Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Garden Is Toast

We've come to the end of the growing season. Three mornings of frost and the "Out of control" garden is gone.


Quite a difference between July and yesterday morning. 

What's left went into the green recycle bin and the 6 or so Winter Squash are finishing their ripening cycle on the counter in the kitchen. 

The Freedom Express is officially gone and insurance payment has been made. Now all we have to do is find one we like as well as we did the Freedom Express since they don't make that model any more and buying a used one is out of the question. Won't camp in someone else's dirt. 

Downcountry lakes should be cold enough to plant soon, so maybe fishing shortly. As I get older, I have less desire to fish in the freezing cold than I used to, which explains why I've not be fishing upcountry. Lake Tahoe, which is lower than most of the upcountry lakes, was 12 degrees this morning. 

So stay tuned. Won't e long before I have a "real" fishing post. 

Happy Halloween everyone. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The End Of An Era

Well, it's been two weeks since the Freedom Express was stolen. The insurance company has now considered it gone and has started the settlement process.

In talking to the claims processor, apparently a stolen travel trailer is not an unusual thing. When they comment that they are "extremely familiar with the settlement process", it pretty much says it all.

I had one occurrence last Thursday that kind of settled this whole stolen thing in my mind. 

I was coming home from a birthday breakfast with my son (it was the big 50) and I noticed a trailer sitting on a piece of ground, right next to the highway that looked to be still attached to the truck in front of it. The trailer was completely covered (to the ground) with a gray tarp. You could not see any part of the trailer. 

I immediately went around the corner from my house to the Highway Patrol office and asked them to investigate since they were the ones to write the stolen report. The first question asked: Was it on private property. I assumed it was. They couldn't do anything because they can't just access private property without at least something telling them it was my, or looked like my trailer. 

And if I took a look at it..........Trespassing. 

What better place to hide a stolen trailer than in plain sight? 

At that point, I was done with the Freedom Express. Now I wait for the insurance company to tell me how little they are going to pay me for the trailer and it's contents. 

But then (once I have that number) I'm going to do two things. One, find a new trailer. We're already making up a list to look at. And two, I'm going to file a claim with Pacific Gas & Electric for the difference between the amount the insurance company settles on and the original cost of the trailer. 

After all it was their fault (in part) because they shut off the electricity, which shut off the security lights and security cameras, which precipitated the theft. They created the perfect storm for those zeroed in on MY TRAILER to make the heist. 

From rumors around the area, mine wasn't the only one. 

The new trailer will be in a more secure lot (with a gate), have a hitch lock that even the Hulk couldn't break, wheel locks that he couldn't break either and surface to surface rockets for anyone not authorized to take the trailer. 

So now maybe life can get back to normal (not hanging by the phone waiting for that important call that never came) and get some fishing in. Winter is coming and they should start stocking the downcountry lakes fairly soon. 

While I've been waiting for the above mentioned call, I have been inputting distant relatives that I've researched and the total on the DNA linked tree is now at 2819 and the Family Tree which is directly from me, is 1279. That means I've been related to more than 4000 people and I'm not done yet. 

Stay Tuned. 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

And Then it Was Gone

Tuesday Night, Midnight and Pacific Gas & Electric with a "Weather Event (their phrase for high winds)" coming, they shut off the electricity to 800,000 people in Northern California.

Wednesday morning was a bit of a challenge. No electricity, no electric coffee pot. So there I am pouring hot water (we have a gas stove that works without electric. You know the old match to the burner trick) over the coffee grounds to get some ersatz coffee.

Then I had an epiphany (seems I get these quite often). Why not get the camping coffee pot out of the trailer. It works on the stove top just like an electric one and makes good coffee.

Around 9ish I drove over the RV lot where I store the trailer, when not in use, and for some reason my space was empty. Then I noticed (I am very observant) that the Winter tire covers, blocks that the leveling jacks go on, and the wheel chocks were strewn for about 50 feet up the aisle in front of where the trailer is usually parked.

