Thursday, May 5, 2011


For the last couple years Pate has been my rock. There have been some times that I wonder how I could have made it through without my little buddy. We have spent almost every minute together for the past 7 months. So much time in fact that the few instances where we are apart I feel completely lost.

So when at 3am yesterday morning Pate started vomiting uncontrollably I grew a little worried. And when that vomit became bloody I became completely frightened. About 6:30 am I took him to the emergency veterinary hospital and they put him on an iv and started doing some tests. I spent the next two hours in a completely panic stricken state. Lately, a lot of dog friends of ours have had a rough go, from cancer to being hit by cars it hasnt been good. But Pate has always seemed invincible. He hasn't really been sick in a couple years and nothing ever seems to get to him. I couldnt understand what could be wrong.

After a couple of hours the tests all came back negative which may have been the biggest relief of my life. It appears that he just ate something that didnt agree with him but we have been unable to determine what that is. Pate needed to stay overnight for monitoring and fluids, so my worry hadnt completely subsided. This morning I picked him up and he seemed close to his normal self. But at this point I must say Im still a little worried. He is currently sleeping in my car while I am working in the fly shop. The wierd part is that he doesnt want to get out of the car right now...I hoping hes just tired and given how much we've moved in the past year it is just his place of comfort. But until my better half is back to normal I am going to be a little on edge.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


“‘Patagonia!’ He cried. ‘She is a hard mistress. She casts her spell. An enchantress! She folds you in her arms and never lets go.’”
-Bruce Chatwin (In Patagonia) -The book I am currently reading…thanks Anna!

There is dust, dirt, barren ground, minimal creature comforts, and oh my god the wind…but I don’t know what it is that makes me want to go back oh so badly to Patagonia. It was a place that almost immediately took hold of my heart and hasn’t let go. Only a few other things that I can think of have had that effect on me; fly fishing, especially for steelhead here on the Olympic Peninsula, for a time the Florida Keys, my first dog Biscuits, Pate of course, and one I’ll leave out that may be the reason I cling to the aforementioned things.

Trying to put my figure on what I love most about Argentina is like trying to pick one favorite song. It could be a Jimmy Buffett song like the relaxing way of life. Work hard when its required, relax when its not. Siestas are a daily necessity, every shop in town closes for at least 2 hours, the hustle and bustle grinds to a halt and everyone just relaxes. It could be a Bob Marley song, the fun loving generous people who are always smiling, willing to give you the clothes off their back, and always making you feel at home. It could be a John Denver song, Country Roads or Rocky Mountain High. The Argentine Andes being very similar to the Rockies minus the urban sprawl. The untouched beauty surrounds, emerald green lakes and rivers, snow capped peaked, Andean Condors soaring above. And how about the food, simple like a country song. How many days can you have steak in a row?…in Argentina the answer is a lot. And each one will make your mouth water and leave you craving more. The fish are there to, sleek and strong, graceful and elegant…Norah Jones? Always another around the next bend demanding more exploration and one more cast. There’s even some Willie Nelson in there…the Gauchos, Argentine cowboys hardened by the wind and the dust, who remind you that life doesn’t have to be so complicated. And then there is Bob Seiger of course, that miserable wind that will push you to the brink of insanity but somehow makes you feel free and know that you are alive. I suppose my beloved Taylor Swift may be missing but I guess you cant always get what you want.


Monday, January 3, 2011

My place

Apparently I have to turn off the TV to get the urge to write something. Who would’ve thunk it? Or in this case, get away from the tv completely…too bad that meant leaving my warm dry shelter for cuddling up in my car with my soaking wet four legged friend.
A little known fact: The Hoh Rain Forest where I am currently residing is the wettest place in all of North America. No not just this general area of the country…but this very valley only about 20 miles long and less than a half a mile wide. Even wetter than the rain forests of central america…ex: Costa Rica, Belize, etc. So what does that mean? Well for the past 5 days there has been no more than a couple hours of semi-dryness. 2 weeks ago it rained so hard in one night that the river went from 4,000 to 40,000 cfs (cubic feet per second). 200 ft long spruce trees with root wads the size of semi trucks were floating down the river…taking smaller trees and every thing else with them in the process. Quite a sight to behold.

I had to rush into town at 80 mph in a blinding rain to get food & supplies after the park ranger told me he expected the road to wash out and I would be cut off from society. In the end that didn’t happen but the impression was left in my mind.
In the aftermath it became clear that my beloved Hoh River had went through an overly common midlife crisis. Every single run, hole or otherwise known fishing spot of mine was gone forever replaced with a whole new scene. Back to square one on learning this river and its steelhead. I guess that’s part of the game and part of the fun…each day is new and unique.
I wish I could say the past few weeks were very productive, and not that there haven’t been moments, but their just isn’t much to do around Forks, WA besides go fishing. And when I cant do that…well I have Walker Texas Ranger marathons at least.
Im not sure what it is about the road but today it was like as soon as I got in the car and got the music going (Ray Lamontagne), my mind started turning in overdrive. Catching up I guess on the past two months here where I think I may have taken a mind vacation. I’ve always thought of myself as very self reflective, often times to a fault or at least to the sacrifice of my everyday happiness. But it is also something about myself that I wouldn’t change, so realizing I had lost touch with that for a while really bothered me. Im glad to say today I am catching up in a hurry. The meaning of life, my destiny, and my summer plans were all on the menu today to the point of me missing road signs and turns more than once.
Possibly my mind vacation enable me to better take in my surroundings. Over the past two months since I took up residence on the Hoh River I have been encompassed daily by breathtaking beauty. Bald Eagles, along with Pate of course, are my constant river companion. There graceful flight and majestic stature never stops amazing me. Golden Eagles, who dwarf even the Bald’s, often fool me into thinking taradactyls and lost worlds. I’m yet to see a T-Rex. Elk frequent my front yard every few days, sometimes just feet off my front porch. Cougars probably aren’t far off either. Sometimes following a dark riverside trail I have been overcome with that eerie being watched feeling…times like these make me even more thankful for my little buddy with acute senses by my side.
And then there are the days that the rain parts, the skies clear, and Mount Olympus towers in the background. Suspended above rain forest and glacier…a photo could be mistaken for the Himalayas. Other days I drive 15 miles in the opposite direction to the ocean, walk the beach and listen to the waves. And then there’s the steelhead…yup, this place isn’t so bad.

My backyard...the Hoh River Valley