Monday, December 30, 2019

2019 .................................gone

In 2018 our family welcomed Mavis Ranae Bonnie my Great-Granddaughter. Christmas 2019 found her so mobile that she's being fenced in. OK, fence around the wood stove. Fence around the TV. Fence blocking the doorways. Mavis containment at it's best.

In February I announced that I'm really a Fish. You know my Grandfather Henry Joseph Fish. I also mentioned that I got a fish finder (I was easy to find) for my kayak. Still got it, haven't used it but once or twice. Still don't know how the darn thing works.

May found me at Pardee Reservoir. I rarely fish Pardee, but a 4 lb 5 oz Rainbow will probably change that in 2020. Pardee doesn't open again until February.  

Somewhere in the thousands of pictures I have is the shot of the Rainbow. If you really want to see it, go Here.

June found us camping at the worst campground we've ever been in. Barrett Cove at Lake McClure. A wild fire waiting to happen. 

The 29th of June got my wife in her kayak out on White Pines Lake in beautiful downtown Arnold, California. Don't have a really good picture of her in the kayak so I'll pass on posting a shot. 

At the beginning of August found Yuki and I on Woods Lake. Me in my Lifetime 10 footer. Yuki in his Ocean liner (seems like 15 feet long and 900 pounds although I think it's 12 feet and about 150 lbs.) kayak. He caught all the Brookies using worms. I caught nothing. 

July, camping at Hope Valley. Kayaking and fishing Lower Blue Lake with my wife and step-daughter. 

The girls yakking. Both would apply. 
The very end of August put us at our perfect camping spot at Upper Lake with my son and daughter-in-law in the space next to us. They love it so much they are coming with us in 2020 and 2021.

Ken & Ranae
Thought you might need a sunset picture. From the door of the trailer.

Sunset at Upper Lake
September was Hendy Woods State Park and wine tasting in Anderson Valley. That trip was expensive. No $8.09 bottles of Barefoot Pinot Grigio like we get from Safeway. 

September also brought the "Out of control" garden, tomato jam and more tomatoes and squash that we or our neighbors could eat. 

October.......Yeh October. Pacific Gas & Electric shut off the power to 800,000 people because of a "wind event" at mid-night on October 8th. Sometime between then and 8:00 am on October 9th, some low life scumbag stole our Freedom Express Travel Trailer. Didn't even bother to take off the Winter wheel covers. Just drove them off as they jetted out of the "no longer" secure trailer storage area. 

The now gone Freedom Express
Insurance paid it off and I filed a claim against PG&E for the difference between what the insurance gave us and what it cost. Their response was "Not our fault". Hard for a little guy to fight a multi-billion dollar company for a couple thousand dollars. 

So, in early November we brought home our new Lance trailer. 

If you've never seen this commercial, Watch this.

My wife walked out of this trailer on the lot and said, and I quote "I love it". Guess we were taking it home. 

December I started the "Small Town America" series with Volcano, California and then Amador, California. More to come in 2020. 

Fished a bit in December and had the great Comorant mystery. 

And on December 5th, Sacramento County Sheriff's found the Freedom Express. It was in Sacramento and people were living and doing whatever in it. Never would have wanted it back, besides it belonged to the insurance company. All I wanted was 5 minutes with the people who were in it when it was found. No such luck, Sheriff's Department has no sense of humor.  

Visited the Orthopedic Surgeon for an update on my left hip and if it's going to need to be replaced. X-Ray showed increased wear, and the addition of a couple of cysts. He thinks sometime in the next 2 to 6 months it will need replacing. I'll see him again in June if not before. 

That wrap's up 2019. Thanks to all those who continue to visit NCT. I will be back in 2020 for at least another year. Happy New Year and I'll see everyone in 2020. 

Oh, forgot one thing. On Christmas Day at my son's house I found out I have another Great-Granddaughter. Her name is Isabelle. Take a look. 

 I had no idea........... 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Only The Lonely

Christmas Eve 2019.

My wife was working so as I usually do at times like these, I went fishing.

Hey, got to do something to ward off the shack nasties.

Wasn't too cold that morning. Maybe 42 when I left home. At the lake is was about the same, but no wind blowing so the chill factor wasn't bad.

Got set up right at 0900 and put out two rods with rainbow Power Bait. What else!

Then I started to look around to see if anyone was catching anything. Sounds like I was in a fog, but was just concentrating on getting set up. There was NOBODY out there. I had the whole of North Shore to myself. I decided to fish in the cove where I usually do.


That way either
I had a cup of coffee from the little coffee shop on the way. For future reference it's called Java Drive. So I just got into a Zen state and sipped my coffee. Thought I got a bite on the left rod, but didn't feel any tug when I picked it up, so I just left it.

