Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Camping on the Shore of Wickiup Reservoir, Pt. 7

Since the fire crew that moved me two days ago had already noticed that I had a charcoal grill set up at a time when all fires, including charcoal ones, were prohibited, I was left with a culinary puzzle: how to cook these pork ribs? My plan had been to slow-cook them for a couple hours in a covered half-filled grill, but  stealth barbecuing is pretty much impossible, and I didn't need a ticket.

My friend Michael Hill and I exchanged many emails about this. The man is a cook. His partner is a cook. If there's anything those two guys don't know how to cook, I'm not aware of it. The dishes they make are spectacular. Michael suggested boiling the ribs in my saucepan for an hour to cook them, then sear them in the skillet.

Which I did, and it was tasty. Made a right nice dinner. Still and all, it wasn't the same a grilling them. But we do what we have to do.

The following morning I took my makeshift kayak anchor out for a test drive. It was a partial success.

Yeah, when lowered it held me in the current so I could-a tossed a line into the river to tempt fishies with, but it could not be raised enough to get it out of the water when paddling, so it caused a lot of drag. The line goes from the cockpit back through a carabiner at the stern. The anchor was a sack filled with rocks, and it hung down too far. The boat wanted to veer to the right because the dangle was on the starboard side, and when working up a current I moved at a snail's pace.

So after testing it, I beached the kayak and took down the rigging for the return trip, which went much faster and more easily.

While I was staring at the fish, another sheriff's boat bearing two sheriffs came upstream. Kokanee salmon, according to the constables. And brown trout. The salmon are spawning, I saw several of their corpses on the bottom of the lake.

The sheriffs beached their vessel and hung about onshore for a bit. One lit up a cigar. We all agreed the place was beautiful. We watched a bald eagle atop a dead snag.  As I started downstream, one of the sheriffs apologized in advance for the noise his motor was going to make when they did their return journey. It really wasn't an obnoxiously-loud engine, but it was nice of him to acknowledge how the sound of the engine disturbed the serenity of the place.

So back to camp and back to anchor R&D.

I tossed the dangly bag of rocks in favor of a single stone. A single stone has not the dangleage of a bag of rocks. I lashed the rope to the stone using a kellick -- or kellig -- hitch -- a "kellick" being a rock used in lieu of an anchor in places where an anchor might foul. See this excerpt from the excellent Ashley Book of Knots.

Equipped with fishing pole and new improved Mark II version of drag anchor, I planned to set out on the next day to see about messing with fish.

No breeze, but overcast and cool. The lake is like a mirror.

Finally positively identified a large black one: double-crested cormorant. The beak isn't exactly like the photo, but everything else matches. So I'm sticking to my claim.

No sandhill cranes, no one here admits to having a red beanie.

Great blue herons; killdeer, yeah; blackbirds; and Cassin's finches. Also spotted: three sheriffs, two fire fighters, one Oregon State Trooper.

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