No Smoking Please

All of our spirits have been given a big shot in the arm as the smoke has cleared out of the area and for the first time we have really be able to see the grandeur of the Madison Range looming off in the distance. I had forgotten just how amazingly beautiful this area is since for the last two years that we have been here, it has been obscured by smoke.

I was feeling a bit tired and pretty much took a down day lounging around, reorganizing the space in the trailer, and napping with Sadie on the bed. I think the last couple months of craziness really caught up with me. Allergies and the smoke probably contributed too.

I think I am going to have to take Lewis in for a few repairs when we are hanging around in Wenatchee. He has some weird electrical thing that blows the fuse all the time and now the gas lines are sagging underneath the trailer and need to be better secured. This is something no one wants to hear “excuse me sir, your gas lines are really sagging.”

Our spiffy solar system

On the good news front, the solar system seems to working quite well now. It was initially overcharging the batteries so I pushed a bunch of buttons to try to figure it out. Well, it works. I have no idea what I did to fix it, but at least it is working. I bought myself some time to figure out what it is I actually did.

We had planned on going through the Washington wine country to taste some lovely wines, but the whole explosion of COVID is now making us rethinking that plan a bit. That and the fact I got confused as to what day our Airbnb in Wenatchee started. So now, we will cruise west toward Wenatchee for a few days. We scoped a place just outside of Missoula that looks nice, so we will certainly spend at least one night there.

Life is nothing but rainbows and unicorns

Yesterday was my sis’s birthday, so we headed down to the Madison river to do some fishing. It was a bit chilly as fall is definitely in the air, but the sun was out and it was warming up quickly.

We left Sadie at home because she can be a bit hard to manage while fishing if there are people around and she pulled a muscle in her front leg chasing after a coyote the other day. Well, for that matter, I was a bit sore too because I had to chase after Sadie who was chasing after a coyote. I don’t know why she has decided to take up chasing coyotes, but it is really not something that I encourage. Maybe she is channeling her brother from the grave — Ringo definitely was a coyote chaser.

Is that Roger or Ussain?

Anywho, she took off and I panicked and took off after her sprinting through the sagebrush. Let’s just say that if you could have seen me sprinting, you would have definitely thought I was Ussain Bolt. At some point I caught my foot on a sage brush and took a gnarly tumble. She finally broke it off and headed back. Susanne was definitely not amused — either with Sadie for chasing after the coyote or with me for nearly killing myself. Sadie and I are both getting old and I think both of us need to learn that sprinting is not a good thing for old farts.

Hence, she got left in the trailer while we went fishing. I am glad Susanne did not leave me too.

The Madison River is a world famous trout fishing river. People flock here from all over the world to fish there. It is not an easy place to fish for beginners. I have caught a few fish there, but more often than not I get skunked. Frank set us up with a hopper/dropper set up and I headed out to the river. The footing around and in the river is super treacherous. Between the slimy moss and the big hidden pot holes you have to really be careful. I found a nice set of rocks to stand on and started casting in the riffle. I really didn’t expect to catch anything. Frank had warned me that the fish in the river are quite strong compared to the lake fish, so be careful not to horse them around lest you break the line.

On my third cast I got a powerful strike and I set the hook. It was a BIG fish! I was surprised how strong it was as I tried to slowly work it in while not falling off the rock. It took me awhile, but I got him in. I tried to reach down and pull the hook out, but couldn’t quite get it before he broke the line and swam off.

But WOOHOO! I hadn’t caught a big fish in the Madison before. I ended up catching 5 fish for the day. Not too bad for a beginner.

Fishing the Madison on a gorgeous day

We headed back to the house and hung out for a while enjoying the day and relaxing before Laura’s big b-day dinner. Sadie was quite happy at our return.

It was a clear sky, so I tried some astrophotography again. It is a total crap shoot, because I am too lazy to stay up at night and try to find the perfect set of parameters to get crisp looking starts. I just set the camera up on a timer and let it shoot all night long. The big risk is if some unexpected storm happens to come rolling in. I got a few cool ones, but still need to fine tune the technique.

Stars over the Madison range. The two straight lines are planes flying by. I shot it at 1600 ISO, f4.5 for 20 seconds.

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