Posts Tagged ‘Outdoor History


Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Locomotive’s fireman shovels 5 tons of coal to get to Silverton and back

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad




Random Recollections of Years Gone By………..

I spent an enjoyable morning/afternoon talking to George Palmer and his lovely partner in life, ‘Patty’. George told me stories about Montana Fly fishing on the Thompson R., Rock Creek, Clarks Fork, in the 40’s and 50’s. George was the benefactor of a kindly doctor in Missoula, Montana, who staked him, at 6 years of age, to a metal, telescoping rod, reel and line plus flies from Bob Ward  Sporting Goods. Years later George used to hike up the Deschutes R. from the mouth in the early Fall and use the Joe’s Hopper for Summer Steelhead. A good afternoon would yield up to three hookups, but they often were not landed. Even years ago, he would chop a fly line in half and fish a shorter head to avoid drag as he swung the fly across the currents.

George recounted several harrowing experiences working for the U.S. Forest Service (Timber Lake, Oregon) in the 60’s and being stranded with a work crew up by the Bull of the Woods (Cascades) on October 12, 1962. The Columbus Day Storm tore through the NW with epic ferocity that day and stranded his work crew with only a vehicle for shelter as miles of trees about them were snapped to the ground. Other crews spent untold effort, after the storm passed, to cut through miles of trees to clear a path to rescue the work crew. Their safety was uncertain. In the end, their fellow Forest Service mates found them tired but safe.

Then there was the Christmas Day Flood of 1964, when George, his young family and many other families, stationed at the Timber Lake facility, were cut off from the outside world as the Clackamas River and its tribs wiped out roads, bridges and stranded the families for almost a month.

Also, interesting were George’s accounts of his father. A rodeo performer who traveled the West with other rodeo hands. They survived the hard times by often pooling their winnings so all could afford to travel by rail and eat. The father had learned to ride horse bareback and with no bridle from the native americans in Montana. George’s dad was one of the few rodeo hands that could ride bare back and sans the bridle. In later years, George would attend the Pendleton Roundup and sit with old rodeo hands. They all met to reminisce over the old days and would regale George with the exploits of his dad. Often these were very interesting stories his dad had not passed on.

It was a nice visit with a man, who does not get to wet a line much anymore but you can tell he misses it very much. I am sure, due to the din of noise in the restaurant I missed details and such, but I did not miss out on the memorable experiences of a man that fished the fabled waters way back when and was exposed to the remnants of the wilder West before the  developments. Thank you George. Let’s do that again soon.  


Washington State History Timeline

NW/Washington State History Timeline  

For you Washingtonians, you might find this NW history timeline interesting. Actually, any NW history buff will find some interesting historical minutiae here. 


Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Montauk, UFO’s…….

It is the weekend, most of you are out fishing. We are on a train headed for Seattle. So, I thought I would provide a few details about at NW favorite: Bigfoot or Sasquatch. I take no position on any of it. Fakers and fraud abound, but that is a side show to what could be out there. Or so they say. These two sites are interesting to peruse and consider, if you spend much time deep in the woods of the NW (Oregon Bigfoot).

Does Bigfoot/Sasquatch rank as funky dementia say like the Montauk Creature of UFO/Alien abductions? Just some light fun to pass the time and shake your head..up/down or sideways?


Fly Fishing’s Core Truth: You’re It!


Imperfections of Life (SB)


“Most of us still are fundamentally local in our fishing. We dream of the big trips, but we fish mostly near home, and it’s there that we are best qualified to identify the extraordinary anglers among us. We still enjoy reading, hearing about, and even meeting the renowned experts and celebrities. But for the purposes of our day-to­day fishing, they’re rather remote compared with the local guy who catches more fish than the rest of us, or who tells the best stories, or who in some other way achieves the quiet heroics that fly fishing has always had at its heart anyway.” Paul Schullery @ Midcurrent (Ages of Heroes)


Ancient Fish Traps, Teifi Estuary in Wales

This is from an article awhile back. Came across and find it interesting.

Teifi Estuary Fish Trap, Dyfed, Wales

Dyfed, Wales Fish Trap

From Comments: “We have similar fish traps around the southernmost tip of Africa. Some are believed to be “ancient” and some we know were built during late 1700 early 1800 when Europeans left the Cape and settled in this region. The ancient ones were, in my opinion, originally built by the Portugese late 1400’s – who were shipwrecked along the coast…”


Nature Reclaims Some Kind of History

Nature Evolving

I was stumbling down a slick bottomed stream. Every step seemed to give this way and that. If I grabbed a branch or limb for stability it snapped off in hand. My route was leading to faster, deeper water and I had walked down into a steep sided little ravine. I decided to climb up and out of the creek’s gully via roots, ferns and rocks that might provide stability as I climbed.

When I reached the top, I was aware of several things: the usual, ‘shit you’re out of shape’, I should use a less expensive rod for bushwhacking explorations (I have broken my fair share), and my new route was surrounded by 4′ tall expanses of Devil’s Club and no discernible trail. Turn around and go back? I was leaving where I said I would be. If I fell and broke my leg, I was making it unnecessarily hard to extricate me. So, using sound judgment I ignored my inner, self check voice and pushed on.We all do this, knowing better…getting away with it most often…thank goodness. I have some essentials with me: whistle, compass, space blanket.

I moved through the Devil’s Club and spider webs and into a somewhat flat area. Visible were old, vertical planks that were the last remnants of some structure. The base of the structure could not be seen long since taken over by creeping vegetation. I moved toward it, but could feel the earth slope downward toward the structure, even though the ground cover seemed to extend more horizontally toward the timbers. I knew not to walk forward any further. I set my rod down and grabbed the camera and tried to safely get closer. What was this structure for? There were no roads or hints of a road near this structure. I was some distance from my own rig. I stood and wondered as we all do when we come upon some old homestead, abandoned mill or line cabin and wonder…Who walked there? Who died there? Who worked there? Who walked away from a dream, nightmare? Who looked back one last time?

No answers this day. Only the resolution…geeze man, do something to get into shape.

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

July 2020

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