thing. 

Three, it is NOT aerodynamic by any means. We got a couple hours on Upper Lake one morning and that was it for 5 days at the lake.

Now it's yesterday morning at Lake Camanche and we've rented two "hard shell" kayaks to try. About the same wind as Upper Lake and the kayaks whizzed right around the lake.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner............

Now we just have to find the right kayak. The ones at Camanche had clip on seats. Very uncomfortable. So the search begins.

Stay tuned.     

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Upper Lake, The Rest Of The Story

Here's how it went.

Day one, Sunday.

Left about 10:30 with a four hour drive to Upper Lake. Stopped half way for a Mexican food lunch (I had a burrito and Katherine had quesadillas) and this little guy joined us, but on the outside of the window.

Praying Mantis
Got to the lake around 2:30/3:00 and after setting up the trailer only had time to throw a few Kastmasters off the dock. No fish to be found.

Day two, Monday. Awoke to winds around 10 mph coming straight across the lake. Too fast to put either the float tube or the inflate-a-yak in the water. So I went up to the office and got a carton of crawlers. I put one out on a slip sinker rig with a couple white floaty things to keep the crawler off the bottom and on the other rod hung one about 3 feet below a bobber. No fish to be found.   

Worm drowning 
The afternoon produced more wind and more waves.


While I was waiting around for the bite that never came, I snapped a couple shots of the previously green hillside across the road from the RV park. The next three photo's are the result of the Ranch Fire that is still burning as I type this, but on the North and East side of the fire. 

Lucky cabin owners

Burnt to a crisp

Lucky resort owners
Day three, Tuesday. We awoke to calm winds and little, if any waves. Launched the Float Tube Cumberland and the Inflate-A-Yak. I in the float tube, Katherine in the yak.

I fished a Thin Mint across the front of the dock area because that is where I caught the little Bass a couple years ago. Then I went across to about half way in the picture below and fished a Crawdad imitation I got a couple years ago just for this lake.

Then I had a small problem. You see, the crawdad imitation was a bit big. So big, in fact, that when it got water logged, it broke the 5 lb leader I had it on. It was too heavy. OK, so I put on a Clouser Minnow in green and white and tried that. Cmon, you guys know I'm no Bass fisherman. I was groping here.

The reason I waited to comment more on this picture is that the River Fire (that and the Ranch Fire made of the Mendocino Complex Fire) stopped on the other side of this hill. A mere half mile away. 

Day four, Wednesday. The day dawned with winds more that we had previously. Maybe  to 10 to 15 and even whitecaps on the lake. No tubing that day. Fished off the dock with white Power Eggs. No fish this day either.

The picture below is how Day four ended. We were headed home the following morning (Thursday, that would be today).


One thing I wanted to add is that the owners of the resort, even though everyone else had evacuated, stayed during the fire. The boat in the above picture is theirs and they spent a good bit of time on it and in the center of the lake while the fire (as seen in the pictures above) raged across the street. Braver than I'll ever be.

OK, here's the result of the morning in the Float Tube Cumberland. On Tuesday afternoon I had increasing trouble walking. By Tuesday night, it was getting worse. It wasn't just hip pain this time but pain all the way down BOTH legs. Tuesday night into Wednesday morning brought cramps in both legs. And let me tell you, drugs were only taking the edge off.

The decision, made by both Katherine and I is that float tubing is out also, BUT there is a Plan B or maybe C. Could be D, in the works.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Now We'll Find Out About Float Tubing

I called the RV resort at Upper Lake yesterday to see how they fared during the Mendocino Complex Fire. They are fine, open, and ready for us on Sunday.

We have 4 nights planned this year and the weather is forecast to be much better than last year when we had cold, wind, and rain for the 3 nights we were there. Actually only 2 nights. We left early.   

Our usual spot

The fishing dock

Across the lake

View out the front door
I'm taking the Float Tube Cumberland and the Inflate-A-Yak with fly rods and spinning rods. I WILL fish this coming week.

