Welcome to "Our Life"

Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's the Little Things!

Remember back in April when I was plaining down a bunch of boards to work on the Cabin? See the large pile of Saw Dust at my feet? We did a little experiment just for Fun.

We kept the Saw Dust piled up to see how long we could make the snow last.

It is now June 30th and there is still snow / ice under the saw dust. This is a real testament to the insulation value of saw dust. We had 2 days over 80 degrees and many days near seventy. We have had rain and wind and rain and rain and rain. We still have snow on the ground in our back yard.

It is the Little things that can keep me entertained.

You know that you have been in the bush a while when: I was setting on the toilet the other night thinking about getting ready for bed when I realized "I still have my revolver and chest holster strapped on" then I thought about the fact that I was setting on a Honey Bucket, not a toilet.

You know that you have been in the bush a while when: I chased a porcupine out of the shop the other day, then I shot it just before it ran under the cabin AND, it did not even cause the dogs to stir!

You know you have been in the bush a while when: I get around other people and I have to consciously think about NOT going pee whenever I feel wherever I feel.

It is the little things that are letting me laugh about myself and this life.

This is a picture of the view out the front of our cabin shortly after we moved in.
This is a view after I had done some clearing work late last summer. You have seen Many pictures of Mountains Sunsets and Scenery thru this clearing as it was left last year.
This is one view of the clearing as I am almost finished with it. I needed some more wood for building the Wood Shed so I decided to take the wood from the front of the property and make this clearing over twice as big.
I still have to clean up 2 birch trees and 1 spruce tree. I will get the spruce today but the birch will wait until next spring for next years wood pile. no sense in doing much with them this year, they need to season for a year anyhow. I will use the spruce for building materials.

This is my "Log Hauler" that I made. This same little "Trailer Frame" converts to a "Barrel Hauler" and a "Flat Bed Trailer". I built one frame and axle with multiple attachments. This Log is 18" x 12'6" and weights probably 500#s.
You can see the beginning of the Wood Shed I am building. No more digging out the Wood Pile just so We can carry wood into the cabin. I will still have to dig steps down into the shed as winter progresses but that's OK.

I have been truly blessed with Good Health and the ability to do the projects around this property. I some times forget that it is a gift from God, just to have the aptitude to be able to do these things.

When my twisted ankle from last year flares up and burns and is very weak when it gets tired, or, I have trouble sleeping due to muscle cramps I do wonder what the heck I am doing here. Then I stop and listen to all of the sounds and feel the wind and appreciate the freedom that I have been able to experience, Or I just go pee right where I am standing and then I know what I am doing here.

To know and appreciate the gift I have received, and continue to receive on a daily bases is still another gift. I see people that I guide or fish around that only get little glimpses of this world and then they dread going back to "Reality". This is my reality, at least for today. A gift and a blessing.

Some day I may return to the other world but I will never be the same person. I miss my family and my good friends but not much else. I have developed a relationship with God here, that I never understood in the concrete world. I have developed an appreciation for The Little Things that I never understood before. The Little Things are not Tap Water and Flush Toilets nor are they Just turning on the Lights or Taking a Shower, Though those little things are nice. Those things are not what makes getting out of bed fun and exciting.

The pursuit of Happiness is a statement I had heard all of my life. What an In-Justice that statement has done to Mankind. To pursue happiness is to chase your shadow, you will never catch it. Stop for a minute and breath. Look around,,, all around yourself,,,, then look down at your shadow. Your shadow is right there, touching you where it originates. You do not have to chase your shadow, it is with you. You do not have to Pursue Happiness, it is with you. God has given it to you if you chose to see it.

I said something to Myra not long ago; I told her I found something here, that I am not sure I can ever leave. I found peace and contentment, I found acceptance and I found happiness. As I type this I am beginning to realize that I would not have to leave that, anymore than I would have to leave my shadow. It can be with me, just as my shadow is, so long as I don't forget to look at it. I have to remember to see The Little Things all around me, no matter where I am.

