of the recently flooded garage have been some worthy discoveries of items found tucked away and unused. I have spent days pulling soggy stuff out to dry off and to cull out stuff long since forgotten, untouched and unneeded (see my related post over at Hoarding Woes & You).

But, while prowling around, I came upon a couple fun finds that gave me fond recollections of less complicated times when my priorities were clear, simpler and fulfilling.

OreGeoNamesSBAlong with many maps, books on rocks, trees, birds and wildflowers, my wife and I always had this book along as we explored every remote corner of Oregon. We used it to help us understand the history of those remote blips on the map that we might have just whizzed on by moving from point A to point B. It made us slow down a bit to ask questions and learn.

Tucked inside the book was a hand drawn map my Harry Teel providing general instructions on how to find the Foley Water on the Deschutes River. This map was drawn 25 years ago when the access was simpler and the area less developed. The discovery of the map brought back many fond memories of Harry and Dee Teel while we visited them in their fly shop in Sisters, Oregon or shared dinner one evening on the Crooked River.

Teel Foley mapSB

Foley Fall SwittersB
Foley Water this past October

Tucked up atop the broken water heater was a wooden plaque. Years ago, Harry Teel offered a fun incentive for fly fishers. If you could catch and release a fish over 18″ with proof, he would construct a wooden fish plaque for you and attach a label commemorating the C & R on the plaque. The plaques were displayed all around the shop walls. I worked to get that plaque. My first fish was in 1988, and subsequent ones didn’t come until 1991. Eventually, Harry and Dee Teel sold the shop in order to retire. The new shop owner didn’t want the tradition to continue so I arranged to retrieve the plaque before it was discarded.

plaque fishPlaque2Plaque 1

Of course, many fish (small and larger) have been brought to hand since those times. But, those were wonderful times when Harry hoisted my plaque on the shop wall; and when hand drawn maps led the way to ‘secret’ spots in then remote canyons.