I don't suspect I'll report until we get back on Friday because I don't want to haul everything necessary to operate my laptop (OK, it's old and requires a lot of extras) and my phone isn't so smart.

The DFW hasn't stocked trout since April and May earlier this year so I guess I'll probably concentrate on warm water species. 

Stay tuned.  

Thursday, August 16, 2018

OK, It's About Genealogy

You all know I've been digging into my family. Started a year ago December. Actually December 25, 2016.

I had a little bit of knowledge of my family. From what I've found, a very little bit of knowledge. Most of it wrong.

Then when I contacted my cousin in Georgia, she sent copies of what she had. The biggest piece of information was a copy of a translated letter (from German) from a Great Aunt Adina who lived in Siberia. Her living in Siberia is a whole nuther story of how she got there and why she was there since everybody was supposed to live in the Volga River Valley.

So I searched and searched for my Great Grandfather Gottlieb, his children Christof and wife Amalge, my Grandfather & Grandmother Michael & Emily and the other four.

I could never find anything on Christof (1865) & Amalge (1870). I had an approx date of birth for both, but there was just nothing out there.

Then one day, out on MyHeritage.com (you know the 23 & me site) I came across them. There was one tree that suddenly appeared with Christoph (dob 12/24/1864) and Amalie (dob 4/12/1868), their daughter Elsa (who I found earlier) down to Elsa's great grand son who controlled the tree.

I immediately contacted him. When we established contact, he said he'd send some pictures. Wow, you have no idea what you'll find when you contact a, no matter how distant, relative.

Meet Great-Uncle Christoph, Amalie, 1st Cousin 1x removed Julius (Christoph's son I could never find), Great Aunt Adina, and 1st Cousin 1x removed Edmund (Another of Christoph's sons I could never find).



There were five other pictures of this family including Adina's husband & children, Julius & his wife, Another daughter of Christoph named Hulda and her husband, Elsa mentioned above and her husband Reinhold, and soooo much more. Dates of birth, dates of death, even a picture of a funeral we believe was Chirstoph's.

Then came another set of pictures. 6 pictures of a form called EWZ50 H14. Since I don't "Sprechen Sie Deutsch" I'm assuming (I hate to use that word, but it fits here) they are the documentation for moving the family from Volhynia, Ukraine, Russia to Siberia. Again a treasure trove of information. I was able to decipher a lot from them. Like I said above, this is another story for another time.  

That's all of the genealogy for now.

A while ago I did a CAT scan. You know the results. Then on the 8th (by the way that was my 72nd birthday, Geezer that I am) I mentioned the MRI and was awaiting the results from my doctor (even though I already saw them). I finally contacted the doctors office and all I got was same old, same old. "That's it?', and the answer was "That's it."

Now I'm going to ask an Orthopedic Surgeon his opinion. This particular doctor has his own practice, is the Orthopedic Doctor for the LSU (Louisiana State University) football team and a professor at LSU. I think I should get some good information from him. If I don't, I'm going to fink to his mother who is my Sister-in-Law. OK, he's my Nephew.

Currently what I'm finding is if I don't do this, I can do that. Kind of a trial and error process. I'm hoping I might even be able to get back on the creek. We'll see.

Stay tuned. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Diagnosis

Previously, if you'll remember, I had a spinal X-Ray done and it was determined that I had Spinal Osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease of the spine and not curable.

A week ago last Friday I had an MRI done to determine what was wrong with my left side from the hip down. To see if there was anything else like I need a hip replacement or something. 

Yesterday I got the results from my doctor. Actually I saw them online last Wednesday, but wanted his professional opinion.

The MRI showed the same spinal degenerative disease as the X-Ray, so what's the problem with my walking? Seems when I walk on uneven surfaces (side of the creek, side of the lake, or even cutting the grass) or kneeling down to pull weeds and such, the uneven movement pinches the sciatic nerve in my left hip causing me to need a cane to walk for 3 or 4 days. Did I mention that it's quite painful too.