About 0930 I did get a bite on my little Okuma rod that was on the right and brought this, about 13" Rainbow to the shore. I wasn't planning to keep anything, in fact I didn't even bring a net.

Mt Lassen Rainbow
So I sent it back for someone else another day.

On it's way back into the lake. 
That was it. I pulled in the other rod, but it didn't have any bait on it. Maybe it was a bite. Put new bait on both and sat.  

Hung around until about 1130 and then headed for a burger and fries for lunch. 

No weird Cormorant experiences this trip. 

I already have my license for 2020, but there might be one or two more trips this year.

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Image result for christmas holiday pictures

3 shots of  Goldschläger will make your eyeballs do that. I know this from experience. 

See Y'all next year.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Small Town America, Amador City, California

Amador City is another of those little towns in the Motherlode. It was originally discovered in 1849 by a group of gold miners, one of whom was Jose Maria Amador. 

Like Volcano in the last episode, Amador City is a one "main" street town and has a pivot point where you can look one way in the direction of Sutter Creek (that's for another day) and the other direction Westerly. West from Amador City, there isn't much except farms, highways, open country and eventually Sacramento.

Population of Amador City (as of 2017) 190.

Facing West

Facing toward Sutter Creek
When you come into town, THE PLACE to stop is Andrae's Bakery. That's it below. They have the BEST pastries, I think the phrase is "to die for". Yes, I stopped in when I was there this morning and got a couple cinnamon rolls, a couple cinnamon pull-aparts for the wife, and being the nice guy I am, got a dozen Nibby Cookies (kind of chocolate chip with nuts and other stuff) for the Yahoo's Katherine works with.

Andrae's Bakery
For a long time I thought the building below was the Amador Hotel. Might have been in the past, but it's now a business complex.

As you walk in front of the business complex toward the end of the street, you cross Amador Creek. Probably still gold in that creek.

Runs right through town
Volcano had minion's, Amador City has dinosaurs. I believe (and I'm not up on my dinosaurs) this might be a T-Rex. Can you hear it roar? 

We have a company in town called "Poor Man's Bronze". They make hundreds of different pieces of yard art and garden statues along with an occasional dinosaur and a Sasquatch or two out of cast aluminum. They've even made a a fly fisherman. In my opinion, they are pretty talented.
Poor Man's Bronze T-Rex
Finally and the end of the street is the Imperial Hotel, Saloon, & Restaurant. Great place, good food, nice rooms, and I'm sure, haunted. Hell, everyplace in the Motherlode is haunted in some way. Sometimes I think my own house is haunted. Knocks and bangs happen all the time. Most contributed to house noises, but the rest??????

Imperial Hotel, Saloon, & Restaurant
The Imperial dates back to 1879. It has a very nice dining room and the food is excellent. We've eaten here many times. It has 6 rooms (from $110 to $165 or so depending the time of year) and 3 suites (from $125 to $200 again depending on the time of the year) if you wish to stay the night. One day I was talking to Laurie Lockhart out at Lake Amador Resort and she told me she was at the Imperial hotel (I think that was where she said) walking down a hallway and a cowboy walked up to her and poked her in the chest. Apparently a cowboy from years past. Staying the night could be interesting.

In 2016 there was a re-do of the movie The Magnificent Seven staring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke among others. It was based on a town called Rose Creek. All through the picture they keep talking about Amador City and going to Sacramento. It didn't look anything like the surrounding area because it's hard to compare Amador County with Baton Rouge, Louisiana where it was filmed.     

OK, that's it for this episode. We'll go someplace else in a few days.

Stay tuned. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Great Cormorant Mystery

Got up this morning to 29 degrees here in beautiful downtown Jackson. I really wanted to go fishing, but if you'll remember the last time I froze my butt off.

So I steeled myself to staying home even though I completed today's Haus Frau chores yesterday. I hemed and hawed back and forth and finally decided to see what the temperature was at the lake. It was a blazing 45 according to a Google search.

That was it, I'm going.

I got to the lake at 9:00 and parked out on the point where I usually fish.

The usual point.
Set a couple rods out with rainbow Power Bait and took a couple photo's around to show, at least I wasn't alone.

The far point

Close by
Notice it's a bit cloudy yet? Actually it was very cloudy, but not rain clouds. Just ones from the incoming storm system due tomorrow.

It was rather nice until the wind picked up. I was prepared though. I had my parka, gloves, and hand warmers. No frozen butt today. No I didn't put the hand warmers on my butt. Thought I'd head that one off at the pass.

I spent my time sipping a nice cup of coffee from the little coffee shop in Martell, on the way to the lake. No more Starbucks. When I can get a good cup of coffee, don't have to fight the parking lot with all the cars from people crammed into Starbucks playing with their free WiFi, why fight the crowd. Besides, their coffee is better than Starbucks and it's 75 cents a cup less.

