October 20, 2010

Mark Competes in First Ironman!

my Son Mark competed this past weekend in a half ironman in Austin.  Finished 2nd in his age division out of about 150, and 36th overall out of over 2000 competitors!  Check it out at his new website:


August 10, 2010

This Place is Amazing!

Watching the Rufus & Allen Hummingbirds yesterday evening, fighting over the feeders...

Then believe it or not, picking apples, yes apples right here in Silver City!

August 2, 2010

Last Day on the San Juan

No fishing trip would be complete without catching and tasting a few fish.  So last evening at the Cottonwood Campground, Jonatan & I caught these nice Brown Trout - pretty tastey!

August 1, 2010

Jonathan Fishes the San Juan River with Andy Kim!

For those of you that haven't read the former post on fishing the San Juan, you should to get the background on the River. Read it first here:

Having met master guide Andy Kim a couple of weeks ago, and knowing that Jonathan would be here soon, I decided to hire Andy for a day to help us catch those big San Juan Trout!  Andy's been guiding & fishing the River for over sixteen years, and has developed his own fool-proof systems and flies for use with his clients.  He specializes in wade fishing, and has very high success with his customers.  After reading this post, should you decide to fish the San Juan, Jonathan and I highly recommend Andy for your first day.  You won't regret it, I caught more fish, of larger size with Andy's coaching in a single day than Ken & I had for the entire week before!
http://www.yspecial.com/  Be sure to click on "Andy's YouTube" in the left sidebar to view tha great video he shot of us on the water.  And if you're wondering, all the photos & videos are part of his service!

We got an early start, and Andy was surprised to see the light fog layer rising above the water when we first reached the Kiddie Hole.  I knew from that moment that we'd have a great day!

We were barely in the water before Andy had us rigged up with a couple of "Young's Special" and after a little coaching had turned me loose and was working with Jonathan.  Since Jonathan had never held a fly rod, Andy's efforts included teaching this first timer the in's & out's of casting and mending the line.

His patience with a twelve year old student was amazing.  He actually mentioned he loves to teach kids - unlike us adults, they haven't learned any bad habits like me! My bass fishing experience doesn't apply to fly fishing at all.

I decided to move a little upstream and was soon rewarded with a nice "hookup". Even though it fought like a monster, turned out to be a fifteen incher.

Jonathan sees the action, and moves up beside me in one of Andy's "honey holes" and proceeds to get a nice one on almost immediately.  Interesting how fast kids pick up on new things.

Turns out it's a nicer one....

And before long Jonathan nails the biggest one for the day (Well that doesn't include the 22" 4pounder I fought for about 15 minutes only to lose due to a pulled out hook!)

More and more nice fish come quickly and easily as we gain confidence and technique.

Then there are those that even jump out of your wet hands!

In order to give Jonathan a break, Andy took him aside and let him catch some samples of bugs & baitfish...yummy trout food indeed.

As the day progresses, I look around the Kiddie Hole and realize that with Andy's system we are outcatching all the other fishermen by a factor of eight or ten to one.  What a great way to learn and have lots of fun while doing it!

Finally the time came to get Jonathan into the netting action.  Armed with Andy's big net, but a very fiesty fish on "Pop's" line, Jonathan makes multiple tries before bagging the fast critter, without knocking him off the line!

We end the day with some instruction of another kind - beaver dam destruction.  Yep, the breavers dam up the free flowing waters, trapping trout in the process.  With little water flow, and no food the trout soon die in the beaver ponds.

I think Jonathan had the most fun of the day right hear, he especially enjoyed having the honor of taking out the last big piece of this huge jigsaw puzzle...
So ended a great day on the River with a great instructor - Andy Kim!

July 29, 2010

Fun at Canyon de Chelly!

Trying to keep things both educational and interesting for 13 year old Jonathan, we had a blast today on the unique "deuce & a half" tour of beautiful Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Northwest Arizona.  What a unique collection of Anasazi ruins, fabulous views and interesting Navajo culture!  We load up early to hit the Canyon,

and, of course there's only one way in and out of the Canyon by vehicle, yep, you guessed it right up the river!

First stop was at some pictographs for a few minutes explanation from our well-versed host, then we're off through the water again, blasting & bumping along in our pre-WWII army vehicle.

Around the next bend are our first set of ruins, dating back some 1000+ years, they were discovered and protected due to the hard work of Earle Morris and his collegues.

We get a nice glimpse of "Cat Rock" as we motor farther up the Canyon for more adventures.

Ruins and pictorgraphs abound ahead, nicely preserved for us moderns to vist the life of a past culture.

Jonathan & Kim enjoyed the native crafts, especially the jewelry and beadwork.

while across from the displays, a group is set up painting the colorful canyon walls before us!

Heading in farther, we pass "Fortress Rock" where Navajo's fought off U.S. cavalrymen for some two months, only to be captured later.  http://www.navajotimes.com/news/2009/0609/060409fortress.php

We approach a very muddy area only to witness the tour truck in front of us get stuck!  and everyone had to get out as both our driver and the driver of the stuck vehicle shovel extra sand under the tires and successfully get the truck moving again... our tall-tired 2-1/2 tonner got right through without any problems.

The Canyon walls get increasingly interesting and diverse...quite a few Navajo families "own" property along the Canyon floor and we see several Hogans (summer houses) along the way as evidence of their presence.

We are now in South Canyon headed for our last stop of the day,

As we pull up before "White House" ruin, one quickly sees why it is so named,

we have a relaxing rest at this stop, and Jonathan & Kim have plenty of time to inspect more of the exquisite Navajo beadwork.

On the way out we see a nice group of native horses.  Many roam the Canyon, and are used to help maintain livestock in the area.

Out the way we came in, the sky has cleared and turned a deep contrasting blue, making for a nice final memory of the day's adventure!