Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Boating The Big Lake

Darren, Marcy and Linda at Lake View Idaho.

Pano view of the mouth of the Clarkfork River.
Love the yellows!
Goats on the South cliffs of Lake Pend Oreille.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Up the Joe

We drove up the St. Joe river Sunday afternoon and found a great camp sight at Huckleberry Campground. Tomorrow the Burches will arrive and set up next to us. They wanted to stay in a public campground because they are new to the camping game. That's not a problem for us, we enjoy watching all the people at the National Forest campgrounds.

After we got our camper set up we drove up river and checked out the fishing accesses.  I plan to float down to our camp tomorrow morning and fish for the big ones. Once we found the put in, we drove back and took a bit of a jaunt up a dirt road to the top of the ridge where we could get cell coverage. We contacted the Burches and let them know that we have a spot for them and explained where we were located.  They should have no problems finding us.  We also caught up on other messages we hare received. Isn't technology wonderful!

Back at camp we had a wonderful dinner of hot dogs and various salads.  Kobi checked out our site and we played a few games of cribbage.  The hot day moved off with the sun and we settled in for the night.

Day 2

Linda got up about 6 am and I was up just before the half hour.  We ate breakfast aunt had coffee as I loaded the kick boat full of fishing gear. Linda drove me up to just above Marble Creek and I put on for a little fish and float.  We were five miles above camp And I figured it would be about four hours back to camp.  As it turned out it took me six hours for the five mike adventure.

I caught my first fish in the first swift water section just after I started. It hit on my dropper and fought a good fight. I learned quite a bit on that first fish. It turns out that I think it would be better fishing and controlling the boat if I had my fins on. I brought them with me but opted to use my fishing shoes only. If I go again I will wear the fins with a pair of tennis shoes.  It will give me better control of the boat.

The rest of the five hours were filled with fishing and slightly out of control floating.  I got real good at using the oars with my fly pole stuck in my mouth.  I did well considering that it was the first time in my fishing cat in about five years.  

I caught a lot of small fish, two good sized ones and I lost a bunch of flys due to stupidity.

I got back to camp and about fifteen minutes later, Teri and Bill arrived. 

Dinner was on the Bennett's this evening so we had pulled BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. The pork was left over from our retirement party. We had enough pork left over that we could serve pulled pork for every camp diner for the next ten years.

Rain, our morning was filled with showers and thunder storms.  At one point we even had hail, but that didn't dampen our spirits.  The storms move through quickly and the only one who didn't enjoy the break from the heat was Kobi.  Kobi sat in the truck shivering because he was afraid of the thunder. Yes, our brave dog cowers at the sound of thunder, fireworks, guns, loud pops, and even paper hitting the floor.

We decided to take a drive up to Avery and explore.  I was looking for some tippet for my fly line, yesterday had taken a toll on my equipment. Everyone loaded into the two rigs and we drove the fifteen or so miles to the little town.  We did the tourist thing of feeding the fish in the city pond. Explored the museum and the railroad car that they had on display.   I took several photos of the train car for my brother-in-law Al Dee and Kenyon.  They would love to explore this display.  

We all piled into a gift store to see what they had on their shelves.  Bill had a bunch of questions and so he asked the proprietor for a bit of info.  All I can say is that her people skills leave a bit to be desired.  We did get some of the questions answered, but we had to dig through a bit of eye rolling and grumpy remarks.  "Here, I'll have to draw you a map." became a phrase that echoed the rest of the stay.

The next stop was in the general store where we met a nice fellow who was helpful and happy.  It was a big difference from our first stop.  Walked across the street and I found some tippet at a fly shop.  While we were there I started talking to a fellow fly fisherman about the area.  He was a retired principal from Oregon.  After talking fish he mentioned that his friend was the former Cd'A School Superintendent Wally Pfeiffer, he introduced Wally and then we introduced everyone in our group. Bill and Teri knew Wally from years back. As we talked I found out that I know his son Chris.  Chris worked with me at NIC.  It really is a small world.

After a little more exploration Linda and I drove back to camp and the Burches continued on up river.

We had a great dinner of Pisoli, prepared by Teri and Bill.   Talked around the fire and then went to bed.

In the morning we loaded up the truck and drove up to the boat launch above Marble Creek.  Bill and Teri launched their kayaks and floated back down to camp.  I fished my way back, this time using the force fins for propulsion. I had to get used to the fins, but once I got control, I found that I liked them better then not having the fins.

I caught more fish, but I also used the fins much more and at the end of the day I was tired. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Notes on the past 13 days.

I can't say that since the first day of retirement things have been dull.  In fact we have been running crazy but not getting very far.  Since my first day of no work, we have been able to (1) get two Bull Pines cut down and removed from our back yard (2) get the garage cleaned up, (3) trim the shrubs, (4) have one hell of a retirement party and (5) get our house painted.  Not bad for thirteen days wouldn't you say?  The only thing that has been forgotten is our blog, but remember this electronic diary was established to document our adventures, not everyday life around our homestead. So now that I have dumped some of my guilt I can go to bed and get some rest.  On Wednesday we plan to ride the Trail of the Coeur d'Alene's from Plummer to Harrison and back.  I should have some pictures of that ride posted by Friday.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The First Day

Just minutes before the sun rises.
This morning at 4:00 AM the alarm sounded and Linda and I rolled out of bed.  For months I have been trying to figure out just what to do on the first day of my retirement. I was watching TV one night a few months ago and a commercial came on that showed photos of sunrises taken by people on their first day of retirement, Linda and I looked at each other and said "That's it!"

Sunrise over Canfield and Coeur d'Alene.
We were at the boat at about 5:00 AM with breakfast in our packs, and smiles on our faces.  I have to admit that the past couple months have been a bit strange.  The retirement process at North Idaho College is what I would call a non-process.  For having been at that institution for over 33 years, one would think that there would be an exit interview, maybe a note from HR stating processes you needed to complete before you go, or even a meeting where someone collects your keys!  Nothing!  I went to work my last day and said good bye to a few people, had breakfast with some of my staff, went swimming with Heather and Michelle, turned on the auto reply on my emails and then went home.

Happily retired.
We motored out on to Lake Coeur d'Alene as the sky lightened in the east.  I turned off the ignition and we sat quietly watching the changes in light and color of our beautiful surroundings.  Linda has been so wonderful about all this retirement stuff.  Last night we were invited to have dinner with Darren and Marcy Upchurch after my last day of work.  I came up with the idea of taking the boat and motoring down the Spokane River to their house for the evening.  It was a full moon and I had always wanted to (1) take the boat down to their house and back, (2) drive the boat after dark in the light of the moon.  Last night we did both.

Lovely Linda supporting my first day dream.
Marcy made a wonderful Thai Chicken dish which we ate while over looking the river at sunset.  We talked and laughed about what I might expect in the next year.  I admit I am a bit excited.  At about 9:00 PM we climbed into the boat turned on the running lights and chugged up river.  I will admit it was quite dark on the water, even with the full moon shining.  The night was cool but there was very little breeze.  Everything went great, but if I were to do it again, I would get some kind of 10 bazillion lumens spotlight to light the way.

At 5:25 AM the sun poked its way over the tops of the mountains east of the city.  We took photos and drank coffee and tea as the new day dawned. As soon as the sun was up we started the engine and scooted over to just off Arrow Point where I set up my fishing rods, dropped the down riggers and started to fish.

I circled and fished, until about 9:30 AM, as Linda basked in the sun reading.  I think I am going to like this retirement thing!
Dan Covey in his new boat a fishing first.

Reading while I fish.

Countdown concluded.