Sunday, October 30, 2011
Muammar Gaddafi (1942 - 2011) is now gone. But, isn't it just a matter of time before Hollywood starts to cash in with "Gaddafi" the Movie? So, it got me to thinking-- What movie star should be cast to play the role of Gaddafi? Here is my nominee for a Drama- Micky Rourke.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Cabo San Lucas is certainly beautiful and warm, with blue sky and water and lots of sport fishing. Cabo San Lucas is located on the southern tip of Mexico's
Although the Sea of Cortez is named after Spaniard Captain Hernan Cortez, his navigator Fancisco de Ulloa is credited with discovering Cabo San Lucas in 1537. It has a history of pirates raiding Spanish ships taking treasures back to Spain. A fort was established there and the area was opened up to further exploration. In 1730 a Jesuit mission was built. The biggest obstacle to development was lack of a steady water supply.
That's one of the things I wondered about when I got there-- Where does the fresh water come from? I have since learned that the
We were picked up on the beach by a couple of small boats and then we bought some live bait from another small boat anchored out. You could see many local residents relied upon tourists fishing, just as many worked in the tourist hotels.
After catching a few tuna, the chop was getting to us gringos and we decided to turn back to town. But, on the way the captain spotted a marlin and asked if "we" wanted to catch it. We said okay. This is the way it actually worked-- the captain got his engine running again (it had broken down and we had bobbed up and down in the waves for a while as he tried to fix it, breathing the gasoline fumes, which didn't help a whole lot), quickly got in front of the swimming marlin, got a stiff pole, and then baited a hook and threw it over in front of the marlin (while I steered the boat for him, thankful for having something to hold on to). Sure enough, the marlin grabbed the bait and was hooked-- all thanks to el capitan.
Sam, the other adult in our small fishing party, had caught and reeled in marlins on other trips to Cabo, so he asked if I wanted to reel in this one. Wanting to save face and act like Ernest Hemingway, I agreed. That's when I started identifying with "The Old Man and the Sea." It didn't take days to reel in the marlin, but it still seemed like a long time to this queasy, thristy (my mouth no longer had any spit in it) ol' man. I never felt like giving up-- but maybe secretly hoped the marlin would break loose and free me.
In the Hollywood movie, Spencer Tracy at times almost looks possessed. Note that in the pictures, Spencer Tracy and I are wearing almost the exact same shirt. The similarities don't end there, however. While there is no picture of me, battling the marlin for probably less than 20 minutes, with the exact same possessed expression of a desparate man who had been fighting a fish for days, I'm sure it was there on my face to be seen. (Instead of a fishing line, imagine pulling on a five-mile long drinking straw with the other end in a tall, cool Diet Coke on ice. That's what I was imagining).
Would I do it again? Well, probably not-- although later in the month a couple of friends and I went out on the Pacific Ocean off the Washington coast, fishing for salmon, which will be the subject of another post.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
"Whoever believes 'where there is smoke, there is fire' has never tried starting a campfire." We bought a few dry logs back towards town and that made all the difference.
That's son Scott setting up the chess board. Can you beat that arrangement? Even the moths wanted to get into the game.
you could see the Cascade Mountains. To the north you could see the Olympic Mountains on the peninsula. (Click on the lower map above for detail).
Thursday, August 18, 2011
This is a picture of Blythe Lake in Eastern Washington as the sun is coming up.
I had a free day in the middle of the week, so I decided to go fishing in the “Potholes” in Eastern Washington. The eastern part of the state is high desert—very stark, uncluttered and peaceful. In the summer it’s warm and sunny. At midnight I put the canoe on top of the car and drove 200 miles to Blythe Lake, arriving shortly before sunrise.
When I first got there it was still dark and the bull frogs all around the lake were croaking. It sounded like they were trying to get their cellos in tune-- very deep tones. But then a few started something that reminded me of the Australian Didgeridoo. And when I walked around the car I would hear splashing when the frogs and turtles jumped into the water. Different sounds than in the city.
About 15,000 years ago, towards the end of the last ice age, the Cordilleran Ice Sheet covered the northern parts of Washington, Idaho and Western Montana. The front edge of the ice sheet was about 2,000 feet high. That’s about three times the height of the Seattle Space Needle.
In what’s now Montana, there was a lot of water trapped behind ice dams, which were part of the ice sheet. That water is now referred to as Glacial Lake Missoula and may have been about half the size of Lake Michigan. Every 40 years or so during a 2000-year period, the ice dams would burst and all that water would rush across Eastern Washington at about 80 miles per hour. The water would scour the earth, pushing sediment and rocks out of the way and down into Oregon and beyond. The erosion was fierce. Enormous canyons and channels were formed in the volcanic rock almost instantly.
Dry Falls is an example of the vast erosion caused by the Missoula Floods (sometimes called the Spokane Floods). When water was flowing over Dry Falls, it was about twice as much as Niagara Falls. You can get all this information on the web.
Blythe Lake is near Moses Lake. The Moses Lake area has many lakes, commonly known as "potholes," which were initially carved out by the floodwaters from Glacial Lake Missoula. Moses Lake feeds the Potholes Reservoir, which is part of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, a dam and irrigation project which raised the water table high enough to allow the potholes to become lakes. Blythe Lake is just south of the reservoir. It's one of the little dots at the top left of this photo:
I don’t know if Blythe Lake is “officially” one of the potholes, but most people refer to all the lakes in the area as “The Potholes.” So, I went fishing in “The Potholes” (although there is an actual lake with that name). You know what I mean.
Anyway, I got there before sunrise and put the canoe in and paddled around the lake. I tried dragging a spinner behind as I paddled; I anchored and tried worms, both deep and shallow, and Power Bait, both deep and shallow. Never a bite or sight of a trout. This little guy got hooked on a worm, but I threw him back (along with the pliers shown in the picture).
While I didn’t catch any trout, it was six hours on the water well spent. The surroundings were beautiful. You could hear the air going through the feathers of the birds as they flew by. You could hear your own breathing. I was the only person at the lake—all day. That’s my car shown in the photo. It was great. After six hours on the lake, I drove back home.
The canoe worked well. The wind was really up coming home, and it was blowing sideways on the canoe. But, the canoe held up. That’s a picture of the back rest I made for it—you can lean against it or sit on top. I also learned that I can stretch out and fall asleep on the bottom of the canoe. That could work in a pinch.