Sunday April 8
by your roving reporter
This pic is from last fall
when we were here to give you a sense of just how great this campground
This time of year the cottonwoods
are not leafed out, so they still look kind of dormet.
Peace and tranquility,
Sunday evening, an empty campground, all the weekenders have gone home,
the lucky few left to enjoy. Hard to get over the feeling that we
are doing something wrong, and should be rushing somewhere to get ready
for the coming work week. Ron remarked that we are sitting here a
shower might be coming through, and we like the Wild Geese, are waiting
out the storm then resuming our seasonal migration. No need to hurry
getting North, its still cold up there, but slowly our journey progresses.
Might be cooler here next week if the Weather Watcher Forecast is correct,
but we will enjoy what weather comes our way.
Was a busy day, fixed a big
meal, dutch oven baked lima beans, scalloped potatoes, baked ham, and our
good friends Sandy and Bob brought fresh home made rolls. (Which Sandy
backed at 5 am, as she is one of those morning people.) We found a bottle
of white wine left over from New Years Eve. We toasted to great friends
and had a very nice meal in a wonderful NM state park. As fulltimers this
is about as good at it gets.
Watched the various attempts
at Easter Egg hunts this afternoon. Some people were going up into
the rocks at the back of the campground and making a real test out of it,
but most were content to hide them in the trees and bushes behind the trailers
and tents. We must have been busy getting ready to eat when they
turned the kids lose to look for the goodies as I do not recall seeing
the actual hunting of the eggs. Will have to go for a walk tomorrow
and see if there were any that got missed.
Tomorrow is a maintenance
day, have to take the truck into Aztec for service, and while waiting
will do laundry. There will be lots to do, its been a while since
my last laundry day. Will have to see if the Monday is laundry day
tradition still holds, hoping there is no crowd to fight. Will
also be picking up a few odds and ends of groceries while there,
milk and such then back to camp for the afternoon.
Looks like another week here
at Cottonwood before we move to Taos and points east Will have to
get busy and catch a few more fish. Hopefully the fish will want
We looked at the weather
service and it looks like the weather is going downhill this week. We have
had the best weather with hights in the upper 70's and lowes in the 40's
. But now we are looking at normal temps. We will deal with it and be happy
with whatever we see when we get up and look out the 5er window.
A great campground on a blue
ribbon trout fishing river with great friends in the campsite next door.
What more coud a body ask for!
(Above wordsmithed by Ron...adding
depth and the post.)
Monday April 9
by your roving reporter
It was chore day. Had
to get the truck into Aztec to Hi Mtn Chevy before 10:00 for a service
appointment, an oil change, and rotation of the tires. We had originally
thought that we might also have to service the Allison transmission, but
looking back through the old receipts found that we had done the transmission
service at 25,000 miles over a year ago. That was a relief as the
dealership wanted to do a full flush and replace of both filters, something
we found out we did not need to do.
Followed out neighbors into
Aztec this morning where they turned North and went into Durango for the
day. We have been debating if we will make it to Durango. Asking
ourselves if we want to explore the streets and alleys of the fine city.
Of course one could always call it a tourist trap, and argue that once
is enough. Will have to see which line of argument prevails.
After getting the truck serviced
I was off to the laundry, and then to the Safeway grocery store for
a few staples, then back to cottonwood. Not much to report, will
hope for more material tomorrow.
Tuesday April 10
time a post by Ron
is the day we had to renew or site for another week. We didn't leave
the 5er except to do that. Yes we get to say in NM State parks for 21 days.
(Three weeks) at $14 a day we think a good deal. With Terry on the
web and me reading a graet book given to me by Sandy in the campsite next
door. We don't turn on the DirecTV much when we can read and web it. From
what I read the networks have discovered this, and are doing all they can
to move thngs to the web. Oh yes I also can download the USA Today to read
just the way it looks in print.
has been great weather the first week or so and we hope this last week
it warms up again and the fishing picks up. It is sunny but cold and windy
today. So I say Terry if it is two windy to go fishing might you think
about finishing up your Taxes. I got that look.. "If
had them done with the TaxAct sortware I had downloaded but just needed
to send them off. Thats the operative word. Send!
Of course he didn't want to send them off via e-file like I do. I had to
get the Iowa state tax package (he had IA income last year) and it came
with free e-filling. BUT he still didn't want to e-file. Sometimes it's
like pulling teeth to get people to step and do things the NEW way.
after he printed ALL the forms I asked him if he was going to put his correct
State in his address?
that fix he still had us living in an Apt. Not a PMB number out of
a mail forwarding service in SD.
another change. Then print again. Next he couldn't find his checks.