I noticed a Cormorant out in the lake, then it suddenly took off doing the "broken wing" escape maneuver. Where it was sitting, I saw something in the water. At the time I thought it was one of those little mud ducks that are all over the lake. Like the one in the picture below.

I don't know the real name, I call them mud ducks
As I continued to watch, what ever it was slowly descended into the water and disappeared. Not a way a mud duck would act. I found the Cormorant out in the lake just sitting there. Very unusual for a cormorant. They generally dive a lot for fish, but this one just sat there.

That's him out there
I thought that maybe it was just catching it's breath. It was quite show when it was doing the "broken wing" thing. Still it sat there.

I kept checking every so often and it was still there just drifting. Made me think that what ever scared it must have been something BIG. What in Lake Camanche is big enough to take on a Cormorant? I have no idea. 

As time passed, the Cormorant drifted closer to shore. Still not acting like a normal Cormorant. It ended up by shore not too far from where I was sitting. I looked away to check on my rods and when I looked back, it was gone. Just like that, gone. I don't believe it flew away because I couldn't see anything in the sky. I checked along the shore, but it was nowhere to be found. 

Thus the great Cormorant mystery. What was in the water. Do we now have a Lake Camanche Monster (like Loch Ness). Is there something we should be concerned about when we're out there in kayaks. Has there been mysterious disappearances at Lake Camanche? Are we having a Twilight Zone experience. Do I need to call the X-Files? Is there a USO in the lake?

Oh, no bites. 

Stay tuned.  

Saturday, December 7, 2019

A Geography Lesson

1. If you missed the beginning of the "Small Town America" series, just scroll down.

2. Just to let you know they found our stolen trailer in Sacramento. People were living in it and it was in pretty good shape, but that was all the Sacramento County Sheriff would tell me.

3. Every day or so I get a new picture on my computer when I open it. The pictures are usually some awesome place I'll never visit so it's nice to see the rest of the world like we do via other's blogs. The reason I started the "Small Town America" series. This morning the one below was the new one.

Now starts the Geography lesson..............

This lovely Winter scene is of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. If you've followed this blog for any length of time you know I've been researching my ancestors (actually for about 29 years).

Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Pretty Christmas scene huh.

When I saw the name on this photo, my eyes lit up. I have MANY relatives from this place. Since I only knew it by name, my first reaction was to go to Google Maps and find it.

Turns out that Baden-Württemberg is a state like California. Then I started to see the towns on a lot of my ancestor's places of birth. Places like Heilbronn, Pforzheim, and Karlsruhe.

Then I started to look at places like Ispringen, again where a lot of ancestors are from. Ispringen is like a county within the "state" of Baden-Württemberg, in the country of Germany.

Everything suddenly became very clear.

A lot of times when you're entering a distant relative, all you have to go on is what Ancestry says the place should be. One Johann Philipp Kautz born in 1608 is from Ispringen, Pforzheim, Karlsruhe, Baden, Germany.

Here is where the confusion comes in. Ispringen is between Pforzheim and Karlsruhe in the "state " of Baden-Württemberg. He should be from Ispringen, Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
 Ispringen being a "suburb" of Pforzheim.

Now my only problem is correcting all those places that are wrong. I've got 4347 people on the family tree. Guess I'd better get going. 

That's the end of today's geography lesson. 

Stay tuned. 

Friday, December 6, 2019

Small Town America, Volcano, California

Like I said in my last post, I thought I'd start a series of posts about all the small towns around where I live.

Our first stop is Volcano, California. It's a cool little town population 103. I know that seems like a small place, but the 103 are just those who live in the town limits, if you will. There are a lot more residents and Volcano covers a pretty vast area.

To start off, I took a couple of pictures of what I consider the pivot point of the town. The town is basically a one street town with a 90 degree turn in the middle. From this corner you can look East and you will see the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Actually, you are in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Volcano sits at an elevation of 2070 feet.

Looking East
Then as you span to the right you are now looking in a Southerly direction. Again you are looking at the mountains. 

Looking South
Down this part of the street is the St. George Hotel. It's been here for ages. Each room is named for some part of the gold country. Here is a couple examples: Hells Delight, Poker Flat, and You Bet. Most rooms are in the $100 to $200 range, seems a little pricey, but hey you never know what you'll see, it's haunted. One last item about the St. George is that it's famous for it's Eggs Benedict Brunch. I've experienced it and it is fabulous.

St. George Hotel

In the other direction is the Volcano Union Inn. Sorry about the tree shadow. It was 9:30 am when I took this picture. The Volcano Union Inn is a restored miner's boarding house circa 1880. It only has four rooms, but we had some friends come up from Sacramento and stay at the Inn and got a tour of their room. Very nice. the rooms are in the area of $100 to $200 per night. It's haunted too.

