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!

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!

 

Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Bill and I took a lovely hike this morning around Dead Horse State Park. The information sheet we received when we entered the park says Dead Horse State Park ” has 423 acres for camping, mountain biking in the Coconino National Forest, hiking along the Verde River, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, or just wading in the cool water of the Verde River.

The ranch got its name when the Ireys family came to Arizona from Minnesota in the late 1940s looking to buy a ranch. At one property they discovered a dead horse lying by the road. When Mr. Ireys asked the kids which ranch they liked best, they said, “the one with the dead horse.” The family named it “Dead Horse Ranch ,” and when Arizona State Parks acquired the park in 1973, the Ireys made retaining the name a condition of sale.

Bill and I have visited this park before, and at one point, we were offered hosting positions here, but it’s just too hot here in the summer for our full-time RV living lifestyle. However, it is a beautiful park and well worth multiple visits.

I love the massive cottonwood trees throughout the park.

 

Even the trees that have fallen are still beautiful and expressive in their own way.

The tall grasses throughout the park create a “peaceful and easy feeling”.

 

And the wildflowers perfume the air.

The trees and grasses throughout the park are homes to all kinds of wild life, from song birds that greet you along your way,

to whatever large animals that create their beds out of the tall grasses.

There are three lovely lagoons in the park where people come to fish and picnic.

There is a little something for everyone at Dead Horse State Park. I know Bill and I will come back again soon to find that “peaceful easy feeling” we all crave…

Stay safe, and stay tuned friends.

Center Lake

Bill and I are winding down our time here in beautiful Custer State Park, South Dakota. We have only two more three day work shifts, then we will be leaving here on 9/24/19 to make our four day trip back to Arizona. We’ve spent the past five months here, and are thankful we had this opportunity to visit this magical place. While we really enjoyed all the things we saw and did on our days off, there were an equal amount of things we didn’t like about our stay. Like our ever changing work schedules. We worked at four different Visitor Centers, but not together. One day we would open a Visitor Center, and the next day we would be closing a Visitor Center. When we had to close, we had to work until 8:00 p.m. which did not suit us at all. Both Bill and I are very much early morning people and don’t like sitting around half the day waiting to go to work. And the campground we live in is a complete disaster. We changed campsites three times since we’ve been here, and still never got our coach level. The problem is most of the sites in this campground are on a slant. Somehow these things were not mentioned to us when we had our telephone interview and accepted the positions… We are so ready to get back to our level site at McDowell Mountain Regional Park, and work the Visitor Center schedules we have enjoyed for the past four years there. We already talked to our new Supervisor, and she said she would love for us to keep the same schedules we had for the past four years.

One good thing that did happen as the result of our ever changing work schedules, was that we were assigned to work “special project” last Friday with the maintenance lead, Darin. Darin is a really great guy, and he needed help loading up canoe’s that were used over the summer by the Naturalist’s to teach free canoeing basics. Darin told us to meet him at Center Lake ,and Bill could help him load the canoe’s onto his truck so he could deliver them to the storage garage where they will stay until they are needed again next summer.

While we were waiting for Darin to arrive at our meeting place at Center Lake, we had the opportunity to walk around, and take in how beautiful Center Lake is.

When Darin arrived, he told us that Center Lake is the lake that is also used for the “Hook em and Cook em” program the Naturalists teach over the summer. Hook em and Cook em is a free fishing program, where families can go fishing, without a fishing license, and the park supplies the fishing poles, bait, and the Naturalists will even clean, and cook the fish the families catch. What a deal!

Darin also told us that because Center Lake is stocked with three kinds of trout for the Hook em and Cook em program, it’s also the lake all the local folks come to fish. Yes, sign us up!

Center Lake also has a beautiful campground surrounding the lake. It is the only campground, in Custer State Park, that makes same day camping reservations. All other campgrounds must be booked in advance. Bill and I really enjoyed visiting Center Lake. It is so, so, peaceful and beautiful.

While loading up the canoe’s, Darin found this pretty little baby doll under one of the canoe’s. He sat it on the lock box that is used to store the life vests and canoe paddles. When we got ready to leave, I asked Darin if he was just going to leave, and abandon, this pretty little doll baby with her cute pink, teddy bear outfit on, and cute pink hat…? He smiled and said “put her in my truck and I’ll find a way to play a trick on the Park Manager, Lydia”. Lydia, I had nothing to do with whatever “trick” Darin is planning to do…

We were scheduled to work the full day with Darin, and we were ready to do just that. But that morning, when we met up with him, I mentioned that that day was our anniversary. And guess what? After we got the canoe’s unloaded back at the storage garage, which only took three hours, Darin said “I think I’m just going to cut you folks loose now ,so go and enjoy the rest of your day… “Thanks Darin!

Looking back over the past five months, we would not take anything for the experience we’ve had here in South Dakota. But, after five months of buffalo’s coming and going at will in and around our campsite, knocking over our outside ovens, scratching our motorhome, grunting, sniffing females to see if they are ready to mate, and fighting for the right to mate with her right outside our motorhome, keeping us trapped inside..,

after five months of all that… , we no longer say with excitement “oh look, the buffalo are coming.” NO!! Now we say “OH S##T, the buffalo are coming!! But oh, what stories we have to tell…  🙂 🙂

Stay Tuned!

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