That said, fishing creeks and rocky lake shores is no longer an option. The pain is just not worth it. Can I float tube? That remains to be seen, only problem is that with the fires, our camping and access to lakes has been put on hold. We have one more trip planned to Upper Lake (a good float tube lake) the last week of the month. I looked at the fire map this morning and where we stay is squeezed in between the Ranch and the River fire (known as the Mendocino Complex Fire) and I'm hoping it will BE THERE that week. The outlook isn't good.

So for now, fishing is on hold.

Stay tuned.

Maybe I should turn this into a Genealogy Blog. I could show you some cool pictures of my ancestors and tell some interesting stories. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Once Again Fire Screws Up A Good Weekend Trip

We were heading to Hope Valley Campground this weekend, but the MANY fires in Northern California has, once again stopped us from going camping.

California is like a Zucchini with the center dipped out. From the Carr Fire by Redding (still burning), The Mendocino Complex Fire (Now the largest in the history of California), The Donnell Fire (down below us), and the Ferguson Fire (By and very near Yosemite National Park), the valley air quality is extremely bad.

There aren't any fires up toward Hope Valley, but the air quality is currently 162 which is the unhealthy category. Bad for Babes and Geezers.

I've been hold up in the house with the A/C on to filter the air, but camping puts you outside, for the most part, and the campground is non-electric so no A/C and running the generator defeats the purpose and no camp fires (what the point of camping without a camp fire?). 

Our last and only second trip for the year is Upper Lake. That cool place where we have a space 15 feet from the lake edge. Our hopes are it that it will still be there the week of 8/26. The River Fire (part of the Mendocino Complex Fire) is burning in the direction of the RV park. We're not sure if the fire will even be out by the 26th. Currently Highway 20 (which runs along side of the park) is closed which means no access, period.

If we can't get there, we might try for someplace else, maybe nearer the coast where the air is better.

Stay tuned.   

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Carr Fire

Bill asked if we saw any of the Carr fire. It is burning on the other side of the freeway from where we were and South a little. We were there last weekend and I think the fire started on this past Wednesday. My son was up there on Thursday for business and said the electricity was off in the entire town so he turned around and came home.

Time 9:30 pst

7 Hours Ago

4 Hours Ago

20 minutes ago
This fire is a long way from done.

We are safely home. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Saturday 7-21-2018

OK, here it comes.

One thing I forgot to tell you about Mt. Lassen National Park, is that I used the Geezer Pass and got in FREE.

Saturday morning found us heading North on Interstate 5 toward the town of Dunsmuir, California. It's about 45 miles from Redding. On the way, I took this photo of Mt. Shasta. I might add that this too, is a volcano.

Mt. Shasta
We arrived in Dunsmuir about 11:15 and it took a few minutes to find Yak's. When we did, only to find it opened at 11:30 so we had a few minutes wait.In that few minutes, an additional 4 or 5 cars parked waiting for the diner to open.


Yak's on the 5
Here it is, the Winking Lizard Burger.


Burger, fried egg, fried onion strings, Jack Cheese, lettuce, onion, and tomato with a side of fries. I'd say a good 8 inches tall. Even with my big mouth, I had to eat it in layers. I would tell you what my wife had, but I don't remember.

After stuffing ourselves we headed back down the highway to Castle Crags State Park. 

Castle Crags
After you enter the park, you drive up this road big enough for one vehicle only to the "Vista Point". By the way, they have signs that say "Yield to uphill traffic" which is the law, but apparently people can't read, can't comprehend, or are just to stupid to understand the rule. I put one guy in the ditch (on the hill side of the road) because he wouldn't back-up to the pullout about 25 feet behind him.

Drawing
This is a hand drawing (and nicely done) of the area you see from the "Vista Point". 

This explains Castle Crags
Sorry, but the shadows are from surrounding trees.

Place called Gray Rocks explanation
Another of those geological wonders you find all over our country.

Gray Rocks
It wasn't a very long tour. I think we might have been in  the park a half hour at most.

Then it was time to find the local wineries.

I remembered a sign for 10 of them on Highway 44 toward Mt. Lassen Park so we headed out that way. We drove quite a ways before finally giving up and pulling out the old GPS.