Dining is indoor and outdoor (when it's warm), the food is fantastic (we've eaten here many times) and like most country inns, everybody is very friendly.

Volcano Union Inn
On with the the rest of the town. When I moved to Volcano and called my brother to give him our new address, he said that he hoped it was a dormant volcano. Fact is there isn't a volcano at all. The town was named by soldiers of Colonel Stevenson in 1848 because of it's volcanic appearance.

The plaque below is dedicated to Colonel Stevenson and has a few other interesting facts about Volcano. Double click to make is larger.

Like all the towns in this area, gold mining in the mid 1800's are the reason they are here. You'll notice as we go along this journey that most, if not all were founded in the mid 1800's.

George Marshall started the whole gold rush happening in 1848 with the discovery of a gold nugget in the tail race of the sawmill in  Coloma, California, but that's for another day. In the mean time if I refer to the Motherlode, I'm talking about this area.

One of the most devastating tools the gold miners used was hydraulic mining. They used a pressure nozzle called a monitor and sprayed the hill side washing the water-sediment slurry through sluice boxes to extract the gold. For the most part, they just washed away the hill. Below is a picture of one of those monitors. There us a whole State Historic Park called Malakoff Diggin's SHP dedicated to this type of mining.

Hydraulic Mining Nozzle

Below is one of our local hero's worth mentioning. Brigadier General Harry Bluett Liversedge. Born in Volcano and, well you can read what he did during WWII. A true hero. 

From here we'll head East out of town.

Eastward Ho!
Oh look, they have Minion's in Volcano. I'm not sure what his name is. It's painted on a well water storage tank. Cute though.

The following is the curve prior to starting up Ram's Horn Grade. This road is 2 miles of switchbacks and climbs 1000 feet in elevation. A real toughy when it's snowing. We know from experience as we lived 5 miles past the top of the grade. I'd also mention that Daffodil Hill is at the top of the grade, but unfortunately they have closed it permanently. It was a showing of some 600,000 Daffodils. 

Up we go
Now that we've gone through most of the town, going back on the road toward Pine Grove (that's another episode) we pass a National Landmark.

Going South
Black Chasm National Landmark. This should look familiar. We've been here a couple times already. 

Remember the field trip with my grandson and one time with the friends that stayed at the Union Inn.

So there you have it. Episode one of Small Town America.

To find out where we are going next, you'll just have to come back.

Stay tuned. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

I Have A Thought

It's just past 6:00 am here in Northern California. I don't know what I'm doing posting at this God forsaken hour on a Sunday morning when I should be sleeping, but yet here I am.

A lot of my fellow bloggers talk about the places they go to fish. I've done the same, but feel it's getting redundant. You've all seen Hope Valley, Upper Lake, the local lakes (Bear River, Silver Lake, Caples Lake and the downcountry lakes, Amador, Camanche, and Pardee.)

Now with the back and leg problems (Osteoarthritis) I'm even more limited in where  can go to fish. Besides that this old body doesn't do cold very well any more so I have to wait for it to warm up some before I can fish. Folks, it's hell getting old.

With the advent of rain 13 of the next 15 days I wanted to see if I could do something to keep your interest in coming back to NCT.

At first I tried the political bash. Just didn't have it in me to keep reporting what a moron Donald Trump is. Unless you live in a cave (with that Geico caveman) you see the news and can make your own decisions.

In thinking back, I've touched on some of the historical landmarks here locally and a little of their history. Then this morning (at 4:50 am) I thought that a tour around Northern California might be of interest.

I live in "Small Town USA" with a bunch of other small towns near by. I also live in the "Gold Country" or as it's known locally "The Motherlode". It encompasses 11 counties in Northern California.

I'd like to take you on a tour I'll call Small Town America. I'll show you a bunch of little towns and the attraction of that town. I'll show you gold mines. I'll show you haunted places (you do believe in ghosts, don't you?) and some good places to eat.

Oh, there will be some fishing and camping in there too. After all this is a fishing blog, but sometimes you have to substitute. I do have a new trailer to show you other than the picture on the November 9th post. That was just to whet your whistle. We are currently still outfitting it since we had to buy all new equipment. We had some stuff here at La Casa Kautz like the bed quilt it took my wife 11 years to make and the table runner (quilt) with the little campers and trees on it that those thieving assholes didn't get. Please excuse the language. Still pisses me off they stole the Freedom Express. You still have to replace dishes, silverware, and all those little things stuffed into the cabinets.

So I'll start with the town of Volcano, where I used to live, and I hope you'll stick around for the rest of the tour.

Stay tuned.