The "Pursuit of Happiness" can end today for anyone by simply stopping the pursuit and just be happy with today. I woke up, the dirt is still under me not over me, I have conscious thought and the ability to sense gifts of life all around me. The gifts I sense are the things that I choose to sense. If I don't choose to see gifts I will have none. If I choose to see gifts I will have more than I had ever imagined before. (The best Things in Life are Not Things)

Thank You for letting me Share my Gifts with you today.

May you have a Gift filled day! (See your Shadow)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's been over a Year

It's been over a year and Jeff still follows the ATV a little too close. It rained the other day so it is a little muddy. I think jeff wanted a mud pack facial.

Shore Lunch for clients. Notice the wine glasses? They had White Wine with their fish that I cooked them. This is how I work today! Ahhhh....

It has been over a year now since we moved into our little cabin in the woods. We have settled into routines on most of the daily and weekly mundane chores. It is no longer a complete thought process to do most things like, "We need power so fill the generator with gas and get it started", or "I would like a drink, is there enough water in the barrel or do I have to go get some?" It is just a normal part of life today, just like if You have to go to the restroom, You get up and walk to the restroom without thinking about having water to flush or capacity to dispose of the waste or a light to see inside the room. We do not have to think about all of those things each time we "use the facility" anymore. It has just become a subconscious thing of daily "Inventory" and just deal with it on a routine bases.

We put in the garden a few weeks ago. All items appear to be doing fairly well except some species of tomatoes. We put in 4 different types of tomatoes and the ones that grow close to the ground are doing ok but the ones that grow tall are not liking the cool evenings and we did not have plastic around here to get them covered. It just did not seem worth a $280 trip to town to buy plastic to cover tomato plants. I don't think we will get (or use) $50 dollars worth of tomatoes if we had a good harvest. I did have a little incident the other night that did not help the garden much. I got home from fishing about 11:00 pm and parked the ATV in front of the workshop like I frequently do. I went in the cabin and did whatever and went to bed. When I got up the next morning I stood at the window stretching and looking out at the mountains when I got this strange feeling that something did not look right. I began looking down into the yard when I realized the ATV was setting in the little valley about 100 feet from where I had parked it. Apparently I did not set the parking brake strong enough and the ATV went for a midnight drive on its own. It decided to take a foray through the garden on its way down the hill. There are a couple recovering potato plants and a dead Sunflower. The Onions, Carrots and Pole Beans all look ok today but time will tell. Ooops.

Un-Like last year, I have fished almost Every Day so far this season. I have only missed about 4 days in over a month. I have fished 13 days with clients (working as a guide) and the rest of the time fishing for pleasure and training. I have to learn all of the "holes" and "techniques" so that I am successful with my clients. Willie has been a Great Mentor and trainer for me. The guy is a Fishing Monster. He is so passionate about fishing that there are nights that he sleeps in his boat so that he is anchored on a good hole before anyone else can get to it. I am not that dedicated to the sport so I must learn several different places to fish so that I can find a good "open" place to fish. I don't fish all day, everyday. I do go early and come home and do chores, or I do chores and go in the evening.

I did go out last evening with Willie and a freind of his. I caught a 23 lb and Ruth caught a 24 lb fish. I got out the coleman stove and shore lunch supplies and I filleted my fish right there on the boat and we had a fish fry for the "nieborhood". There was 12 people fishing in close proximity and I fed all of us with 1/2 of my fish and I brought the other half home to freeze. The weather was beautiful and it was a Great evening. I wish Myra could have been there.

I have had over 50 King Salmon on or to my boat so far this year. The biggest one so far is 39lbs 10oz. I had 4 guys from Switzerland fish with me for 8 days. They were only scheduled for a guide for 2 1/2 days so that I could teach them how and where to go, but we had such a good time they hired me for their whole vacation and we fished together every day. This was a "33 pounder" that the old boy in the light blue jacket caught. When we are going to release a fish we are not allowed to take it out of the water so I have to release it while it is still in the water. That is a challenge with a fish of any size but it gives them a much better chance of survival if you don't net them or remove them from the water.