Came to find out we were waaaay off. Following the GPS put us on a road called Ash Creek. There we found this:

The fence
This fence was about 3 feet high and 3 feet wide and went for miles and I mean miles. Before I give you the story, think of the labor involved in making this fence.

As the newspaper story goes, ranch hands cleared the land for cattle by stacking the stones and making the fence.

The locals have a different story. The ranch began around the 1890's and had a batch of indentured "servants". It's said that they did part of the fence. During WWII, it's said (local gossip again) that the Japanese in the local internment camps were used. Free labor, both. Who knows, only the people now gone know the truth. 

Sunday morning breakfast was sticky buns.

So, there you have it. Burgers, Sticky Buns, and two Parks.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Friday 7-20-2018 Part 2

Let's see, where did I leave off. Oh yeh, the creek.

Beyond the creek you get your first glimpse of Mt. Lassen. Note the front side is missing a bit of, well itself.

Mt. Lassen
Then further along, we came across this site. Part of the 875 stations to study the movement of the earth's crust. You can read the rest.

Earthscope
 The GPS equipment.


Then a little later, the back side and trail to the top Mt. Lassen.

Patrick, we didn't hike any of the trails because of the leg problems I'm having and because my wife is recovering from foot surgery. We kept the walking to a minimum.



Still snow at 8500 feet.
Oh, look snow
More snow
The next two shots are of Lake Helen.

Lake Helen
This lake has special meaning for me. I came to Mt. Lassen Park back in the early 90's. It was one of those days when it was 113 in Redding (not much difference from 111) and in the higher elevations the temp was a bit lower, say high 90's. I saw Lake Helen and my first thought was to run down and take a dip to cool off.

Lake Helen
Then I read the brochure that said the AVERAGE temperature of the lake was 64 degrees. High 90's to 64 degree water, I don't think so, but I've never forgotten.

Next stop was the sulphur works. As you know, sulphur = stinky.



I snapped a couple stills and a short (8 seconds) video. Can't understand why, when you're standing next to stinky bubbling sulphur 8 seconds seems like 8 hours.


Sulphur Pit

Sulphur Pit
Sorry, but apparently the movie doesn't want to work.
Sulphur Pit the Movie
On the other side of the road is where some of the run off occurs. Note the yellow sulphur streaks.






From there it was out of the park and by then, time for something to eat. We exited on Highway 36 in the Red Bluff (about 30 miles South of Redding) and attempted to find a decent restaurant (my wife doesn't eat fast food) for lunch. We drove around for a half hour or so and decided on Win-River Casino. Nothing like eating at the competition (My wife works for Jackson Rancheria Casino).

So tomorrow (yes one more post) will be Castle Crags State Park and Yak's on the 5 and that burger, but to whet your appetite, here's something to look at.

Sticky Buns
They are from Yak's too and they are AWESOME.

See you tomorrow. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Friday 7-20-2018

After arriving Thursday afternoon in beautiful (brown and ripe for a fire, in fact we got stalled on the freeway for an hour an a half as an RV burned [screwed up his weekend] along with grass for a couple acres) downtown Redding, California. Just for those who are unfamiliar with California, Redding is 150+ miles North of Sacramento on Interstate 5.

Oh, did I mention it was 111 degrees (yes that three 1's) when we got to the RV park. I had all I could do just to get the trailer set up in that heat. We fired up the air conditioner and called it a day. 

Friday morning had us heading out Highway 44 to Mt. Shasta National Park.

Museum
The museum at the beginning of the park gives you the whole story of the Mt. Lassen eruption on 5/22/1915. I was just a kid and don't remember it very well.

Manzanita Lake
As you walk in the museum, across the road is Manzanita Lake. Don't know if there are any fish in it, but didn't matter since I didn't bring any fishing equipment. Why? you ask. Well I had plans to fish the Sacramento River by the RV park, but being a good fisherman and checking the regulations before I left, found that the whole river was closed for some Salmon/Steelhead restoration or some such thing, so I left my gear home.

The next picture will give you some idea of what happened that fateful night at the beginning of the eruption. 