Between myself and the gentleman who is in charge of the RV lot we estimated that sometime after midnight (when PG&E shut off the power) when the security lights and security cameras went off, someone backed up to my trailer, hooked up and took off with it like a bat out of hell. Thus the scattering of the covers, blocks, and chocks.

I called the sheriff's department, who referred me to the Highway Patrol and filed a basic stolen trailer report. About 15 minutes later a Highway Patrol car pulled into the parking lot and I finished the report with a very nice officer.

I reported it to the insurance company and they said that after two weeks it's considered gone. 

So I wait for a call.

The no longer Freedom Express
I have both sets of keys. If I do get it back, what is it going to look like. The slimebag who took it will have to use a pry bar to get the door and the storage doors open. Probably taken by some drug addict to sell for more drugs. I hope it was worth it and I hope they catch him. 

We really liked that trailer.

We thought we lived in a relatively safe area. 

We never thought something like that would happen in a secured parking area. 

Thanks, Pacific Gas & Electric. 

Insurance will cover it. PG&E has stated that any financial loss (like your refrigerator or freezer or your camping trailer) because of a "weather event power shut off" is your problem. This is definitely a financial loss. 

I have many nasty words in the back of my brain, but will refrain from using them so I can keep this post PG rated. 

Stay tuned. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Aaaah, the Secret Lake

You know the Secret Lake (the one that everybody knows about). Yuki and I had visions of Brown Trout, cool mountain air, and floating crickets at the inlet.

We were set. Purchased 30 large. Sounds kind of gangsterist, 30 Large.

We left La Casa Kautz at a little after 0900. Stopped for donuts and coffee in Pine Grove and we were on our way up Highway 88.

The Secret Lake, Fall, Spawning Browns. I was giddy with anticipation.

Turned right on Tiger Creek Road, got in about 2 miles and THE ROAD WAS CLOSED. WHAT???

Who would do such a thing to two fishermen with great expectations?

The local energy company (Pacific Gas & Electric) has been on a campaign to (finally) remove dead trees and anything that could cause a power line failure, which in turn could cause a catastrophic fire like the one last year that erased the town of Paradise, California or any of the many others that burned hundreds of thousands of acres.

So, when will the road be open? The gentleman we talked to said not until the end of the year. By then it'll be butt deep in snow at the Secret Lake. He suggested we could fish Lake Tahoe (funny guy) or San Francisco Bay (he's becoming less funny), possible Pyramid Lake (now I'm ready to hit this guy with something).

And then he casually drops this little tidbit. The area below the Power House on Tiger Creek and the Secret Lake will probably be closed to fishing from now on because of over fishing. They say, "Don't kill the messenger" and it was a good thing I had a seat belt on because I was on my way out of the truck to do just that.

So we sucked it up, made a U-all can turn, and headed back to the highway.

My dreams of 24 inch Browns........Gone.

Our options were Bear River, Silver Lake, or Caples Lake. We decided on Bear.       

Found the lake to be a tad low, but it is October.

The white strip across the top of the dam is the high water mark.
I drove down the side of the lake and backed up almost to the dam.
Then we crawled down the rocks (in the picture below) until we could find a place to sit and put out 4 rods. Yuki did two with crawlers and immediately brought in a 10/11 inch Rainbow.

Fishing down there
I put out one rod with rainbow Power Bait and the other a cricket (remember I had 30 Large) under a bobber. 

And there we sat until 1:00 pm when we decided to call it a day.

Took a few shots around the lake for you viewing pleasure.

Across from us

To our left

As it turned out, Yuki 1 - Mark Zip. 

I am saddened that the Secret Lake is no more. I'm saddened that the area below the Power House is no more. But Winter is coming and they should start planting Camanche shortly. Big Mt Lassen Rainbows are on the horizon. Excitement is ramping up. 

Stay tuned.