Archive for the 'Sports & Recreation & Outdoors' Category



15
Jul
12

TdF: Tour de France

I mention this each season, I always enjoy the Tour de France (TdF). I don’t follow the bike racing scene other than this one race. 21 days of ‘stages’ I most enjoy the mountain stages in the Alps and like today in the Pyrenees. The chaos at the top, the narrow passages at 10-18% gradients and pucker up downhill portions are fascinating to watch, to imagine. They (the cyclist) don’t fit any profile (physically) I usually come to admire in sports. But their courage, endurance and even strength is obviously there. Kind of like misunderstanding the fitness of a jockey.

TdF Map 2012

This year Bradley Wiggins of the UK, has the chance to be the first Brit to win the TdF. Best wishes. Most enjoyable to me is the scenery gained from the helicopter traveling the race route. If you know team/individual bike racing (cycling), you already understand the strategies, names and terminology. Took me a bit, but now I understand it as if watching a baseball game. Today is a perfect stage (Limoux to Foix) to see the crazy fanatics (fans), color, scenery and celebration of the TdF.

15
Jun
12

Portland, Oregon (NO FISHING PUBLIC DOCKS…..BS!)

My oh my. The .00001% can occupy every damn public place they want to at a ridiculous cost to the Portland citizenry, but let one angler with a rod/reel/license work a line along the ‘public’ docks in downtown Portlandia and you will be tagged by the ever vigilant, obviously mismanaged Park’s Platoon. Sgt. Shultz where are you? Colonel Klink is obviously in charge of this one.

‘I KNOW NOTHING’

You are  thinking, I can hear it. Ah…yes, makes sense to avoid conflicts with boaters and ….well no…in fact in a recorded interview the head of the Park’s Platoon said he had never heard of any conflicts. Huh? Well, I am sure the just hoards of fishermen that are creating chaos, waste and confrontation are a menace to Portlandians. Such nonsense!!!

A Cited Fisherman….now excluded from a public space for 6 months.

01
Jun
12

Peeing in the Public Pool? Banning the Big Gulp

No, this isn’t another story about that goof ball N.Y. City Mayor Bloomberg playing Nanny to ban Big Gulps!

“The additional bacteria we carry on skin, in particular sweat and traces of fecal matter (yes even on adults), gets mixed in the pool. “If disinfectant isn’t right, bacteria is allowed to grow in pools, so someone accidentally consumes a mouthful of water like we all do when we’re swimming and suddenly they’re subject to serious bacteria like E.coli or salmonella.”

The high risk offenders, according to the Center for Disease Control, are those water recreational parks, a dangerous combination of packs of young swimmers and lots of accidental gulps.” (more on fecal matter and bacteria in your kid’s mouth) Hey, Mayor Bloomberg go after peeing in public pools!!

Now you look at that public pool differently, don’t you? No ‘accidental gulps’!

31
May
12

Cabela’s Step Up & Refine Your ‘Official Rules’

I received an email notification from ODFW (Oregon Dept. Fish Wildlife) re a special event where some lucky angler has a chance at $1m dollars.

Oregon may have a million dollar fish
If we do, one lucky angler could catch it in Crane Prairie, Dexter or Blue River Reservoir. All three are included in the nationwide “Wanna Go Fishing for Millions” contest sponsored by Cabelas, Outdoor Channel and several fish and wildlife agencies (including ODFW). 
See more details and register to participate.

I was intrigued that a State agency had joined forces with Cabela’s. I also noticed one of the Oregon fisheries was Crane Prairie Res., which use to be a premier fishing destination until the bass were introduced. But then given this is a nation wide contest that really doesn’t matter:

“Eligible Species of Freshwater Fish:

Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass, White Bass, Walleye, Perch, Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Striped Bass (Striper), Wiper, Crappie, Blue Gill, Channel Cat.”

So there is some place in the participating states that has one fish that is tagged for the million bucks, if you are the first to photo, de-tag and send proof of catch. There are other prizes as well for others that catch tagged fish but too late to qualify for the first fish caught status. Judging by the rules, it appears all manner of typical fishing methods are allowed. The rules state the handling of the fish as such…

“FISHING & LOGGING:

“Registered participants may only catch and log eligible fish during the Fishing Period, and must photograph their fish with an eligible tag showing and still attached, prior to removing the tag and releasing the fish.” 

