Getting Closer

This week Bill and I continued our quest of catching enough fish for the fish BBQ we want to host for our co-hosts, and the owners of the park where we are work camping this summer. We tried a new reservoir we heard about called Joe Moore. We were a little surprised when we arrived to find we were the only people there.

After all, if this was to be a good fishing hole, why wasn’t there any other people out there fishing…?

After about two and a half hours of not even getting one bite, we packed up our gear and headed down country back roads to another place we heard about where we might catch some fish…

This is Summit Lake. Only problem here was that it was Memorial Day Weekend, and it appeared that all the people were at Summit Lake fishing. So we called it a day and went home . We decided to wait until after the holiday weekend to set out again to our favorite fishing spot.

Tuesday morning we hit the back roads again on our way to

Groundhog Reservoir, where we caught our first two fish a couple weeks ago.

The water was cold and choppy, and the wind blowing over the water was VERY, VERY, cold as well.

But within a half hour of casting my line into that cold water, I caught a 13 inch rainbow trout!

Then I baited my hook again, took a seat on my fishing bucket stool, and tried my best to not think about how cold I was with the cold wind blowing hard across the water, straight at me. And just about the time I was thinking to myself “this is crazy to sit out here and freeze like this”, I felt a strong hit on my line, and I pulled out a 15 inch rainbow trout!!! Well that made all the cold worth while…

So now Bill and I have one 9 inch, one 13 inch, one 14 inch, and one 15 inch rainbow trouts in our freezer. We just need four more to have enough to have our fish BBQ, served up with a side of Armadillo Eggs…

Stay safe and stay tuned!

Workdays At The Views

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Bill and I are spending the summer hosting in Dolores Colorado. We have a fabulous work schedule where we work 3 days and have 6 days off. I’ve already made a couple posts about what we do on our off days such as exploring the area, and of course, our favorite pastime, fishing… So I thought I would do a post about what some of our workdays are like.

We start our workday off by loading our work cart with the cleaning supplies, and tools, we need to complete each job.

 

Once we have everything we need to get started, we head out to check and clean the bathrooms. The bathrooms in this park are pristine, because of the attention to every detail all the hosts on duty give them three times a day.

Once the bathrooms are cleaned it’s time to start on campground chores,

such as checking, and if needed, watering the newly planted trees throughout the park.


We also check the mature trees and take care of any trimming that might be needed as well as watering the grass throughout the park, and cleaning campsites.

There is a large work shed full of any kind of tools we may need for each chore.

One chore that is a for sure job security chore is digging up the never ending supply of Russian Thistle Bushes throughout the park. These plants are an invasive plant, and if left unattended, they can grow waist high, and have thorny spikes running along the edges of their leaves. When we are finished with all our chores, and any projects Matt, the owner, might ask us to do, we know we never have to look far to find Russian Thistle that needs to be dug up and removed from the property.

And to make getting rid of anything from large tree limbs, to Russian Thistle Bushes easier, we have the ATV, with sideboards cart, at our disposal. We just load it up and run it down to the lower back end of the park where the burn pile sits waiting for the controlled burn day to arrive.

Yesterday was the last of our three day workweek and I spent part of my time in the office with the owner, Matt, as he showed me how to make reservations and sell merchandise on the system they use here, which is a little different than the system I’m used to using when we work the Visitor Center back home. Matt sent us the link to the system they use here, and while he walked me through the various screens, I took notes, and will share what I learned with Bill at home. We can do some practice reservations and point of sale of merchandise, so when the time comes that Matt needs us to help with office duties, we will be ready to go!

Now we’re off for six days, and we are already getting excited to get our fishing poles in the water again. The fishing areas around here are so beautiful, we have a hard time deciding where we want to go. Although the ones that actually have an open restroom almost always take top priority…

Living and loving our retirement life dream.

Stay Tuned!

Gotcha, Fish and Bear

Yesterday Bill and I went back to Groundhog Reservoir, 35 miles outside Dolores Colorado, to try our luck once again at catching some fish. We really love the area, and there are restrooms close by which we now find more of a necessity than a “nice to have.”

The past few times we’ve been out fishing we didn’t catch anything. I was beginning to get frustrated, and a little embarrassed, seeing how I told our fellow co-hosts at the campground that we will have a fish BBQ as soon as we catch a big batch of fish.

Well tenacity, determination, and all those other great virtues that are hard for me to put into practice at times paid off… Within 10 minutes of casting my hook into the cool, clear, water, I had my fish!! Nine inches to be exact. Well that got both Bill and I all pumped up to see who would catch the next one…

Like I said in a previous post, Bill likes to set his fishing pole on a rock or the tackle box and watch it to see if it moves, then he grabs it and starts pulling it up to set the hook and starts reeling it in to see what he got.