So I chanted the mantra e-file... e-file...
e-file. That went over big. The
software this year even lets me make all this years quarterly tax payments
auto via bank transfers set up in advance. I don't have to remember to
write checks four times this year. How sweet since last year I forgot the
last payment. And since I have a big W-2 imputed income for Terry's health
insurance with no withholding it makes a big tax bite at the end of the
year if I don't pay it in quarterly payments. Terry sez he saw something
about a bill in congress, to right this wrong about IRS imputed income
rule for partners benefits.
line Terry got his done and I sent him up to the Navajo Dam post office
to get them sent off so we could forget about them for this year.
we can get back to real life, Happy Hour and what's for supper.
DVRed American Idle for later viewing as we are watching COUNTDOWN with
Keith Olberman on MSNBC.COM
much for this day...
Wednesday April 11
and Bob went fishing this afternoon and they caught trout! Terry
5, and Bob 2. Sandy didn't go. Bet she wished she did. They hadn't gone
fishing for several days. I told them to get in gear and go fishing so
I am taking credit for the good catch. The weather will be a little
iffy the next two days, but it calls for clear and 65 - 70 on Sat. and
Sun. So looking forward to a great weekend. Sandy has invited
us over to their site for Chicken and Noodles Friday night.
need to head into Farmington for propane tomorrow and Terry wants to have
lunch at the Great China Inc Buffet at 2800 E Main St. We have been to
this buffet last year, and it is one of the best we have found anywhere.
It is right accross from the Conoco station where we get propane.
We use our Heat Pump/AC unit whenever we can to save on propane. It doesn't
work below 40 degrees. But here were are in about the right temp range
for it to work well. Some nights we can leave it on and during the day
it is great to keep things warm. I should say we ARE plugged into the campground
had such a good time fishing today he now has to tie more flyes...
He is tying... Size # 24 midge nymphs. Now that is the
found a pic of one. Not size 24 but you get the idea with this google search
one has a barb on the hook..
no in the quality waters of San Jaun river here in Navajo Dam, NM.
Now more in-depth
info on these flyes.. If your into this stuff.
the smallest fly in your box is the ticket to big winter action.
insect brings trout to the surface 12 months a year? Mayflies or caddisflies
are good guesses, but they’re dead wrong. The answer is midges, tiny swarming
gnats that buzz over the surface of just about every body of water. Although
midges resemble mosquitoes, they don’t bite. They just stimulate some of
the best winter trout fishing you’ll ever encounter.
catch over half my trout each year on midge imitations. But I know that
most flyfishermen don’t take advantage of them. Sales of trout flies fall
off to almost nothing below size 18 (most midge patterns fall into the
size 18 to 24 range), as do sales of fly-tying hooks. Don’t be one of the
many anglers who shy away from using these flies before they ever try them.
Here are some common myths about midge fishing and plenty of reasons why
trout won’t eat little flies.”
time I hear this trout-stream platitude, I think of the 24-inch brown trout
I caught on a size 24 midge in New York’s Delaware River. Or the 8-pound,
29-inch rainbow that the famous trout guide John Gulley took on the North
Fork of the White River in Arkansas. Big trout have to eat midges.
a typical mountain trout stream, one of the few insects active from November
through March is the midge. And because midges hatch in huge numbers, trout
find them an easy, necessary meal. A trout in cold water needs to eat,
on the average, 3 percent of its weight daily to survive. Although trout
don’t always meet that requirement during the winter, when midges drift
in the current and hatch, a 2-pounder may devour over 500 of them per day.
never be able to hold a big trout on such a tiny fly.”
worry. With today’s advances in hooks and tippet material, catching a 20-inch
trout on a size 20 fly is no big deal. Tackle for fishing midges is exponentially
better than it was just 20 years ago. The tiny hooks used on midge imitations
are far stronger, the points are sharper, and one type even has an oversize
eye so it’s easier to thread. In addition, whereas tippet materials in
the tiny 6X and 7X diameters used to test a pound or less, you can now
buy 7X tippet (.004 inch in diameter, about the size of a hair) that tests
at 21/2 pounds, plenty strong for most trout that you’ll encounter.
you aren’t convinced, have someone tie a piece of 7X tippet material to
a size 20 fly. Let them sink the hook into the end of your little finger.
