Gone Fishin…

You wanna know something frustrating? We still haven’t caught a fish. We have tried. LOTS of times. And there are supposed to be steelhead and salmon here. People, who know more than us (the gas station attendant in Taft, the bartender at Shuckers etc.), have been giving us the play-by-play since spring as the Salmon were on their way down from Alaska… tracking them as they apparently hit the Colombia River… and estimating that we should have begun seeing them swimming up the Siletz late March/early April. Actually, telling us all of this in envy since along with quite limited public access, we live on one of the few rivers in this area that allows fishing during the Spring Run… supposedly due to the number of fish!

Map of public access and bank fishing areas

Map of public access and bank fishing areas

As you can see…. fishermen care about this river. They talk about it, they study it, they fish on it! What are we doing wrong? We are 10 miles from the ocean and we are in the tide-water. You do want to be out of the tide-water to find where the fish hang out, but during all the salmon runs up from the ocean in spring and early summer, not only should they be passing right by us…. we have read that they should be hanging out and resting right here while the tide is changing.

You may recall a few glimpses of our efforts off the dock. Before we could enjoy it, Mitch had to machete all the overgrown grass and blackberries to make way for Fred to float it down and tie it up.

As we work away at becoming experienced fishermen, we took a break last weekend (for Mitch’s birthday!) to see how the pros do it. We went out on an ocean charter with Captain’s Reel in Newport to catch rockfish and ling cod. OK… did I mention they’re pros? Captain Chad has a fish finder radar and a bunch of friends on the radio. The result being that he knew exactly where to go to be sure that all 8 of us on board could literally drop our line and pull up either one or TWO rockfish within a minute! Mitch and I fell short of our maximum daily allowed by one (with 13!). I didn’t realize how fun fishing was… catching the fish is quite a bit more exciting (to say the least). In fact, a few minutes would pass without hooking anything and Chad would tell us to pull up the lines so we could go find some more! I thought fishing required patience…

And then it’s back to our dock for another fish-less day. We’ll keep trying… letcha know if we get somethin!

Xo, K

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4th of July

Ahhh….. what a fun and relaxing 5 days of  vacation. We had our friends out for the holiday to soak up the sun, eat great food and celebrate! We celebrated America, the summer, good friends and Mitch’s birthday, which he happens to share with USA! Yay!!

Hope everybody had a good one!

Xo, Ken

 

Cali Road Trip… Northward.

After an incredible week with family and friends, we headed out of The Bay into Northern California and beyond. It was so good to see everyone… it gets a little lonely in the solitude out here in the woods. But after such a full week, we found ourselves ready for some isolation again!

We spent the first night in Mt. Shasta at the Woodsman Hotel. We were nervous about their reviews (eeek!!), but to our incredible surprise, we loved it! It is a very quaint, rustic motel that definitely makes you think of an old-timey mountain town. It’s not fancy, just cute. And very woodsy. Apparently there is new management, which probably explains why we got so lucky. We sat with Nick, the combo front desk man/bartender and had dinner and drinks and chatted. Everyone who works there are just good people. Mt. Shasta (only about an hour from where I went to college), is a wonderful community, surrounded by mountains, rivers, lakes, and healing mineral water springs. The population is filled with outdoor enthusiasts, artists, healers. Tourism is an important part of their economy, which is hard to maintain during the slow seasons. I can see that the town really struggles waiting for the summer. So that’s my little plug… to visit Shasta!

From Shasta, you have a choice between the faster, but MUCH less beautiful route up I5N and the gorgeous (I’m talking– Klamath Lake, Crater Lake, a MILLION snow-covered mountains, surrounded by evergreens and finishing up through the Columbia River Gorge –gorgeous) route up the 97. So (obviously) we headed up through Central Oregon. We camped in Madras at Lake Simtustus on the Deschutes just above the Pelton Dam and upstream from Lake Billy Chinook.

OH MY GOSH. What an amazing place we discovered!! We got a spot right on the shore, but the lake front RV resort is terraced in a way that every spot has a gorgeous lake view. They had the cleanest facilities, little community golf carts for all to use, fishing poles to borrow and such nice people! I am practically drooling as I write this. It was a perfect location.

Mitch caught a few fish, but they were all babies, so we didn’t bring home any dinner…

We finished the trip out by driving through the Gorge, Dalles to Hood River. Stopped for some wine tasting at Marchesi and had belated mother’s day sushi with Mom in Portland. A little more wine tasting at Vista Hills and 2012 barrel tasting at White Rose Sunday on the way home. We feel really lucky. Now back to the farm…

Xo, K

Visitor From the City

Our wonderful friend Dave visited last week! We don’t get many visitors all the way out here, so it was a very welcome surprise!

We haven’t really entertained anyone here yet… except ourselves… and my parents two weeks ago… oh yeah, and a whole slew of our closest friends for our annual Friendsgiving celebration (which was before moving here)… well, we still feel new to hosting either way. Plus, I had to work all week and it was horrible stormy weather. But that didn’t stop us from filling 4 days with tons of fun! Here are a couple of highlights.

We went to Rogue and did the whole brewery tour (everyday at 3)…

Rogue is an incredible company. Check out their farm activity… it’s amazing to see a business that has had so much growth and success, make time to pursue the slow, extended aspects and methods of their trade too!

The boys fished for a day while I worked. No camera or fish, but hopefully lots of tips and experience for next time! We also geared up and made a (seriously!!) good effort at clam diggin. Not only are we licensed and now equipped with all the important tools, we studied up on where to go and the behavior of the razor clams. We headed out with enough time to hit the beach at low tide. And… we found nothing. Not a single hopeful bubble. And did I mention it was storrrrrrrmy?

On Saturday night we enjoyed a good old fashioned dive bar hop!

Thanks for the visit Dave! Come back anytime and tell your (ahem, OUR) friends!! Hopefully next time we’ll have more luck with bringing in some bounty.

Now I am looking forward to moving these giant chickens out of here:

3 weeks old!

3 weeks old!

And into here!! ASAP (Right Dave?).

Xo, K

Perks of the Coast

Our house may be in the Woods, but we live at the Beach. What comes with living out here on the coast (along with the salt, the rust, the wind and rain) is seafood! Our five-mile drive down the hill can no longer be done without popping in somewhere for a quick half dozen-on-the-half-shell…

Oysters at Shuckers

Oysters at Shuckers

Seafood stands and markets are everywhere and there is nothing more fun (or touristy!) than going to Newport’s Historic Bayfront to eat and shop for delicious treats! Each port dock has fishing boats selling their freshest catch, receiving, sorting and processing often for the fantastic restaurants on the shore.

We are also hoping to start catching our own. Chinook and Steelhead live right in our back yard! But we just need to learn to fish… starting with getting some fishing poles and a boat! Until we get that together, we have to take advantage of all the fishing that’s already been done for us.

Soon, I’ll add a post with some of our *new* favorite restaurants. We feel really lucky out here.

Xo, K