The Count

The count is 267 days currently. That is, New Zealand Immigration has had our application for 267 days now…not that I’m counting. We really thought we would be there by now, but alas we are not and with the ongoing CF called COVID, I am starting to lose hope a bit. I have tried to now just not even think about it and enjoy the adventure we are on. I will say though, it is a subtly stressful thing wondering if you will be leaving your country or not. In the mean time, we will just have a good time and enjoy the ride. Don’t panic and carry a towel.

We had a very wet dreary day on Friday, so I took the opportunity to have an exciting day in town taking care of some basic life maintenance things. Jiffy Lube for an oil change, the trailer to get all the dirty sheets and towels to wash, Discount Tire to rotate the tires, Bed Bath and Beyond for some new coffee mugs. Truly the type of day you live for.

On Saturday, we decided to drive up to a little lake up behind the house and try some fishing. The water is quite low and getting warm, so it is not really the best time to fish for trout, but what the heck. I did look into getting on a salmon fishing charter, but everyone I talked to said they were completely booked up for the season. Bummer, but I guess people come from all over the world to go fishing for Chinook on the Columbia River, so not too surprising we couldn’t get in.

We hiked up to the lake and found a spot. There were a few other folks there as well. There were a lot of weeds on the edge, so casting was a bit tough. Clearly, this would be better in the early summer. After a few trials and errors, we got fishing. Susanne caught a little one right away. Sadie, who thinks fishing is about as boring as watching paint dry, headed off and found a shady spot under the trees.

Susanne mentioned that there is a green algae in the area that was toxic for dogs and this made her, rightly, uncomfortable leaving Sadie alone, so she decided to go sit under the tree with Sadie while I fished. I fished a while longer and also caught a small rainbow. It wasn’t that great of a place, so we decided to just head back home. Not a great fishing outing, but not bad either.

That afternoon, I decided to go on an MTB ride in the park behind us. It was pretty nice and not nearly as dusty as it had been, thanks to the rain. I had replaced the grips on my bike that I hated and I was enjoying my new ones, which did not make my hands fall asleep.

The Upper Wheeler Mud Pit

I rode up to Upper Wheeler Lake and confirmed that, yes, it was drained and there were definitely no fish in there. Bummer. It was a bit more of a ride than I expected and after reviewing the data when I got home I realized I had gone around Robinson’s barn to get there.

Evidently, it is a private lake and they drain it when they need water for irrigation. This upset people back 2015, so the owner just shut down access. Since then, they negotiated a reopening and now you can go there. But they still drain it.

Which got me thinking, where did this phrase come from? Well, Joan Houston Hall (Editor of the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) project at the University of Wisconsin at Madison) researched the term’s etymology. The first use of the term “Jack Robinson’s barn” was in the Chicago Tribune in 1891. I guess since then it has been shortened to “Robinson’s barn,” but regardless, it must have been a big barn if it took that long to get around it. I just thought you needed to know this.

This morning we drove up to the ski area and did a nice hike up to two small lakes to start off the day. It was way steeper than we had expected and wish we had brought our hiking poles. It climbed almost 1000′ in about a mile which clocks in at just around 20% grade. Doh! But it was nice and we are enjoying a nice slow pace of life up here in the mountains. Tomorrow we are going to do a hike up to a mountain lake and yes, we checked this time, dogs are allowed.

A good way to start the day…..straight up and straight down
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