Saturday, May 23, 2009

Goin' Fishin'

It is finally fishing time! Oh yah, I know. You can go ice fishing, but really, the only reason for ice fishing is to catch really sweet walleye and whitefish (not whitebait, you kiwis - these are big hummers) and drink rum.

Fishing as it was practiced Thursday involved a nice little boat complete with captain, a BIG lake and lots of sunshine and blue sky. Truly, it was the first great day of the season and about time, says I.

Sister-in-law Flip, Tom Carson (aka 'the guy with the boat') and I spent a close to perfect day out on Shuswap Lake. Put in at Canoe (east of Salmon Arm) and worked an area roughly between Sunnybrae and Paradise Point.

It was different type of fishing than I've done before. My usual styles are casting, jigging and the time-honoured 'drop in a line with a chunk of cheese and watch the clouds drift by' technique.

Tom uses fly rods set with some nice spinners, feeds out about 30 or more feet of line and sets them at different depths, clamps the rods into brackets on the back of his boat and then trolls the lake. Works for me but Flip was fairly dancing out of the boat. She has to have a rod in her hand, casting and working the lure. Although a good day, I doubt she'll do this again. I foresee an early trip to Mabel Lake to try for kokanees and a sometime trip to Osoyoos for bass.

Caught a little rainbow early in the day and something bigger gave me some line play later in the day. Other than that, the fish simply weren't biting. All the little salmon fry are keeping their bellies full, I guess. Saw lots of jumping, some little kokanees porpoising along the surface at one point. "That's why it's called 'fishing', not 'catching'," said Tom philosophically.

Shuswap Lake

Just east of Herald Park, we saw a young eagle harassing a nesting pair of osprey. A short distance further, we found the osprey nest atop a tall dead pine, the fuzzy baby peeking over the edge of the nest. There were mergansers and mallards on the water. A great blue heron was working a shallow spot towards evening.

The day wrapped up with short ribs and beer at Garry's place (Flip's partner), then a run up to Tappen for ice cream and a quick hike up to Margaret Falls. Wow, that was worth the cold walk through the bush- with spring runoff beginning to peak, the falls were stunning.

Margaret Falls

Rodeo Recap

The 91st Annual Falkland Stampede was a success by all accounts. Oz Leaf (yes, his real name) said there were 4000 people through the gates on Sunday, the biggest attendance day. Weather was cool and overcast, but at least it didn't rain. And the cool weather didn't slow down beer sales. I helped at the beer gardens Sunday and Monday so I know wherof I speak.

Bryan's sister Dianna came out on Sunday, watched the parade with us and then the rodeo itself. Bryan and I watched the Saturday draw so between the two days I saw at least one go-round of all the events.

Work Reschedule - Again

Got a phone call from the office Friday morning. My coming week has been adjusted from 3-10's to 5-8's. One of our graphic designers also works in the plate room for the press (the magical place where our digital work is transformed into printing plates that fit on the big press drums). Some new work is coming on-stream and there are 'issues' with the process, so Michelle has been seconded to the press for the entire week and I'm to cover her desk in addition to my own stuff.

It's not the extra work that makes covering someone else hard - it's that everyone sets up their 'desktop' and files a little different from everyone else, to accommodate their individual work styles and the type of work they do. For instance, Debbie and I work on the same publication, using the same folders and file system. However, my desktop and hers look very different: where the icons are located on my screen, what icons are on my screen. So when I sit down at someone else's computer, I spend the first hour or so fumbling around, just trying to find things.

Why don't you just do their work on your computer, you ask. And a logical question it is. And it is entirely do-able except for one itty bitty detail: fonts. We don't have a common font book (although we are supposed to). If you know what that a problem that is, 'nuf said. If you don't, the explanation is long and tedious. Best just to let that sleeping dog lay.

Anyway, I get a full 40 hour week next week, which makes me and my bank account happy. Whether I get my full regular day back anytime soon is another thing. I'm enjoying the four day 'weekend' obviously, what with fishing and gardening and motorcycling. However, the girl has to have a means to pay for all this pleasure!

Playing on the Mountain

I had a great morning up on the west side of the mountain behind our house.

Hey, guess I should mention that Bryan's away! He took off Thursday to Calgary, hence to Edmonton for his follow-up appointment with the cancer specialist (two weeks following his scan: said Dr. Armani gave him a thumbs up and "see you in 6 months"), from there to Valleyview. He's up there for an undefined period of time - while the work is good, he'll stay.

His newly acquired macabre sense of humor is surfacing. "Your scans were clear?"

"Yep. Besides, if I'm going to kick it, I want to do it in the fall. Who wants to die in the spring when there's riding to be done?"

Right, should have thought of that. He's planning a ride up to Whitehorse for Andy's birthday at solstice.

Back to the mountain.

I drove up the Chase-Falkland road a few km's and turned right onto Arthur Creek Forest Service Road (FSR). It probably isn't on your road map but if you're so inclined, Google Maps will have it. Anyway, it's the back way to the Bolean Lake Plateau, makes a big swing around the north side once your on top and comes to Bolean Lake from the west.

I wasn't headed to the lake. I was looking for rocks. Of course. Big flat rocks. Cuz I'm gardening. To find big flat rocks you need to find a big steep rock face that's been cut through by a logging road. Arthur Creek FSR was one I hadn't tried yet and I wasn't disappointed, either by the haul of rock or the scenery.

It's a steep climb, about 1100m vertical gain in the 3km of road that I drove up. I didn't want to get too far because (a) the rocks I want aren't at the top and (b) the weight of said rocks adds to the downward propulsion going back, and that's not good for the brakes. Oh, and (c) I hadn't told anyone where I was and had a belated thought that if anything happened to me (what could happen?!) I was S.O.L.

I was directly across the valley from Estakwalan Mtn, so the scenery was spectular. The drive down was challenging - low gear, low 4WD and plenty of pull-overs to collect rock and give the brakes ample cooling time. I didn't heat them up .... well, maybe once but that's between you and me. I have high regard for the log truck drivers who regularly traverse those slopes with heavy loads and often icy surfaces.

The current rock project is a small retaining wall to create a level spot in the back northeast corner of the lot for our fire pit. Nothing permanent like a bike shed can go there because it's directly under the transmission line that cuts across the corner of our lot. Am I worried about stray electricity radiating from the line? Not really. It's not a major line, just a local supply line, and at my age, who cares?

To return, again, to the topic. I've built a low curve wall and am now filling the area with gravel, dirt and sand to bring it up level to the area 3m or so back. I'll take pictures, eventually, and post them.

Test Ride, Take 2

Meanwhile, I'd best get this show on the road. It's another glorious sunny day in paradise. I have a test ride in Vernon on a Gladius at 10am. Yes! A real Gladius. Looking forward to it. Again, so far as I know I'm the only woman in today's group. Having been successful on a serious sport bike last time, though, this one doesn't make me nervous at all. I'm quite excited.

Will take a run out to Lavington for lunch and then back to Vernon for a surprise 50th birthday celebration for one of my co-workers. How her husband is getting her out of the house to stage this thing, I do not know, but I'm gonna be there. She's very interested in the Suzi so I'd like to show it to her husband (he's a Harley boy) and maybe stir up some interest. It would be nice to give my old ride a nice home.

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