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July 2008 Archives

July 1, 2008

June 23-24, 2008: Etna, CA

If you're a man, say if you're a cowboy, Northern California and the Scott Valley is about as good as it gets. You got yer irrigated pasture, yer mountains and meadows, yer fishing, yer bear hunting, yer cattle driving, all this and you still get to live in California. Or in the State of Jefferson, if you perfer.

But you are short on women.

So a casting call: All those ladies who appreciate a little brush clearing, trail riding, fishing, hunting, haying, a hard day's work and a cold beer, Jefferson State needs you. The eligible men seem to have divorced, fathered, or otherwise excluded all available women. These are good men, but they're not looking for a woman "whose jean skirt matches her ponytail..." They're sick of the small-town pickings, their neighbors' ex-wives and daughters. Their biology is calling for some new genes in the pool.

Sorry guys, I'm just passing through. Honestly, what did you expect when you moved out here?

June 24 - 26, 2008: Salmon River

I've edited this entry, because it was a long, boring account of me riding down one road, then another, up a mountain, down a mountain, camping, and meeting up with Becca the next day. Here are the key items:

- if you're in Etna, ask me or a local man (careful or he'll try to grab your butt, assuming you're a girl) to direct you to the swimming hole. It's great.
- fishing with worms doesn't count
- the Salmon River is very beautiful
- all this riding left me tired and lonely. Luckily my friend E.L. Fudge showed up to cheer me up.


July 2, 2008

June 27 - July 1: Trinity Alps

Fires in Weaverville, fires in Hayfork, fires off the Cecilville Road, in Happy Camp, and basically all throughout the Klamath Mountains. Becca showed up expecting to rescue me and drag me back home for a shower.

Instead, we did a great loop of ~30 miles (hard to say what with the bushwhacking and being lost), camped at a couple of different lakes, and I finally lost my fishing virginity at Lower Boulder Lake. The thing about fishing is you either have to wait until pretty late to eat, or have fish for breakfast, neither of which we wanted to do. My four fish will therefore live to swim on. Steve was right, catching fish is inevitable.

Our trip ended with swimming in Stoddard Lake; we saw a few fish jumping, but I was happy to swim around with them rather than stalk them, this time...

July 7, 2008

A confession.

Last weekend, I went to a music festival. A festival full of jam bands.

As you might imagine, I had many preconceived notions of what such a festival might be like. I imagined clouds of fragrant smoke, lots of dazed looking hippies, body odor, and songs that go on and on and on and on and on for no discernible reason. For the most part, these preconceptions were accurate (although I did not encounter nearly as much body odor as I expected). However, I did learn a lot, and I'd like to share some of that with you.

1. Jam band. noun. A group of musicians usually including a drummer, bassist, guitar player, keyboardist, with other instruments optional. Jam bands employ a musical style characterized by long, repetitive, songs with little formal structure. Telltale signs that you might be listening to a jam band: 1. You don't remember when the current song started. 2. Everyone in the band is soloing at the same time. 3. Songs build to a climax, seem to be over, only to restart for another group-solo. YOU'RE NOT TRICKING ANYONE, JAM BAND!

2. Writhing is not dancing. The first show we saw was Mike Gordan, the bassist from Phish (duh) in his new side project. A couple thousand blitzed kids contorting themselves semi-rhythmically reminded me of the Little Mermaid, and the graveyard of souls that Ursula kept chained up out back. Except the movie has a catchier soundtrack.

3. Jam-fans are courteous folks. Sometimes I felt like there were homeless people all around me, but instead of asking for money, they helped me carry my cooler and gave us a ride in their u-haul. And such respect for your spot on the grass! Spread out a blanket, and it will be gingerly stepped around by dirty sandals all day long. Never a push, shove, or an asshole who barges through to the front of the crowd just because he can.

4. Jam-fans don't judge. Although it's safe to say I'm about as whitebread as they come, I was welcomed into jam-land by the friendly hippies, frisbee enthusiasts, and jewelry-makers who inhabit it.

What's the take home message here? I guess it's this: if you're going to go to a jam-band festival, at least take comfort in the fact that you won't be surrounded by art-school dickheads and indie scenesters. Rejoice in the fact that nobody cares if you bring a cooler full of High Life through security, get over yourself, and have a good time.

And I swear to god if ANY of you name your kid after a Phish song, I'm calling social services.

July 25, 2008

My sister's fish

When my sister and I were kids, we went to some friends' of my parents place in Wyoming, and there was fishing. We'd never fished. The idea sounded appealing, but as we cruised around a lake, just sitting there for hours and hours and hours (probably 30 minutes), I got bored. I got off at the next stop, having caught no fish.

This was the result:

That smarmy sister of mine caught two fish. (Lisa claims that she remembers looking down from the boat and seeing fish everywhere! I don't remember that; I was probably splashing around and scaring them away.) Some cowboy from Wyoming grilled 'em up, and they were delicious. I got exactly one small bite of it.

Fast forward 15 years or so, and we were fishing again. Lisa and I were backpacking in the Beartooth mountains in Montana, and we'd been going on and on about the fish we were going to eat for dinner. We hiked up to some lakes, but it was two in the afternoon and the fish were sleeping, or whatever they do at two in the afternoon. Maybe enjoying the scenery, which was fantastic. As we headed back to our camp, I wanted to check out a side trail that went down to one of the other lakes. Lisa got that contorted look on her face that says, "I am tired and hungry and there is no way I'm doing anything besides going back to where there's food and sitting down". So I convinced her that I wouldn't get lost, get eaten by a bear, fall in the lake, etc if she went back without me.

The result: my first murder.

I scrambled down the bank to the lake, and looked down at the water. I could see the fishies cruising around in there, grabbing bugs, swimming around, just waiting for me to pluck them out. I got a fly in, and it must've been 15 seconds before I had a bite. I reeled it in, grabbed it out of the water, and contemplated its fate.

Lisa and I had been talking about eating fish so long that I couldn't release it. A certain instructional comic book had advised me to put the poor flapping thing out of its misery by whacking it over the head with a rock. So I did that. It just flapped harder. I whacked it again. It started bleeding from the gills. Then I thought, maybe they meant on the top of the head. So I hit it a couple of times there. I must've bludgeoned the miserable fish 6 or 8 times before I resolved that it must be unconcious, even if its gills were still moving and it occasionally flapped like crazy. I looked back at the lake, which was still teeming with big, hungry trout, and knew I couldn't go back for more. For one thing, that fish was slippery, and I didn't know how I would carry more than one of them without putting it in my pocket. (I don't really understand the mechanics of the line-through-the-gills trick). For another, I couldn't bludgeon anymore.

Here's the fish:

You might notice that it's bigger than the ones Lisa caught.

Instead of building our own fire to cook up the beast (a cutthroat trout, according to my fish identification card!), we decided to ask a lone old guy camping near us if he'd like to share our bounty, in exchange for some fire. Although he was mostly deaf, he agreed happily. He even supplied some onions. I told him this was my first kill, and that I didn't really know what I was doing with the cooking. I also tried to get him to explain to me how to properly kill the fish after catching it, but he couldn't understand what I was saying. Here's the meal:


The old guy looked at me, looked at my sister, looked at the fish, and finally said, "Hang on girls. I gotta get my camera. The boys are never going to believe this unless I get a picture." So he took our picture, eating the first animal I've ever killed with my own two hands.

I guess he wanted to blog about it.

About July 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Katieblog in July 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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