I guarantee they will be able to pull you around the room. You won’t throw
the hook, and I doubt if the tippet will break.
can’t see a tiny fly like that on the water.”
not. But an honest flyfisherman will tell you that he only sees a dry fly
part of the time. During most drifts, you approximate where the fly is
and strike gently whenever you see a rise in the general vicinity. It’s
no different with a size 20 than it is with a size 12. However, there are
some tricks that help. First, look for the shine of your leader on the
water. It will point you to your fly’s position, and you may even see the
leader twitch when an unseen trout takes your fly. Another ploy is to make
a few hard casts (off to the side of where a fish is feeding!) so that
the fly lands with a hard splat. A few casts like this and you’ll get a
better idea of where your fly goes. Some anglers roll a tiny piece of floating
red strike putty 3 feet up the leader from the fly. Others attach a larger
dry fly to the tippet, then fasten a foot of 7X tippet to the bend of the
bigger hook and tie a midge to it. This helps you estimate the fly’s position
and, again, may twitch if a trout eats the fly in a subtle rise.
fortunate aspect of midge feeding is that trout usually do it in calm,
unriffled water. Still, you might see just a wink on the surface. You might
also spot the wide black head of a big trout porpoising. Other times, you
might only see the foam on the water’s surface part as if an unseen hand
has pushed it aside. In any case, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Strike
gently, just enough to move the leader an inch. It doesn’t take much force
to set these tiny hooks, and if the fish was not rising to your fly, you
won’t make enough commotion to scare it.
can’t tie such a small fly.”
pupae are drab and simple, as are most of the flies that imitate them.
The best ones have simple thread bodies with a pinch of fur or peacock
herl at the head. Midge pupae are often the fish’s preferred stage of the
insect, because as they’re trying to hatch, pupae drift helplessly in the
current. Trout often take them right in the surface film, and you use standard
dry-fly tactics. Either try a special midge pupa fly, or just trim most
of the hackle and wings off a tiny dry fly and don’t put any floatant on
it, so it drifts just under the surface. A pinch of that strike putty helps
you to follow the fly and will indicate when a trout has inhaled it.
article from www.fieldandstream.com
you non fishing people survived the above, so come on back for my next
I'll save you small sample from the Great China Inc. Buffet.
Thursday April 12
took off for Farmington, NM to get propane and eat out at the Chinese Buffet.
But first I had a snail mail letter to send. I pulled into the post
office and Terry hopped out as I was illegally parked in the small lot.
I thought he was just going to slip it into the blue box outside, but he
went in and was gone forever. I had to re park and WAIT. When he
can out I asked if they were serving sample foods inside. He had waited
in line and when he got to to clerk he handed the letter to her and she
looked at him as what do you want. He thought it needed stamps and I had
already placed two stamps on it, BUT he never looked. DAH!
I like it when he screws up as we all know I newer mess up... Well
I had left our heat pump turned on, and half way to town it started
with snow/showers and I hit the temp button on the rear view mirror. It
said 36 degrees. Oh Shit. The heat pump in the 5er will go nuts if it goes
below 40 and we, I mean I left it on. Almost turned
around but instead we called Sandy in the camping spot next door and had
her go over and pull the 30 amp plug from the RV electric post. Much better
than having the heat pump burn up! OK I can screw up... Ouch...
wait for the warmer temps this weekend.
We ate too much at the Great China Buffet and the food (100 items) was
ok but on futher inspection the interior of the restaurant needed to be
cleaned up. Water on the floors and heavy rust and broken plaster on the
lower walls and door frames, and very dirty walls. The rest rooms were
filthy. No attempt (we could see) was being made to keep the place clean.
Not a pretty picture. The place was just very tired. I found their web
site and sent off an email about the poor conditions.
I experience above average service I also send kudos to that establishment.
Friday April 13
I read the date right... Friday the 13 th. Well it was cold and rainy
but about noon I talked Terry and Bob to get out and go trout fishing as
it looked a little clearer. When they came back Bob had caught
2 and Terry did zip. Bob had that smile which told you hew was one
stayed back and was working on a great supper for us all, of Chicken and
Noodles. I want to tell you the whole meal was wonderful. Now tomorrow
it is to warm up and be clear, I know I have been saying that for
days now. But if it is nice Sandy sez she will also go fishing. For a Friday
night and a weekend the campgroud is mostly empty. We shall see how it
goes in the morning.
Maher is coming on HBO so am stopping this post to watch. Some things
are more important than others.
Sunday April 15
by your roving reporter
have been a little lax in keeping up with our posts. Ron says
I need to get photographs to make the blog more interesting. I do
not take the camera with me when fishing, as I do not want to get it wet
so i will have to work on the photos.
has been sick for the last couple of days, he alternately complains
about my cooking making him sick, and the last restaurant meal. I
do not think it either, Ron had a fever and lots of intestinal upset
the last couple of days, and think he came down with a bit of flu.
He has not had much more then tomato soup and orange juice for the past
two days and its time to get some solid food into him. Today he is
feeling better and we will try hamburgers, mashed potatoes and salad tonight.
