The blog of the adventures (or mis-adventures) of an active mountain woman.

Ski Lake and the Perfect Man

Wendell sitting in front of the namesake, Ski Lake

Wendell sitting in front of the namesake, Ski Lake

Today’s adventure was a short day hike to Ski Lake. At 4.6 miles and 850 feet of elevation gain/loss, it’s not too strenuous (for more information, click here) but the payoff is fantastic.

Another plus for Ski Lake is that it’s only about 4 miles from my house and dog friendly, which links directly to the “perfect man” portion of this title. He eats whenever I want to. He goes wherever I want to. He’s an amazing listener and ever since the radio collar, never runs off. Naturally, this isn’t The Boyfriend. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t wear a radio collar. He’s my dog.

There are many documented cases of pets helping their owners with everything from depression to longevity but the main reason I choose dog-friendly hikes (which, alas, do not include the nearby national parks) is because it makes me happy to see him happy. When I change my clothes in the middle of the day, he runs in the room to sniff the fabric. He know that certain socks and shorts mean certain adventure. Even if my motivation was less than stellar, his unadulterated enthusiasm motivates me to get outside a little faster and enjoy it a little more. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Bar of the Day: WEIL by Nature’s Path (yes, it’s associated with Andrew Weil M.D. Who says celebrity endorsements don’t work?). The Chia Razz flavor is delicious as long as you don’t mind a few seeds. And the ingredients are stellar: organic dates, organic raisins, organic cashews, organic apples, organic raspberries, chia seeds, organic flavor, organic lemon juice concentrate.

Wendell’s Bar of the Day: POWER BONES by Zuke’s. Beef formula with protein and carbohydrates. Plus they have a cute how-they-came-to-be story on the back every dog lover can appreciate.

Fishing Report: I hooked two but the first one was my dog.

Welcome to the inagural post of the blog “Mountain Kidd”, the blog of the adventures (or mis-adventures) of an active mountain woman.

Let me assure all of you non-fishing readers out there that I am no expert and there will be none of that “what the heck is she talking about” in regards to fishing. An active participant in almost every mountain sport, I had decided that one of the last sports to round out my skill set was to learn how to fly fish. Luckily, The Boyfriend is some sort of expert. So, for my birthday in June, I received what I am told is a fairly nice rod and reel. And then the adventures began.

I fished as a kid in Michigan. It was a pretty straight-forward affair. Get a pole (the $19.99 special will do),put a fat worm or minnow on a hook, drop it in the lake and wait for the florescent yellow bobber to start flailing or disappear altogether. Fly fishing also has a hook and a pole. This is where the similarities end.

I think my friend Jason put it best when he said, “fly fishing is a lot like hunting”. So it would seem. Fly fishing starts with a fairly complex cast using the arm but NOT the wrist. You must next cast an artificial fly (usually made of animal hair or feathers and attached to the hook) in a manner impersonating a fly, which involves the fly gently setting down on the water but NOT smacking the water. You don’t want to startle the fish. And the fly? There are MILLIONS, maybe billions of types of flies out there. Once one deduces which feather and hair contraption looks like the bug on the bank, you must discover where the fish are dining at that particular moment and hope the menu involves the fly you’ve tied on. Assuming you’ve managed to do all of this successfully (and one should not assume this about me), there is “the fight” once you get the fish on the hook. Something about keeping the head up and tiring him out until you can bring him to shore. If it’s a big fish, you may need to let out A LOT of line during the fight. More to come on this once I actually catch a big fish.

Back to Sunday. The Boyfriend and I decide to go fishing. Due to the cold weather and colder water, he warned me that the fishing was either going to be very good or very bad. And it was very bad. After hooking my dog while I attempted to fling the line behind me (known as a backcast), morale was already down. Another half-hour before hooking a fish (but not landing it) was fairly mediocre compared to my last fishing attempts. An hour later without even a glance from my scaley friends, I channeled my inner child and starting braiding grasses while The Boyfriend set up something horribly complicated looking called Streaming. While I was patting myself on the back for practicing vital survival skills like braiding grasses, he managed to catch half-a-dozen fish. Good for him. I think I’ll wait for a “this isĀ  a GREAT day for fishing” before I go again.

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