It is quite the process to catch these fish. We are fishing in fast water along the edges of the Yentna River , where clear water runs into the river from Lake Creek, and it has not blended with the Silt Water of the Yentna. The fish go to this clear water to clean their gills and or start heading up this creek depending on Their final destination. Anyhow; The water is flowing from 5 to 10 miles an hour depending on the day. We Anchor in a "good" fishing hole and put out lures just like you would be trolling in open water. The fast current makes the lures work while we set still. There maybe one to fifteen boats setting beside, behind or in front of us. When we hook a fish the first thing to do is Holler "Fish-On". This puts everyone around us on alert to get there lures out of the water. These fish are so big and powerful that they pull the lures wherever they want and they will tangle every line for one hundred yards in a heartbeat. Everyone starts reeling in their lines and We pull the anchor rope loose off of our boat and start drifting down stream while the guy with the fish on is fighting the fish. Then I start the motor and begin to drive the boat out into the main river and away from all of the other boats. Once we are clear of everyone else and in a safe drift pattern I turn off the motor and raise it out of the water. The guy with the fish on basically fights the fish for all he is worth, the bigger the fish the longer it takes. The 40 pounder took about a mile of drift before we got it next to the boat so I could net it. Netting it is a whole nother experience because we are now out in the Silt water with about two inches of visibility to see the fish, literally. To net the fish is a lesson in watching the line and looking for the dorsal fin, then "Go for it". Once You have a 30 or 40 pound fish in the net on the end of a five foot long handle you have a hole new fight on your hands to get it in the boat. Wow!

Once the fish is in the boat, whack it with a club as soon as possible because it is not happy, and it tares apart and tangles up everything it can by flopping around. Now cut the line to the pole and start driving the boat back to the anchor and get people set back up to fish. Then once everyone is back to fishing, Un-tangle the fish from the net and remove the lure and repair the line that was cut and stringer the fish and wash down the floor of the boat and pray during the process. The prayer is that the next fish comes right After the clean up and re-grouping is done, not before. I have had another fish on the line and had to re-do the driving, drifting process while still removing fish from the net etc. That gets really exciting.

I have had fish take off up river and strip all the line out of the reel quicker than I could start the boat and chase it. That is a bummer when one breaks off. We are fishing with large poles and 40 lb test and 8" long lures with big hooks and we get a hold of fish sometimes that the gear can't handle. The biggest on boated that I have heard of this year is 52 lbs and the largest boated in the area is 70 something. I had a fish on that out witted me, that I never seen but another guide did see as it went by his boat. That guide "with many years experience" told me it was every bit of 60 lbs. We had a great fight for about 10 minutes before Me and the Client made a mistake and put too much pressure on the fish and it straightened the hook and got away. That will make your heart pound for a while!

For a Whole other experience, catch one of these fish when you are by yourself. I have done it many times now and it is still very exciting. Hook the fish, pull the anchor rope loose, start and drive the boat, watch the drift pattern (going into the shore sucks), fight the fish and Net it one handed, then get it in over the edge of the boat... Yee Haa. It is a blast!!!!

These are the 2 egg sacks from 1 36 lb fish. I will cure these and use them for bait for Coho salmon season. ( No Live bait for King Salmon)

I have most of the fire wood grouped near the cabin so I can go out and do a little splitting and stacking at a time. I have started digging the root cellar.

Myra has left for Ohio for 2 months to "help" Mandy get ready for the wedding. I think she just went to be the "Mother in Law" and make sure the future son in law does not like her by wedding time. Mandy gets married August 13th so mark you calender if you want.

The "same" fuel injector went out on the boat motor again. They replaced it under a parts warranty which means I paid labor only. The part was over $450 so at least I did not have to pay for that again.

This is one of the "Cabin Complexes" near our place. Notice the guys mode of transportation to and from his Cabin? I think he is a lawyer.

It has been over a year, And, Life is good today and every day!
Thank You for letting me share this life with you,
God Bless