I am glad his appetite is returning, and he is feeling better.
fishing today for a bit. The wind really came up this afternoon and
made fishing a challenge, there were also lots of people out on the river.
I was able to hook a large fish which immediately took off for the other
end of the pool and very quickly broke my tippet. After repairing
the damage I was crossing a shallow riffle and slipped on the slime
covered rock, falling and getting wet. So much for the days adventures.
are currently planning where to go after navajo Dam, the weather
here is forcast to be good for the next week. if we move on to Taos
it is higher, and colder, and we definitely do not want to hit the Midwest
yet. Talked to family in Iowa Thursday and they had snow and cold
weather forecast. Might have to linger in NM for a bit more, while
waiting for spring to arrive in Iowa.
Tuesday April 17
by your roving reporter
Tax Tuesday, We did ours a couple of weeks back. The Tax preparation
programs available now make it relatively painless --- provided you can
understand the program. Ron seems to be an expert while I seem to
have more then my share of problems. The worst part is getting all
the paper work in order before starting, followed up by the motivation
to actually prepare the tax forms. Ron of course files electronically,
while I being a traditionalist have to print out all the forms - - Twice,
one set for me one for them, and then mail in the paperwork.
was a beautiful day, partly cloudy and 65 degrees, we just had to
go fishing. The afternoon found our neighbor Bob and I in the
parking lot of the Texas hole, which was suprisingly empty. Bob chose
to fish the riffles at the tail of the Texas Hole while I went to fish
the Kiddie Pool, I even thought about going to the ESPN Hole, but decided
I didn't want the hike. You just gotta love the names.
to fish with a little red midge fly and on the third drift of the day had
a very nice 15" brown trout hooked up. After a brief struggle the
fish was in hand, the hook removed and Mr. Fishy went on his way
back to the river channel. After that the day went very well,
I hooked and landed 6 good sized fish for an afternoons effort. There
was a seventh fish, that as soon as I set the Hook took off for the tail
of the pool, snapped my tippet and was never seen again, the
ever elusive lunker of mythic proportions. Since I never saw the
fish, it can be any size I want it to be.
enjoyed a leisurely cocktail hour under the neighbors canopy while watching
Wednesday April 18
by your roving reporter
time today we will need to go to Aztec or Farmington for a few groceries,
lettuce, milk, bread and paper products are the most prominent items on
the list, but I am sure we will be able to fill the cart yet again.
Ron and I always have fun grocery shopping, it has become a major
event for us, almost the only time we go shopping any more.
We have simplified our lives, possessions are no longer that important
are however certain electronic devices we are very attached to and dependent
upon. Foremost of the FREDS, (fu%*ing ridiculous electronic
devices) Our Data Storm unit and the computer. It is our window
on the world, when you are in places where there are no local tv
stations, cell service and very limited number of radio station it becomes
our sole means of communication with the outside world. Ron
has even on occasion down loaded the newspaper when we are really remote.
Of course we have added a Bow (Bird on a Wire) to the Datastorm and will
always have the full selection of satellite TV programing, with the
mobile waiver we also get the east and west coast national network feeds,
so always a news channel to watch.
drove some back roads and then went for a tour of the upper State Park
campground that is right on the lake.
wrote down a couple of sites numbers we would consider to stay at, that
had enought room to acomadate our rig. The campground is on the side
of the bluff and mosts site are very small and the road is narrow. But
the view is great.
Cottomwood campground we are in is down on the river below the dam.
Thursday April 19
by your roving reporter
day in paradise? After a while we get blasé' and fail to notice
what a great place we are staying at. Today was not one of those
days. It was a beautiful day, but slightly on the cool side,
in the mid 60's with a slight breeze, just cool enough to require a long
sleeve shirt. More of the same for tomorrow, but Ron told me to expect
a few showers on friday. Looks like Friday might be the best day
of the week to go fishing.
our neighbor, and I went fishing today for a bit. Neither one of
us caught anything. I had a couple of very light takes, but the fish
were not very active today. The fishermen were not out in force either.
the parking lot had lots of empty spaces. One group that looked
like college students on spring break were having the best time of any
group there. I thought it a little late for spring break, but who
knows what the schedules are anymore.
had a few people show up in the campground this afternoon, but the place
is still on the empty side. From previous years I would have expected
more traffic here at Cottonwood Camp ground. The latest to pull in
just got here and its 8:45 pm and dark outside. They are having a
good time setting up their pop up. brings back all kinds of memories,
some better then others, all those long days on the road with a specific
destination in mind and its a ten hour drive to get there, getting
lost on the way and coming in late and grumpy, but glad to be done
driving. Now we think it a big day if we are on the road for more
then four hours, get up late, get a bit of breakfast, pack and hit
the road for a few hours.