“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated” – Mark Twain
Wow! It’s been months since I’ve posted anything! The famous quote from Mark Twain seems appropriate. In fact, several friends have asked, “Are you dead or something?” No, nothing that exciting. Fact is, I just got really burned out on, well, a lot of things. I simply didn’t feel like writing a thing for months. That’s a first for me. I’ve always enjoyed writing ever since I was a toddler, but for whatever reason, I just felt like vegging out for a while.
But there will be some changes. The site needs a lot of maintenance, and I plan something of a change of structure. I haven’t figured it all out yet, but if anyone’s still reading this, you can certainly expect to see an evolution in the coming weeks/months. One change is I’ll be adding advertising links in various places. We’ve used ads in the past, but I don’t really like ads. However, I would like to make enough to pay for the hosting costs if possible. Hopefully, I’ll come up with an ad structure that’s useful to you as well. For now I’ve just tossed up a few haphazardly, but I’ll come up with something better soon.
So anyway, what did I do the last half of 2010? Mostly working for a paycheck and being generally depressed about the situation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to have a job, but in the ideal world I’d get paid to travel, backpack and fly fish. Despite being mired in the dregs of the modern workplace, I did manage to get away for a bit of fishing and backpacking, and I went on a few other trips totally non-related to fishing which proved interesting. Here’s a quick recap:
In July I tagged along with my brother and several of his friends on what turned out to be a true test of will. We backpacked roughly 37 miles through the Smokies over four days. We visited three separate watersheds, and the trails involved massive (for me) elevations changes each day. I found the time and energy to go fishing the morning after our first day, but I was too tired every other morning. I caught a half dozen or so browns and rainbows, but nothing to write home about. My feet took a couple weeks to recover, but I’m glad I did it. We suffered through a severe thunderstorm on the last night, and everything we had got soaked. It was okay, though, because everything we had was already soaked with sweat. A couple photos:
In August, Dewayne and I experienced a monumental smallmouth float trip. Well, at least it was monumental for us. We took my old canoe and used spinning gear on a stretch of a local stream that we’d never fished. It was like finding a secret treasure. We caught between 20 and 30 smallmouth with the best going a bit over 2 lbs. I plan to hit this stretch again in the spring and take fly gear this time. A few of the fish:
Starting in September, I was gone from home almost as much as I was at home. We traveled to Bar Harbor, Maine for vacation. We had visited three years ago and really enjoyed it. This time was also fun, but the weather was colder and drearier and the crowds were much thicker. President Obama and family had been there a few months before, and the locals said they were still benefiting from the related residual crowds. Here’s a shot that shows the typical weather we had:
In October Jacqulyn and I took a trip to San Francisco to celebrate our anniversary. It was a blast. We visited the sites, ate all sorts of unusual food (dim sum, mmmmm…), took a wine country tour, walked the Golden Gate Bridge, and just generally had a great time even though I had flu-like symptoms for half the trip. We would love to go back. Obligatory Golden Gate Bridge photo:
After that, I was back for a single day before catching a flight for Arizona. This was a work-related trip, but I did manage to get up to the Grand Canyon for a few days. This is a location I would love to get back to just so I could concentrate on photography. If you’ve never seen the canyon, you should try to make it. It’s truly spectacular, and so is the rest of the Arizona countryside. Just a spectacular area. I took several panoramic shots. Here’s one:
I got a new camera last year, the Panasonic GF-1, one of the new micro four-thirds cameras. So far I’ve really enjoyed it. The 20mm pancake lens is great, especially when you want to travel light. One of my resolutions for the coming year is to complete at least one big photography project. I’m thinking of shooting a project on Jacqulyn’s grandparents’ old house. There are all sorts of old buildings full of interesting subjects. Maybe a black and white deal. Anyway, totally nonrelated to this site, but I will update you on how the GF-1 works as a fishing/backpacking camera. All of the photos in this article were taken with it, and so far I think it’s a great upgrade over my old Digital Rebel. Here’s one from the old house:
We had the first White Christmas of my lifetime this year, and we’re (North Alabama) buried in our second big snow of the winter right now. In fact, I haven’t been to work for the last two days because everything is shut down. Here are a few rare shots of Alabama snow:
I hope to get back in the flow of things this month. Flies need tying and fish need catching. Hope everyone had a great Christmas and a happy New Year!