Well I imagined there must be more precise explanations on how to remove the tag and release the fish given all the methods that must be allowed. I mean Cabela’s does care if the fish survives don’t they? Yet really no where in any of the literature is there anything past the sponsors and the prizes that promotes respect for the fish or instructions on how to handle them. 

This is so typical. Cabela’s you are making assumptions or clueless or as I suspect, irresponsible on the handling of these species of fish. It is part and parcel with the put ‘n take fisheries and, and of course, typical of ODFW too. Here’s Cabela’s Conservation Platform. Yes they are dedicated to preserving this and that for the sportsmen. But, the emphasis is on the taking not the preserving.  I know many of those species are pretty hardy, probably prehistorically hardy, but several aren’t. Cabela’s let’s see something more, in writing, about more than money, sponsors and vague one liner release remarks. 

19
Apr
12

Salton Sea: Paragliding the Mountains

Interesting Video of Mountains from Above…..Paragliding

Turn the volume down a bit.

03
Apr
12

FLy Fishing’s Spring Outing: Zip, Zero, Nada…But, Not Entirely

Well, for months I tied with anticipation. For months, I envisioned the preparation, the packing, the outing, the success of it all. Today, I am sitting with a different outcome than I had anticipated. 

My go to lake lines were loaded with care.

The original plan called for one of my son’s to come along, but life’s duties intruded. So, my wife thought it would be nice to get away…’maybe even fish’. Hmm? A novice into the equation. Suddenly, the whole idea of a total newbie into the mix changed my planning. I couldn’t just throw her out there alone and go my way. I must admit my selfish side silently came to sit upon my shoulder. Ok, I packed for both. I planned for both as I had for years for my sons. I didn’t necessarily pack my instructor’s hat….at first.

As we left Portland, it had rained for days but was a balmy 44 degrees. As I crested Mt. Hood's shoulder at Government Camp it was a little cooler.

The Open Road beckoned. Traffic was light on a Sunday morning once past the turnoffs for Timberline & Meadows.

We arrived with no one else on or around the lake. That can be a lucky moment or a bad sign on a weekend morning. The mountains in the distance were obscured with low hanging tentacles of some kind of moisture. The wind was steady and gusting. I will mention it for the first time here….the wind can be a problem on a lake. Duh! you say. Just wait.

The gear was set up for two....just like the old days. Years of enjoying my sons being able to fend for themselves was missing. I once again had to wrap my head around the double preparation that results when you are setting up another and realizing they know nothing about most aspects of the sport. I'm not complaining; just relaying my mental journey for the outing.

The push/pull of my desire to fish (compulsive addiction) vs. changing my expectations for the outing became evident. Months of anticipation & imagery became suddenly muddled in my brain. Having been down this road before and selfishly hurting those I love, I knew I had to stop and settle down. Do you understand? Seems evident I know. But, sometimes I so yearn for that fishing fix that intrusions into it make me selfish. Not who I want to be.

My wife was none the wiser over my selfish little self sitting on my shoulder. She was excited and relaxed. I realized I had to set aside some of my energy to just fish and get lost in the moment. I had to 'patiently' teach.

The weather kicked up to a steady roll of waves. Not huge, but steady enough to make kicking for my wife (actually for both of us) difficult. I was struggling in the pontoon and realized I really had to stay with my wife rather than row for some shelter in a far cove. So, eventually I decided to find some likely place to drop anchor.  

We wouldn’t be trolling/kicking along, casting/retrieving etc. We would anchor up and maybe the winds would die down. Nope!

A steady wind pushed hard at the back. Anchoring up was the only hope of not getting pushed to the far bank and a long walk back.

The reality hit that I had to start from the beginning on casting, retrieving actually everything while a strong wind pounded from the rear. We could barely hear each other talk and positioning my pontoon beside the tube, while anchored, eliminated both of us fishing at the same time. So, I started from scratch. My rod was setting down beside me. The focus was on my wife attempting to grasp the grip, the loading, the line manipulation, the roll casts, the components of a cast….all along me thinking the conditions could not be much worse and, selfishly, ‘I need to fish’.

Eventually, I got her anchored in about eight feet of water on a slight drop. I put on floating line, a strike indicator and a Chironomid pupa off the bottom. She seemed to have a basic roll cast working and the wind helped propel the rigging outward. I thought maybe I can move out aways and anchor and work my Intermediate line. 

