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 (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.