Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Last Man on the Water

A lone canoeist paddles the frigid waters of Lower Twin Lakes on Nov. 2.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fall Fishing on Twin Lakes

It may very well have been the last fishing trip of fall. The water is down so low the boat was nearly scraping bottom when we launched at Upper Twin. It might have been the last fishing trip until the lake's iced over, but what a way to end the season. There was nary a boat on the lake which, smooth as glass, reflected a spectacular fall show of leafy trees and tamaracks.

It was so quiet I could hear the leaves falling off the trees. So quiet I swear I could hear the fish biting.

Monday, October 18, 2010

He tells me so

Grandpa Doug outfishing me on Twin Lakes.

The last breath my Kia Rio took wasn't what I'd have expected.

It wasn't a sputter, a spurt. There was no loud pop. No banging or clanging.

She just slowed to a crawl as I pumped the gas pedal and cars behind me started honking. As I turned the wheel and rolled to a stop in the grassy median there was only one thought on my mind. It wasn't an "Oh-crap-this-car-is-all-I-got-to-drive" thought or an "I'm-gonna-be-late-for-my-appointment" worry.

When, I fretted, had I last checked the oil?

It was the first thing I thought of every time my car broke down. It was the first thing Grandpa had taught me, even before teaching me to drive. Check the oil and check it often -- every time you fill up, he'd say.

I knew it was the first thing he'd ask when he showed up to rescue me, yet again.

There's one thing I've always dreaded: Grandpa's disapproving "told you so."

Or a "You know better, Taryn Anna." Because I do know better.

"How many times have I told you?" So many times, Grandpa. Too many times, Grandpa.

I knew I should have checked my oil. I meant to. But when was the last time?

It was. The first thing he asked.

I fibbed and said a silent prayer as Grandpa hooked the Kia up to his tow dolly for another trip to the Athol repair shop.

Please not the oil, please not the oil, I prayed.

When the mechanic said timing belt, I about jumped out of myself. It was, for a moment, a joyous occasion. Of course, I didn't know what the hell a timing belt was. And bent valves didn't seem too foreboding.

I didn't care what was wrong with her, as long as it wasn't the oil. Death hadn't even crossed my mind.

Grandpa had never mentioned timing belts. I know now that I should get them changed at least as often as I change the oil. Every 72,000 miles or so.

As I'm getting older, my stubbornness is waning. Instead of fearing a "told you so," from Grandpa I go to him for help expecting it and hoping to learn from it. I know the days are too precious few that he'll be around to remind me I know better.

To ask me how many times he told.

To wonder if I'm paying attention, listening. If it really does go in one ear and out the other.

Sometimes I still kid myself thinking there is something Grandpa could learn from me. Like how to fish my lake. I should have known the first man to ever take me fishing still had lessons to teach and little to learn.

I should have known he'd show me up. I should have known he'd have more luck with a little maggot and his trademark line twitching than me with a meaty Werner's Wiggler and my lucky crappie jig.

If there's one thing I should know by now it's that Grandpa knows. He always knows.

He might think it goes in one ear and out the other, but it doesn't. Sometimes the things he tells me seem to take a little detour in my brain, but his advice sticks. In my heart, forever.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall at the Thompson Farm

Sunflowers at the Thompson Farm on the Rathdrum Prairie in full bloom.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Labor Day on the Grass

A wine tasting, mountain bike ride, talent show, salmon dinner and car show are just a sampling of the fun Spirit Lake has in store for Labor Day weekend.


“Labor Day on the Grass” kicks off Thursday, Sept. 3 with the Spirit Lake Chamber of Commerce’s annual Wine Tasting and Auction at the little park on Maine Street. The event begins at 6 p.m. with live music, local wines and micro brews.


A bike ride benefitting the Spirit Lake Parks and Recreation Commission is set for the morning of Saturday, Sept. 5.  Following a pancake breakfast provided by Calvary Christian Fellowship, participants will be bussed to the Mt. Spokane Ski Area and ride their bikes back to Spirit Lake along 20 miles of easy downhill logging roads.


Tickets for the ride, which includes a souvenir T-Shirt, are $35 each.


The bike ride ends at City Park, where events are planned all weekend including live music, a mountainman encampment, booths, Old Ways Society, Dutch Oven cooking demonstrations and more.


A talent show and salmon dinner are planned for 6 p.m. Saturday evening with musicians, jugglers, comedians, dancers and magicians vying for cash prizes.


Sunday’s events include a car show at City Park and classic rock music by the J.W. Hardin Band and Muddy Frog Watters.


Monday is the town’s annual Labor Day parade on Maine Street.  The day’s entertainment lineup at City Park includes the Jimmy Brown Band, Brad Sondahl and the VFW foot race and corn on the cob.

For Information Contact:

Bike Ride & Car Show – Marc Kroetch, 208-623-5130

Vendors – Verla Reed, 208-623-2275

Wine Tasting & Auction – Roxanne Kusler, 208-623-5700

Music & Talent Show – George Bruner, 208-263-3129

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Redneck Lobstering

In this month's River Journal I write about Redneck Lobstering aka the fine art of catching crawdads.

An excerpt:

When my beau asked me if I liked the taste of lobster, I thought he was gonna take me out for some fine seafood.

I didn’t realize I’d be spending the day foraging for my own dinner underneath slime-covered rocks in some river. I say some river because I’ve been sworn to secrecy.

I can only say it’s somewhere in this state or the one next door. If I gave up my man’s top-secret Redneck Lobstering digs I think it could go on my permanent record.

I’m not gonna push it.

Especially since I’ve tasted these babies.

Call them crayfish, crawdads, mudbugs or crawfish.

I call them Redneck Lobsters.

For the rest of the story click here.