Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blog Overload

Sunset on Wickiup Reservoir
(As always, people receiving this post via email are encouraged to click on the link to view the blog online for da pitchers.)

I need to catch up on blog posts. I went on three camping trips during September: a one-week camp in my VW van in the Deschutes National Forest along the shores of the Wickiup reservoir during which I was rousted twice by law enforcement officers; a one-night backpack with my son into the Three Sisters Wilderness where we had thundershowers in the evening and cold fall rain in the morning; and a three-night "farewell for 2011's camping season" stay in the BLM's East Fort Rock OHV area south of Millican, Ore. 

During the first trip I learned much about what Oregon State Troopers, county sheriffs, forest rangers, and fire crews focus on with campers during fire season; I learned how to rig an anchor on my kayak so I could park myself in a current for fishing; I learned to identify kokanee salmon and many ways to inaccurately cast (hookless) flies; I field-tested a new portable propane heater (it got down to the mid-30's at night); and because my charcoal grill was a no-go during fire season, how to cook steak au poivre and baby back ribs on a stovetop. (To give credit, I had email and phone service in camp and it was Bruce ("Bend's Andy Rooney") Miller who suggested the steak recipe,  and Michael Hill  of Alsea, Ore. offered tips on how to cook the ribs indoors. Bend artist Katherine Taylor prompted me to take pictures of dramatic skies, one of which appears at the top of this post.)

During the backpacking trip I learned that even after checking and rechecking my pack to make sure that everything is loaded, I can still forget some important things pertaining to safety and comfort, and that all it takes is one stumble on the trail to break a rib. Yeah, I broke a rib. 

On my final three-day trip I was reminded once again how varied and interesting Central Oregon's weather is, was again transfixed by the beauty of the high desert, and that despite more-crowded-than-usual conditions due to the opening of big-game hunting season, Oregonian campers are extremely polite about not crowding anyone who got a site before they got there, even if that site could hold a party of 50. 

And I learned how to cook a half-rack of baby back ribs to perfection on a $19 Fred Meyers charcoal grill.

So I gotta get cracking. Lots to write, lots of nice photos to publish. This is just my warm-up exercise. I will finish with a detailed step-by-step of my ribs recipe for those who are interested in such things. 


  1. Just so you know I read your blogs CAREFULLY, I noticed the reference to fried chicken in this blog and steak/babyback ribs in the other. Do these indicate a dietary change on your part?
    Funny how as we get older the pleasures/freedom of our birthday suits seems more becoming. I have noticed this as well, although I have not attempted this outside of the house.
    Also, when did you begin to enjoy time on the water? I recall your not being a big fan of water in the past. I have always loved a nice row boat on a placid lake or pond. That to me is relaxation at its best. I think I could enjoy Kayaks, but canoes are just a bit too unstable for me to enjoy without concern.

  2. Dear Michael, thank you for reading my blog carefully. Alas, if only others were as assiduous as you! But I am surrounded by people who can't read more than a paragraph without passing out, no matter how brilliant the prose.

    You ask about when I started to enjoy my time on the water. It's true that I've never felt comfortable on water, and that hasn't ended. I have to just push past the fear to experience the pleasure of farting around a calm lake or river.

    As to dietary changes, I became a strict vegetarian in 2001 when I took Buddhist precepts. However, last year my nutritionist had me start eating meat. I accept the karmic repercussions. But I've also lost 55 lbs on a fat and protein food plan.

    I have not been on a canoe for a long, long time. My titanium knee and fused ankle do not lend themselves to kneeling or squatting, which are your basic postures in a canoe. But I can tell you that kayaks are surprisingly tippy. On occasion I will tumble out. I hate getting wet.


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