A New Jeep!

The way my Jeep looks now, more or less.

The way my Jeep looks now, more or less.

Things have been kind of up in the air here for a bit.  We took our annual trip to Jamaica in mid-March and I’ve been struggling to figure out what to do with my Jeep.  I had planned on a bit of a restoration project but as the cost mounted I wondered what the end game was.  I planned on buying a new Jeep in a couple of years and I’d never see the money I put into the current Jeep TJ when I sold it.  The improvements were for me but the enjoyment would be short.  So, I began looking at buying a new Jeep now instead.

IMG_3178

And the new beast the way I picked her up from the dealer. She won’t stay stock for long.

I finally decided it was the better option.  I could use the money I’d planned to use to build my current Jeep for a down payment along with the proceeds from selling it.  I devoured everything I could about the new JK Wranglers (Jeeps have two letter names that designate each model, i.e. CJ, YJ, TJ, etc., and then new ones are JK) and finally settled on a modestly outfitted Rubicon Unlimited, the four door model.  The dealer found one on another dealers lot that matched my criteria and I picked it up on March 29, 2014. Continue reading

2014 Top Ten List

OK, it’s time for my top ten list.  The top ten places I want to go fishing this year.  These are places I love to go or new places I’ve yet to try.  This year, I’m going to try to get away for an overnight trip or two but where will be determined later.  We’ll see if I can’t check off the entire top ten this year, something I didn’t come close to last year.  I only hope we get some snow and another big fire doesn’t keep me indoors for weeks on end or the fishing season might be pretty dismal.

So, here is the list:

  1. Twenty Lakes Basin – A chain of lakes near Yosemite and behind Saddlebag Lake.  I’ve wanted to go here for years and never did it.  You take a ferry across the lake which is sort of cool in itself.
  2. Cooney and Frog Lakes – This is another place I’ve wanted to get to but never have.  Last year it was thwarted in part due to the Yosemite fire.  These are up beyond Virginia Lakes and might become an overnight trip.
  3. Highland Lakes – These are drive to lakes off of Highway 4.  These can be windy so I’ll need to set out early.  Again, I might camp there (need to look into that possibility) and I’ll definitely bring the tube.
  4. The Owens Gorge – I’m probably stupid for attempting this with my back but what the hell.  You only live once.  This is the rugged, rattlesnake and trout filled canyon below Crowley but it’s small creek fishing at it’s best.
  5. Upper Owens River – I want to hit this either this spring or next fall during the spawn.  It’s a spring creek that takes a lot of patience and stealth.  I might get skunked hard but it will be fun.
  6. Milton Reservoir – Northwest of Truckee, this is a wild trout lake.  I’ve been here many years ago.  It’s small and scenic and being it’s about 2.5 hours from home, this might be a nice spot to spend a night it the wilderness.
  7. Mokelumne River, North Fork – Another water up Highway 4, the river is a small meadow stream here.  A short hike will take you into the wilderness and a Jeep trail will take you up Deer Creek.
  8. Yuba River, North Fork – This is a roadside water but in some beautiful country with a lot of other waters to hit if the Yuba is slow.  Again, over three hours from home so a possible overnight trip.
  9. Toiyabe Range – I gotta have one in Nevada, right?  No specific location.  Maybe Big Creek, Reese River, Peavine Creek, Kingston Creek or Groves Lake, all places from my childhood.
  10. Warmwater Fishing – I haven’t fished for bass and bluegill for years.  I’m not sure where but I’ll do a little research and figure it out.  I’ve got a few spots I’ve fished but I’d like to try something new.

So, that’s it, 2014′s Top Ten.  A list will appear over to the left and I’ll add links to the reports as I check these off.  Hopefully, by the time fishing season rolls around, I’ll have shaken this damned plague the boys brought home.  I’m so over coughing and feeling worn out.  I really do hate winter!

Survival Stove Shootout

Survival Stove Kit

This is my survival stove kit an below is the shootout that helped determine that.

When building a survival bag, bug out bag, get home bag, whatever you want to call it, a way to heat water is essential.  Heating water not only makes eating light and compact freeze-dried foods possible, as well as making treats like coffee, tea and cider, it’s a good way to disinfect water.  As long as it’s relatively clean, boiling will kill just about everything that might live in that water and make you sick, toxins and pollutants not withstanding.

