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A Bad Day Fishing (Day 47, Part 2)

September 4th, 2009 3 comments

11:30 — Finally leave the house and head into downtown Sheridan.

11:50 — Arrive, find a sporting goods store, realize they don’t have any fishing experts there, leave.

12:00 — End up on Main Street, find another sporting goods store, realize they don’t do any fishing there, ask them if there’s a fly fishing store nearby. It’s across the street.

12:05 — Arrive at fly fishing store. They don’t sell any non-fly gear there though. I buy a license. Guy knows about fishing and likes talking about it. Guy recommends Twin Lakes, says it takes a half-hour to get there from downtown and that there are signs that clearly point it out from FS Road 26.

12:35 — Go back to the first store and buy a couple more lures.

12:45 — Leave store on “half-hour” journey to Twin Lakes.

1:45 — Arrive at Twin Lakes picnic area, but there are no lakes. Exit car and look around the area: there is a river. Wonder whether by “lake”, they mean “slow part of the river”. Decide they probably don’t.

2:05 — Cross the road to where I saw a sign for Sawmill Lake. Follow a trail for a while before I realize that it’s kind of dumb to follow a trail when you don’t know how long it is.

2:35 — Get back to car and head further into the wilderness area until I find a map by a pull-out. The map indicates only one area called “Twin Lakes”: the picnic area.

2:45 — Turn around and head to the Ranger Station.

3:05 — Arrive at Ranger Station. A helpful volunteer there says he doesn’t know how to get to Twin Lakes, but he has a map. It looks like the lakes are on another road next to the picnic area — probably the road that I didn’t go on because it was gated shut. The road doesn’t look very long.

3:25 — Arrive back at the Twin Lakes picnic area. Get out of car, get fishing gear, start heading up the closed road.

3:30 — See the lower lake, decide to head to the upper lake.

3:40 — Reach upper lake. It looks windy, so return to lower lake.

3:50 — Get gear out, put lure on swivel, open bale to cast, notice that the reel is missing its handle. Cast once to see whether it’s reasonable to reel in without a handle on the reel. It isn’t.

3:55 — Hand-spin the bale until all the line is back in. Head back toward car.

4:00 — Dig around the back of the truck looking for the handle. Find it. Put it on the reel. Try reeling a few times. Realize that there has to be something that holds the handle onto the reel, otherwise it’ll keep falling off. Dig around back of truck looking for handle lug. Find it. Screw it into the handle. Line is now all fouled up. Break off ten feet of line. Re-tie swivel and feet it through eyelets.

4:25 — Gather up gear, head back out to lakes again.

4:30 — Arrive at lower lake. Cast ten times. Eight of these casts come back with grass.

4:40 — Head for upper lake.

4:50 — Arrive at upper lake, maneuver around to the side of the lake where there’s something like a spit going out into the water (which is obviously much lower than it’s been).

5:00 — Put lure onto swivel, cast.

5:35 — Having caught nothing, seen no fish jump and no birds swooping down, realize that I should probably get back to my bro’s house before someone sends the police after me. Leave.

6:30 — Return to bro’s house.

I think the more apt question is whether it beats an *average* day working. Yes, certainly it beats an average day working. The best day working? I mean, the best day working at my old job included having cool vendor people take me go-karting or to basketball games, so probably not. A bad day — let alone the worst day — fishing probably isn’t better than the best day working (depending on what you do for a living). But still: better than an average work day, rest assured.

bkd

Categories: northern states Tags: , ,

Sheridan, Wyo.: The Horseback Riding Experience! (Day 47)

September 3rd, 2009 4 comments

— You ever ridden a horse before?

— One time, at a park, with a girl leading it around.

— We’ll put you on Sonny, then. He basically rides himself.

Naturally, within 30 seconds of getting onto the horse, he (Sonny) decided to take an unrequested gallop down my brother’s street. Only threatening to have him gelded (again) got him to slow down. Things got better from there, though, and no bones or spirits were broken (I don’t think).

sheridan_horsesThe boys. From L to R, Archie (the loner), Maverick (the one everyone hates because he’s a jerk), and Sonny (“the self-riding horse”).

It’d be fun to learn to ride a horse for real. The only problem with the guy taking off like that was that it was unexpected; it was otherwise not unpleasant. And maybe if I got good at it, I could justify growing out an un-ironic handlebar moustache. Always dreaming.

We rode for about an hour or so. 36 hours later, my legs are still sore in places they’ve never been sore before. I think I’m supposed to write out “36” if it’s at the beginning of a sentence. C’est la vie. The horses didn’t smell bad.

bkd

PS, The other cool thing about Sheridan is that on a clear day you can see FOREVER (not pictured). I can’t recall ever having seen stuff as far away as that. In the OC, you’re lucky to see the ocean from the beach what with the air pollution and all. (Yes, that’s slightly exaggerated.)

Red Grade Road (Day 46)

September 3rd, 2009 2 comments

Once at my brother’s house in Sheridan, the key thing was to sleep in. That accomplished…

I should just start with the second paragraph.

There’s this road, “Red Grade Road”, that’s not far from my bro’s house (in Sheridan), which is “in the sticks” (according to my niece), but not as in the sticks as the road. The road turns to dirt quickly and then heads up the hills. It’d probably be a great place to camp on the weekends or snowmobile or fish. Here are some photos:

sheridan_black-tooth-mountainBlacktooth Mountain — supposedly my brother’s going to hike to the top one day.

sheridan_red-grade-roadDirty Truck = Happy Truck. At least, that’s my current working theory.

sheridan_red-grade-cloudsThey have clouds in Wyoming also.

The cool thing about Sheridan and the whole area around it is that it looks (to me) exactly like you expect Wyoming to look. Rugged high-country, grassy hills broken up by stands of trees and, in the distance, snow-capped peaks. I’ve heard it said (or maybe read) that when people are thinking of Wyoming, they really mean Montana. Not so true as it turns out. It would not have been hard to imagine that Big Whiskey was going to be the next town up the road at any point (although I think the movie was probably filmed in Alberta). Anyway — it’s a landscape that looks like it needs cowpokes, outlaws-turned-sheriff, saloons, brothels, five-cent whiskey shots, etc., etc. Feels like the West, and not the overrun one like we got in California.

IMHO.

bkd

PS, Sheridan is also cool b/c my brother lives there.

PPS, I enjoyed getting to sign my nieces’ permission slips for their first (actually second) days of school.

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