we limit out on kokanee

April 12, 2010

we had the best ever fishing day up at thelake and limited out on kokanee, I guess my losing streak is over, Alaska here I come.

The annual Wallowa county thrift store formal was quite an experience,  I have rarely been to parties that big, even in Portland. Everyone who was anyone in the county and us, raided the Soroptomist for the some of the fanciest clothes that you can get for 2 bits. Then congregated at the Hawkins girls (Nora) house in Wallowa. You were your own bartender, there was (dancing) and they hired a photographer for the occasion. We left quite early and quite sober compared to some but had an awesome  time playing dress up with a bunch of other adults.  In a county who’s residents usually conform to a strict dress code of Carharts and t-shirts it is nice to know they can clean up real pretty like.

you can see all the photos on the photographers website , here are a few of my favorites ones and some of our friends.

Rose and Greg

Jeremiah and Jen

Annie and Brandon

I don’t remember his name but his beard was awesome

another amazing dress

(nsfw… best shirt ever found at thrift store…. nsfw)

We have found a new niche here in the valley and are now semi-professional house sitters.  We have been house/castle sitting for the past 10 days in a secret mountain location known only as the “meadows”.   My favorite part of the job (other than getting paid for living in a mansion) were the two black Clydesdale stallions.  They were extremely calm and gentle, which is good because most horses would have tried to kill me if I had attempted similar antics with them.

my 15 fishing trip losing streak has finally come to a close with my first kokanee and it was delicious.  We braved icy wind and a crust of ice on the lake to catch 4 of the tastiest fish money can’t buy.

There is no ice on the lake but that hasn’t stopped us from fishing.  We went and scraped some holes in the slush to try and entice some trout with our Swedish Pimples (this) not (this).  My friend Bill showed up, caught one in twenty minutes (his first fish in 9 years), Then decided to end on a high note and went home.  Bruce of course caught the biggest fish of the day, which we will be eating for dinner.  I caught nothing (my usual), so I will stick to what I am marginally good at which is being witty.  This post title was inspired by my favorite rainbow sun catcher design ever (collect them all).

black diamond sledding!!!

December 28, 2009

While enjoying an afternoon of sledding Erica and I inadvertently recreated the fabled sledding scene in “Christmas Vacation” .  We actually did manage to break the amateur recreational plastic sled land speed record on our second attempt.  The braking parachutes refused to deploy however and we had no choice but to wear holes in our boots attempting to slow down from mach 12.

land speed record for plastic sled...........broken!!!!

#5 hike; Legore Lake

August 6, 2009

camping spot with a view

I had been reading in the guide book about the hike to this lake for awhile now, it seemed to have all the elements to make a fantastic experience.  Legore lake the highest true lake in Oregon at 8,957 ft is situated less than 8 miles from the farm and only 4 miles from the trail head.  Low traffic on the trail is aided by the fact that in those 4 miles you gain over 4,000 ft of elevation, numbers like that seem to make most people think twice (the less people I have to see the better).

There is an abandoned copper mine about half way up and a collapsed cabin to go along with it.   From the cabin a compass was helpful to guide us over the two passes to the lake where the thousands of brook trout feeding and cavorting in the crystal clear water refused to take our bait for the entirety of the trip.

After we set up camp and started in on the first our of what would be 12 hours of unfruitful fishing.  A herd of bighorn sheep moved in from off the ridge and fed through a grassy area near camp with Erica taking pictures like crazy.

sheep on ridge

sheep 2 for 1

babyyyyyyyy!!!!!! (photo by erica)

While taking a break from not catching fish we climbed Sawtooth mountain and got to within 20ft  of twin peaks summit before I made an executive decision to chicken out and try an easier peak a mile down the ridge.

twin peaks north tower 9,673ft

Another reason for choosing this particular hike was to take Erica’s cousin who was visiting from Chicago on a memorable outing.  Going from 600 ft in Chicago to 9,600 ft on the side of a mountain in the Wallowas seemed to make quite an impression on him.  Torturing flatlanders by taking them up treacherous trails is one of my favorite hobbies, but Zack took it all in stride with a smile.  He said he was tired once or twice but you couldn’t tell it by the way he marched up the trail with his thirty pound pack and a “souvenir” rock the size of his head.

I've been farther up that mountain than you been away from home

I had Erica drop me off at 5am at the end of lake shore road for the start to this “epic” hike.  From there I bushwhacked straight up the hill until I ran into the Chief Joseph trail (taking 2 miles out of the climb) then crossing the trail I went cross country again to eliminate another mile of switchbacks.  My route to the ridge top was up the first avalanche chute on the left in the picture above.  Once on top the route became pretty easy and I found a nice basalt band that held lots of fossils (neat).  Once I arrived at the top I called the Reiningers and they busted out the spotting scope to see me jump up and down like a idiot.

the summit turret in the upper right

I was discouraged that I hadn’t seen any goats yet because they were supposed to be everywhere.  I read the entries in the log book at the summit and 10 days previously someone had written “large group of goats on ridge to the west”.   I glanced up from reading and the picture below is what I saw.

goats ahoyyyyyyy !!!!!!!!!!

Deep in the clutches of mountain goat fever (m.g.f.) and forgetting to even take pictures from the top, I went tottering off towards the goats like a moth to a flame.  Sneaking around and through the herd I was able to get pretty close to a nanny and kid until they spotted me (here).

I think they notice me

After I recovered from seeing the goats and my m.g.f was under control I stopped to take a panorama video of my surroundings.  sawtooth is the pointy peak on the right and legore lake is just to it's left (not visible)

Following the long summit ridge west brought me to a small drainage leading down to Hurricane Creek and my final destination.  The viewpoint before I headed down the ankle twisting slope, showcased my next climb. Up Sawtooth Mountain and to Legore lake (highest lake in Oregon).

baby deer rescue!!!!!!

June 27, 2009

watch out they bite

It’s haying time in the valley and it is also happens to be newborn deer time.  The safest place for a doe to leave her fawn is apparently in our hay field, that is until Bruce comes through with the swather and cuts off everything taller than four inches.  To avoid this unfortunate experience both for Bruce and the deer.  Erica, Luke, and I went on a kind of super Easter egg hunt with the eggs being fifteen pound spotted fawns.

deer shaped land mine

We would walk in front of the tractor and try and herd them to the edge of the field out of harms way.  Several hours after the hay was all cut we saw several does leading fawns away from the field hopefully none of them were to tramatized by the experince.

erica on fawn patrol