But what’s the best way to boil water?  Fire is the best way but what’s the best way to carry around fire with you?  Some form of tinder (I used Vaseline-soaked cotton balls) and an ignition source (I use Bic lighters, storm-proof matches and a BlastMatch) is how you make fire.   But you can’t always build a fire and it’s not the most efficient or subtle way to heat water.  Zombies can smell the smoke and see the light for miles :D

So you need some way to boil water quickly and easily and luckily there are many options out there.  Backpackers are way ahead of the rest of us in this department.  They have all manner of small, light and efficient stoves.  From complete cook systems to tiny alcohol stoves and from high-tech gadgets like the Jet Boil system to old-fashioned wood stoves.  I’ve selected three relatively inexpensive options that use three different types of fuel.  Each stove is small, lightweight and offer relatively easy to find fuel. Continue reading

Home Office Fever

I was feeling a little shut in, a little restless.  So I took a drive to Yerington to gas up the Jeep (worth the 20 minute trip to save over a buck a gallon plus I got lunch at Maverick ;))  Anyhow, on the way back I took a detour and drove up to the old mining settlement and current ghost town of Pine Grove.  It’s not Bodie but it’s still pretty cool.  Anyway, enjoy the pictures.  No commentary today.

Update:  What I’ve labeled a headframe is in fact a stamp mill.  It was used to pound material rather than crush it.  The camshaft up top is what drives the shafts that pounded ore.  Those are missing, probably easy to cart off and so stolen long ago.

Headframe

An old headframe. The shaft is caved in but it’s in great shape.

Continue reading

Jeep Tool Kit

Jeep Tool Kit

Click to see a bigger version!

OK, it’s winter.  OK, it’s late fall, whatever, it snowed yesterday.  In any case, I’ve got a lot of more gear and informational posts lined up because I’m old and I don’t like fishing in the cold.  Now, I was going to do a video for this but it’s a tool kit.  You know what tools look like, right?  Some of the other posts I have planned will have videos to compliment them but not this one.  So, without further adieu…

I’ve got a Jeep and it’s old – sort of.  It’s a 1998 Wrangler with 112,000 miles on it.  Pretty good for a 16 year old Jeep.  It’s got some minor cosmetic issues but mechanically, it’s solid.  But that can change in a hurry. Continue reading

I Let My Sons Play Football

Henry (right) coaching his brother Owen.  Owen played one year and didn't like it but he tried it.  He loves basketball, however.

Henry (right) coaching his brother Owen. Owen played one year and didn’t like it but he tried it. He loves basketball, however.  It helped him become a more confident young man.

I’ve been saying the NFL has been “chickifying” football for years.  From female commentators, to commercials that cater to women, to breast cancer awareness.  Look, I’m not sexist, but football is a man’s sport, played by men for men.  I’m all for combating breast cancer but how about prostate cancer?  Tens of thousands of men will die from that disease.  How about a sport played by men and enjoyed predominately by men support that cause instead?

But now with all the concussion issues, the “bullying” scandel, Aaron Hernandez, etc., all these people are coming out saying they won’t let their sons play football.  Bob Costas and Brett Favre are the latest.  Well, I disagree and vehemently, as you might have guessed by the post. Continue reading

Fly Fish Nevada Premiers on YouTube

After some fits and starts, I’ve finally premiered my first video on my YouTube channel.  It’s a short video about my afternoon in the East Walker detailed in this post.  As I’ve said before, this is a lot of work and more difficult than it looks.  I could have chosen to just do a simple gear review or something but I chose a more complex subject with a lot of editing, music, etc.  I probably won’t be doing these kind of videos often.  It’s hard to fish and film at the same time.

I will, however be doing some gear reviews, educational stuff and a few rants from time to time on my channel.  I intend for the YouTube channel to be a companion to the blog.  For instance, when I review something, say my “tactical” fishing bag, I’ll do a write up for the blog and a companion video.  Each will stand alone but act together too.  Some things are easier to write about and others easier to talk about on video.

Anyway, hope you enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel.  Thanks!

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