We sat there side by side for about another hour and a half, getting hits on our bait every now and then, but nothing was taking the hook. Then, WHAM, GOTCHA…, Bill got a big hit on his bait,

and he reeled in a nice 14 inch trout! Great job Bill!

Catching fish is fun, but it’s also a dirty job that requires all sorts of special skills to actually get the fish off the hook, cleaned, and ready for the freezer until we have enough for our fish BBQ with our fellow co-hosts… Two down, six or eight more to go depending on the size of the catch. We didn’t catch anymore fish yesterday but not to worry, we will be back… Ha!

While we were out having fun catching fish, back at our campground, our co-host, Mary, saw a bear walking through the campground. She got several pictures that I will share here. This is the same area where I do my morning walks. Now, I have to be very vigilant, and keep my eyes peeled for bear when I’m out walking or working in the campground… Last year it was Bison in South Dakota, this year it’s Bears in Colorado…

It all makes for great stories, and fun times together, which is a big part of why we love living our retirement life dream!

Stay Tuned!!

Still Fishing

Bill and I are still “fishing”… We haven’t caught anything yet, but we are still out there every chance we get trying new places where we just know we’re going to catch our limit of fish for the day.

Yesterday we drove to Groundhog Reservoir, about 30 miles outside of Dolores Colorado, to try our luck there. Groundhog Reservoir is the Montezuma Irrigation Company’s water supply. It is a beautiful high country reservoir, and is just a 10 minute drive from the San Juan National Forest.

It’s surrounded by high snow capped mountains. Something to see and do for everyone… But again, Bill and I had fishing on our minds.

It was another bright sunny day so we baited up our hooks,

and set out to catch some fish… The wind was blowing off and on from every direction, and coming off the cold, cold, water, you gotta know this desert rat girl was FREEZING, but very determined to catch my fish. Now I know we’ve all heard all the tall fishing stories about “the one that got away”…, but after several nibbles, and two hours into my fishing day,  I swear, I had a big fish hit my bait, so I quickly pulled my fishing pole up to set the hook, when suddenly that big fish jumped right out of the water, still on my fishing line, and looked at me as if to say “not today lady”, then that sucker jumped right back off my hook and got away. Frustrated, but not discouraged,

we packed up our fishing gear and headed over to McPhee Reservoir to try our luck there. This time we went around the back side of the reservoir where we were told the scenery is much prettier, which it is. McPhee is a very large reservoir with enough water to allow lots of boats to run up and down the 150 mile shoreline. With that much water, one would naturally think there are going to be plenty of fish just waiting to jump on any fishing hook right?

Well, what one might think and what actually happens are two very different things. We sat,

and sat, for another two hours without even so much as a nibble…

After watching Bill study his fishing pole for the slightest movement (I always hold my fishing pole so I’m immediately ready when I feel the slightest nibble) I said “no, Bill, your fishing pole is not moving at all because these fish are not interested in what we are peddling to them today. Let’s call it a day and go home and we will try again over the next few days.”

 

Even when we don’t catch fish, we still love the sport of fishing. And when we finally do catch, and land that elusive fish, the thrill of it all far out weighs the frustrations of all “the ones that got away…”

Stay Tuned!

Trout Lake

Last week Bill and I took a beautiful drive through Dolores Colorado on our way to Trout Lake which is near Telluride Colorado.

The scenery was stunning as we drove along the Dolores River.

Just before we arrived at Trout Lake, we could see the beautiful snow capped mountains that surround the lake. I knew right then that it was going to be cold when we arrived at the lake, but I had fishing on my mind and I was willing to do whatever it took to catch my fish…

Trout lake is one of the most pristine high altitude (10,000 feet), lakes in Colorado, and it’s just a short 15 minutes from Telluride. To our daughter, Shantel, for whom I write this blog, I would give you my own eyes if it would make it possible for you to be able to see the beauty of Trout Lake. The lake itself is not real big, but it is surrounded by beautiful mountains that were capped with snow the day we were there and the image of the mountains was being reflected onto the clear, still, water of the lake just like the water was a mirror. Snow was also all along the shoreline of the lake.

I couldn’t wait to get my fishing line into the water and start catching lots of fish. After all, we promised a big BBQ fish dinner to  our co-hosts at The Views Campground where we are staying.

I sat patiently, which as you know Shantel, is not one of my greatest virtues…

The sun was shinning, but the wind was blowing, and coming off of the lake water, it felt even colder than it really was. Papa was sitting near me and even he said he was cold, which as you know Shantel doesn’t happen often.

We sat and sat getting little nibbles from the fish tasting our bait, but not one of them was going to offer themself up and get on our fishing hook. So we took a little break and had a picnic lunch of sandwiches, veggies, and chips,  which we ate on our laps, while we continued to take in the absolute beauty of the lake and surrounding area.

