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.

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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

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

East Walker River – Fishing and More!

Jeep

Yes, I’m in love with my Jeep ;)

I finally pried myself from my writing chair today and went outdoors!  I know, right?  I’ve been cooped up in here quite a bit lately.  Honestly, I’m digging on my writing and I spend a lot of time working on it.  You only see part of that hard work her on the blog.  I write under another pen name too.  I like to keep them separate so I’m not telling you what that name is.  Sorry but if you’ve ever wondered why I’ve turned out so few books but spend so much time writing, that’s why.

OK, back to the matter at hand.  I did some editing today and then about 12:30 I left for the Elbow.  I dragged my cameras and my survival bags along for the ride.  I wasn’t just going out to fish.  I was hoping to get some video to put together something for YouTube and practice some of my “survival skills” as well as wet a line.  Things, as they seem to do, didn’t go as planned. Continue reading

Smokefest 2013

They view off my front porch this AM.

They view off my front porch this AM.

The beautiful summer weather goes on.  The Rim Fire burning near Yosemite continues to pour smoke into the valleys along the Sierra front.  Football games have been canceled for another week and outdoor activities of any kind are difficult at best.  I’ve heard rumors that the skies are clear near Bridgeport and Lee Vining but driving through the haze to get there is the problem.  The Jeep isn’t exactly air tight and by the time I could reach clear air, I’d likely be ruined.

So, while I wait for the skies to clear to begin enjoying the fall fishing in earnest, I’m working on some projects at home.  That is when I’m not suffering from near constant headaches, sinus pressure and a burning throat.  I know the fire crews are doing their best but I wish they could work faster.  As long as they’re safe, that is.  Reporting from Smokefest 2013.

Summer Kind of Sucks!

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Dumping Rain in Pickel Meadows, sunny down by the junction.

I’ve been cooped up in the house for a while, avoiding the outdoors because of the crowds, the heat, the fires and the thunderstorms.  If it’s not one of those, its another and most of time its more than one.  This year has been especially bad for fires and thunderstorms.  The Sierras, or large swaths of them, anyway, have been socked in with smoke from the various fires all summer.  Thunderstorms seem to be the norm this year.

Jeep Surreal

Da Jeep!

As if to hammer that point home, yesterday, the 21st of August, was one of the worst days for thunderstorms all summer and today, the 22nd (my birthday by the way), the skies of Reno, Carson City and Minden/Gardnerville are thick with smoke and falling ash Continue reading

Dana Fork and Parker Pass Creek

Like an old Jeep ad.

Like an old Jeep ad.

What with the 4th of July crowds, the heat and the previous cold and wind gone, I took my youngest son, Owen, and we went fishing.  We were headed to Laurel Lakes but on the way down 395, I just didn’t feel like making the four mile trek up that treacherous road, so we changed our plans.  We stopped for breakfast at the Mobile station at the junction of US 395 and Highway 120, gassed up and headed up the hill towards Yosemite.

We drove up to Tuolumne Meadows first to check that out.  It wasn’t crowded, maybe only 9:00 am.  Very pretty.  My first time in the park.  Yes, yes, I’ve lived in Carson City and Smith Valley my whole life and never driven past the Tioga entrance.  So sue me.  I guess you just take things so close for granted. By the way, this is only my second National Park visit.  The first was Redwood National Forest in northern California.  Now you know.  I know, you’re thrilled. Continue reading

Back in the Saddle Again (Literally)

One of my favorite holes on the East Walker. Almost always full of hungry trout.

See that post below, the one about me having surgery?  I lied.  I am not having surgery.  I’ve decided against it and if you’re really interested in why, or just bored out of your skull, go to Being Retired to read all about it.  Otherwise, long story short is the cure looked to worse than the disease and I’m actively trying to avoid surgery now.  I’m doing more aggressive physical therapy, losing weight and trying to strengthen my back.  It’s working a little.  I still have pain, but it is reduced slightly.

So, I decided to get my ass up and go fishing.  I freely admit I’ve been sort of a pu…this is a family blog so lets say wuss.  I had surrendered to my pain and pretty much stopped doing physical stuff.  Now that I realize I might have to live with some pain to avoid horrible spinal fusion surgery, I’ve decided to just suck it up.  The fact my surgeon told me my back is stable and I probably can’t hurt it further helped too.  I’ve sold my big heavy pontoon and replaced it with the Scadden Outlaw Escape at just 22 pounds rather than 60.  I’ve also purchased a marsh seat to carry with me, but more on that later.

The Jeep with all the gear strewn about.

So, I was off fairly early and excited to go fishing again.  I got about half way to the river and…my timing belt began to fray.  Really?  I limped back to Wellington and went to Masse Performance.  Shane found a belt he had in stock that was little long, but workable and put it on.  I was back on the road within half an hour.  I stopped by on the way home and he put the real one on for my Jeep that he had delivered while I was gone.  Great shop!  If you’re near Smith Valley and need automotive help, Masse is the place to go.  No, its really the only place to go, but they are great.

The Avery seat stuck in the bottom and ready to provide relief and keep me fishing.

First fish of the day, a nice wild brown.

So, I arrived later than I’d hoped at the Elbow and got rigged up.  One of my new pieces of gear is the Avery Marsh Seat, the saddle I refer to in the title.  I got it at Cabelas and with my loyalty points it was only about $25, regularly $39 I think.  I plan to carry it on my back to provide a place to sit (sitting relieves the pain in my back).  It’s made for duck hunting, but it’s light and folds flat.  It worked pretty well, only needing a new strap that’s longer so I can wear the strap across my chest instead of just over one shoulder where it tended to want to slip off.  I had to find a spot the rocks  would give way to let it sink into the bottom, but once it was in it stayed.  Cool!

A nice wild rainbow.

So, I didn’t fish for long, maybe three hours, but I slayed them.  I fished one of my favorite holes and could have caught them with a bare hook it seemed.  I fished a dry, nymphs, a hopper, a streamer and a big stone fly nymph.  I caught fish on them all.  A few smaller browns were amongst the rainbows that were averaging ten to twelve inches with the biggest going about thirteen.  Most were hold over planters though some looked to be wild and they were all fat and hard fighting.

One of the bigger fish of the day.

All in all it was a good day.  Not too cold but great fishing.  I’m busy next week with physical therapy and then I’m going out of town, but if the weather holds, I’d like to try a longer day to perfect the new pain-saving seat.  Looks like the new float tube/pontoon is not going to get a work out this year, but come February when Hinkson Slough opens I’m going to get out there and put it though it’s paces.   In the meantime, I’m going to go through my gear, replace some things, maybe buy a new four piece rod to replace the broken one, and maybe even see about a Tenkara set up.

Time to Get Out There

Whew!  I had a busy June.  Between my oldest playing baseball, a final trip to Oregon to settle my father-in-laws estate and selling my car and buying a Jeep, among other things, I haven’t had the chance to get out and go fishing.  Not the end of the world.  Most of the rivers and streams were blown out and lots of the lakes were still covered with ice.  Even if I could’ve found the time to go, there wasn’t much available.

With July here and the busy Independence Day weekend gone Continue reading

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