Add caption
 Elmer's story.
One of the hero'a
A volcano, still rocking and rolling 3 days later

3 days later
We continued through the park looking for Mt Lassen. If I has to guess, I think this is called Chaos Crags.

Another hill
And somewhere along the road we came to Brokeoff Volcano. Mt Lassen? Not yet. Double click on the picture and you can read the info.



Brokeoff Volcano. 
And then, without any fishing gear I came across this creek. It was right along the side of the road and easily accessible. Just out of curiosity (I had a stone to throw at the fish if I saw any, just kidding) I walked along for a bit with my camera, but didn't see fish one. 

I believe this is called Lost Creek. 
There is much more including the awesome burger.

To be continued.

You didn't think I'd give it all to you at once, did you?

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Hello, It's Me

I have a post coming tomorrow about this past weekend's trip.

Just to whet your whistle, Mt. Lassen National Park and Castle Crags State Park.

Oh, and an awesome burger.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

4th of July 2018

Should be Happy 4th of July.

Should be Happy Independence Day, BUT


Image result for independence day picture
Add caption
It's slowly being taken away by those in Washington.

My question is: Why can't people see this?

Monday, July 2, 2018

A Great Loss

I've pass along this site to many, but this morning I found out..........

Boomer Radio Plays Our Songs
Gone, but not forgotten
It's gone. The last day was Saturday 6/30/2018. 

If you're a Geezer, as you all know I am, it was one of the mainstays of online music for, not only oldies, but many different music styles. I can remember listening to this station on my computer back when I had a real job and that was more than 12 years ago. 

Rest in peace Boomer Radio. You will be missed. 


Monday, June 25, 2018

I Wanted To Go Last Week, BUT

As life does, it got into the way of me fishing last week. My wife is still recovering from foot surgery and I'm her Uber driver (my son coined this) until she's back on her feet.

If you want to see some awesome scenery and fish, check out Bill Trussell's blog Fishing Through Life.

This week is iffy. Yes, I pulled one (actually two) of my stupid stunts I'm so famous for. Last Friday, watering the hill behind the house, I decided to pull a couple weeds that have been bothering me. The first "trip" I jammed my left leg (the one that hurts all the time). Couldn't have been the right one, noooooo. Had to be the left one. Then coming down the second time, I tripped and took a little header out into the grass. This stuff is hard on this old Geezer. So I spent the weekend limping around and taking drugs.

Maybe I'll get out later this week.

Friday, June 8, 2018

An Almost Perfect Day

I made it. Met Yuki at the house at 9:00 and headed up to Silver Lake. Sunshine, blue skies, and about 64 degrees. Who could ask for a better day.

Got to the lake about 10 and decided to fish the cove instead of the dam.

Walked to the right side about 50 feet and set up 2 rods with rainbow Power Bait.

To the left

Across to the left

Across to the center

Across to the right

A little snow shot.
Yuki set up about 20 feet to my left.

Yuki contemplating the next fish
Wasn't long before "FISH ON" It was your normal stocker about 9" so after a quick photo, back it went.  But it was the FIRST fish of the year. About time.

First blood
My blog photographer needs a little practice. 

The first fish of 2018
In between that one and the one below, Yuki caught 5. So I did the most natural thing for a fisherman and that was, since he limited, I threw my line where he was fishing. 

Hold still

The second fish of 2018
This one was a bit larger at about 11". The third one I caught (sorry no picture) was the same size as this one. All 8 were caught on rainbow Power Bait. Not bad for fishing about 2 hours. 

The best find of the day
On the way back we stopped for an ice cream cone at Munnerlyn's. We both had one scoop of Kit Carson Crunch in a sugar cone. The flavor is kind of a light coffee with a bunch of other stuff in it. Then there was this quart of Raspberry Truffle in the freezer. This is by far my favorite flavor. Raspberry ice cream with chocolate pieces with raspberry liqueur inside. As near to heaven as you can get.  

That, my friends, is an almost perfect day. 

Stay tuned..........I'mmmmm back.