When I was researching Trout Lake, I found out that “there are cabins and houses peppering the shores. Some folks live there year round. Its a quiet way of life, and one filled with living in harmony with Mother Nature.” The information on Trout Lake I read also said “Trout Lake is a trout fisherman’s paradise. Stocked by the Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery, you’re sure to reel in some quality rainbows and brown trout.” Well, that may well be, but Papa and I didn’t catch anything the day we were there. But we will return and try again another day.

There are so many places to fish around the area where we are staying and we are determined, and holding positive thoughts, and offering up our prayers every time we cast out, that we will catch our fish…

We love and miss you Shantel.

Stay Tuned!

Exploring

Yesterday Bill and I spent the day exploring fishing options around our area. Two reservoirs are just across the highway form The Views Rv Park where we are hosting for the summer. We drove down lovely back country roads,

until we came upon the McPhee Reservoir. “McPhee Reservoir is located in Montezuma County, Colorado.It was constructed and is operated by the Untied States Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Dolores Project, and dams the Dolores River to furnish irrigation water for Montezuma and Dolores counties and the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation”. It’s a large reservoir, but the shoreline is pretty bare, and not much to look at.

However, we found evidence that someone had a good time there…

You have to be careful where you sit because there are lots of spiders (lower right), running around all over the shoreline.

And we realized there must also be some big critters running around the area seeing how something big had to take down whatever the remains of this critter was…

I was pondering how I was going to be able to fish in this area when you apparently have to watch your back in case one of those big critters decides to sneak up on you to steal your fish, or even worse, steal you…

As we were leaving the shoreline I noticed lots of rocks with faces in them like the reddish on with the white face, and the longer blueish colored one just below that. Do you see any faces in the rocks?

It was lunchtime, and since we couldn’t find any suitable shoreline area where we could sit, and the lack of shade, we returned to our car and had a picnic there, looking out over the water.

After lunch we drove down the road to the Narranguinnep Reservoir. Now this reservoir was much more to our liking.

Beautiful clear water and lovely views all around the area.

I loved finding this rope swing hanging from this tree. Almost made me want to swing on it and jump off into the water. I say almost because that water is way too cold for this desert rat to get into…

I thought this dead tree sitting in all that water brought home the fact that some plants really can be over watered!

Bill spent some time pondering on just how we will get down to the shoreline when we do come fishing here. Lots of the area has steep cliffs we would have to climb down. But we have the will, so we will find a way.

So much to see and do around Dolores Colorado and surrounding areas. Tomorrow we’re going to drive about 60 miles to Trout Lake, and if it’s not catch and release, we will make that our first day of fishing. We need to have catch and take home so we can have grilled fish for our friends here at The Views RV Park and Campground!

Stay safe, and stay tuned!

 

The Views

Bill and I spent a wonderful, relaxing, month in Camp Verde, Arizona where we attended my brother Danny’s wedding to his beautiful new bride, Flo. We were honored to be there to help out in any way we could, and to be able to attend the wedding ceremony. On the day before we left, my new sister-in-law, Flo, gifted me with not just one, but three of her beautiful flowing designer tops right out of her studio as shown below.

Fl

I love them all and I was beyond surprised. I just can’t thank you enough Flo. You are a beautiful person inside and out, and I’m so very happy you and Danny found each other. We will see you both on the flip side..

After leaving Camp Verde, we made our way to Delores Colorado, and The Views RV Park and Campground where we will be hosting for the summer.

The Views is a private RV Park run by a man and wife team that live onsite and are fabulous! The picture below is of the adorable little office where we will work as part of our hosting duties.

The grounds of the park are very well manicured,

and there are lots of interesting little surprises tucked in around the park.

The name, “The Views”, captures the essence of the park perfectly. Everywhere you look you see spectacular views!

There are several nice hiking trails within the park.

A nice pavilion with two nice size bbq grills for us to use when we need to grill up all the fish we’re going to catch in the 150 mile shoreline lake that is just across the highway from the RV Park. Bill and I went out yesterday and purchased our fishing license and we can’t hardly wait to get our lines in the water…

The park has several really nice glamping tents as seen below..

And last, but certainly not least, is our cozy campsite. The large trees provide afternoon shade as we sit out on our patio. The temps are perfect. High 70-low 80’s.

Bill and I are loving life here at The Views. We have a work schedule that can’t be beat with a stick, three days on with six days off… We also have the delightful company of Deb and Dave Barr, and Mary and Dave Ward, they hosted with us at McDowell Mountain Regional Park in Arizona. We all work well together and enjoy each other’s company. This is going to be a FANTASTIC summer..

Stay Tuned!

 

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