I anchored up and flailed away with all those special patterns I had tied. I varied the retrieves, I varied the depths, I varied the patterns. Nothing. Not a tug.

My wife was having a good time gabbing away. With the wind howling and my flaps down, hood up, I was having a hard time hearing all that she was saying. She reminded me of that commercial from a few years ago, where the woman talks on and on. I missed most and had to keep asking ‘what?’. Apparently my tone suggested my frustrations. Eventually, the tangles ensued and I had to up anchor to go help her….again. Patience I reminded the selfish self on my shoulder. Patience.

I don’t want you to think I was a total jerk. I was mostly fighting this little battle inside my self. She was, fortunately some would say, none the wiser.

Then suddenly my anchor rope is missing something! The anchor! The ten pound pyramid anchor that had been securely on the end of that rope for years was gone. I had to rig something up with a rock. But, most of the rocks in this area are light for their size….save one I found up in the woods.

Field Expedience! At the end of the day, this was my trussed up rock anchor. It worked.

The fishing never turned on. The only fish I caught the entire day was while I was reeling in to go help my wife. Of course, I experimented with faster retrieves…to no avail. I could say the day was a bust. Certainly based upon the months of anticipation I had invested it was. But, in the end, my wife said what a great time she was having. She thought ‘this is great!’ I reminded her that at some point she would have to have her on flies, her own nippers, her own re-rigging, her own solitude….I know, I know there was my little selfish side again. She said ‘all in good time’. She just liked ‘visiting’ the most.

She was very happy with the whole experience. I set aside my frustrations. It was an inner struggle, but thinking back to the times I have been impatient with others, I knew the correct response.

The lessons of this outing were not anticipated through the Winter’s day dreaming about big fish, solitude and the feel of ‘The Moment’. The gear was good (save the anchor), the little I got to fish went reasonably well. The new pontoon boat was great, but I need to fine tune where the packs sit on the sides and I don’t like the apron’s tension…too saggy. The flies looked good in the water, if not in a fish’s jaw.

No, the lesson, which I have alluded to here over the years, is patience. Patience in life for sure. Patience with loved ones you are teaching. Patience with self.

"Trophy Shot" perhaps? I envisioned a large Rainbow Trout, but in the end the trip was great for all the reasons I never anticipated during the Winter's planning.

13
Oct
11

Search & Rescue (SAR)…Time Considerations

Seems about this time of year with the change in the weather, I get into this ‘be prepared mode’. I probably go out into a wilderness setting more in the Spring and Summer, but the elements, light and the occasional lost hiker prompt me to at least share my concerns about being prepared and safe.

The just recent cases of an Oregon lady supposedly lost in the Mt. Hood Wilderness and the recovery/deceased of another woman in the nearby State of  Washington raised my awareness to an internal process in Search and Rescue (SAR) missions: The consulting with experts to evaluate your probable chances of survival given the factors: were you prepared (gear), do you have a history of knowing how to conduct yourself in the wilds, the weather, the terrain, your known health/fitness factors, etc.  

I want to share some very interesting stats and time line markers re the search and termination of the search should you become lost. The resources are very fascinating and should be read and shared.

OHSU Researchers Find Time Is Best Predictor Of Survival In Search And Rescue Missions (July 17, 2007)


Oregon Health & Science University emergency medicine researchers set out to develop a model that could be used by search and rescue teams to determine when a search and rescue (SAR) mission could be terminated without abandoning potential survivors. The model found time to be the most important variable in determining whether a person will be found alive. Ninety-nine percent of people found alive were found within the first 51 hours after being reported missing. Their findings are published in the most recent edition of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine.

The model found a high rate of survival for people found within 17 hours of first being reported missing, a moderate rate of survival for those missing between 17 and 51 hours, and a low rate of survival for individuals missing for more then 51 hours. The analysis also found people reported missing in May through October were less likely to survive, as were people older than 60. Individuals reported missing on land were more likely to be found alive than those reported missing from a water-based activity.” (Read the entire report)

The SAR Missions are now, and probably have been, but now it is more openly presented, using these timeline markers and ‘experts’ to decide if the search will continue. If you are lost, you need to stay safe, composed and alert to SAR operations trying to find you. If you are family/friends of the lost person, the difficult decision re termination of SAR ops will be presented to you given the above timelines at some point. The probabilities of survival will be used to protect the searching resources. A fact of life, maybe a fact in death. Be prepared!!!




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