Friday, July 31, 2015

Fishing and Self Containment

The temperature has screamed past the 90 degree mark here at the park in Gold Bar.  Thank the heavens for self containment and air conditioning.  About this time of the afternoon the pool starts to call me.  At six o'clock when the kids have gone home the adults descend on the pool for a relaxing period of contemplation and discussion about every possible subject you can come up with.

Yesterday I drove up to the ranger station and had a very nice visit with a young ranger in the National forest.  He is an avid fisherman and was a encyclopedia of information about the lakes around the Skykomish area.  He also told me that the Skykomish River that I thought was closed is only close below Gold Bar and the North and South Forks are open along Highway 2.  The only caveat is what the state of Washington Fisheries calls Hoot-Owl restrictions.  Basically you aren't allowed to fish the rivers from 12 at night until 2 pm.  No morning fishing.  So now I have the information that I need to make my stay up here a little more interesting.  The only issue is with this heat who wants to leave the trailer to go fishing.  Might miss the pool time.  The temperatures go down next week but we are heading home until next Sunday so I miss another opportunity.  

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Since my last post I have been trying to find a place, lake or river, close by to go and spend some time fishing.  Note, I didn’t say catching.  For the most part the Washington State Department of Fisheries has closed the rivers around the Gold Bar area in an attempt to save as many of the incoming salmon as possible.  Low water levels combined with super high temperatures have created mass numbers of fish being killed off.  Hatcheries have reported huge numbers of fingerlings lost to the high water temperatures and slow moving current. 

Big Eddy on the Skykomish

Fishing for trout has now become nearly impossible in this area due to the restrictions placed on most of the lakes and rivers.  There are some large lakes nearby but they are drinking water supply for larger cities to the west of us and all have special requirements with regard to the types of baits that can be used. 

Today I plan to drive up to the Ranger Station in Skykomish to see if the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest has any easily accessible lakes for fishing.  I see several on the map but none of them fall under the State Fisheries rules and regulations.  At least they aren’t listed in the pamphlet.

Other than that, nothing much has been going on.  I have decided to run for the Board of Directors here in our park.   I haven’t gotten a whole lot done since my last blog.  I started to build some shelves for the bathroom closet but found that using the wire closet shelf isn’t going to work so when I go home next week I will build shelving that I can install when I get back using wood products in the garage.  With temperatures expected to exceed ninety degrees for the next few days, I suspect I will get very little done.

Hope all is well and thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Update on Yesterdays Connected Blog

Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after learning of the report by a Wired reporter where two researchers were able to gain operational control of a 2014 Jeep product using a glitch in the wireless software.  This was all done while the reporter was driving the vehicle.

Yesterday FCA announced a 1.4 million vehicle recall involving certain cars and trucks equipped with 8.4-inch touch screens from the 2013 model year up.  It includes some Jeep Cherokees and Grand Cherokees, Dodge Durangos, Ram pickup trucks, Chrysler 200 and 300 sedans, Dodge Chargers and Vipers.

Fiat Chrysler will send affected owners a USB drive they can plug into their vehicles to install an update to block the hacking vulnerability. Owners can also download the update directly onto their own portable drive.

This is the first every NHTSA recall for hacking related issues.  I am sure that many of the other manufacturers of "connected vehicles" are having emergency, high level meetings to make certain they don't have similar issues.

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Being Connected

Many blogs ago I warned of the coming of the connected vehicle.  We all love to be connected to the Internet and our family and friends through social media as many of us check our android and I phones before we brush our teeth.  Many people are overwhelmed by the shear amount of email and posts on social media.

Enter a report in US News about hackers targeting smart cars.  Can they in fact hack into your vehicle as  you drive down the road?  The article states, "Security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valaskek recently illustrated the threat of hackers accessing a smart car by remotely controlling a Jeep Cherokee driven by a reported from Wired, who later documented the experience."  These folks were able to gain access to the Jeep's computer network which allowed them to control the steering, brakes and transmission while the reporter was driving.

Google is currently testing driver less vehicles which one would assume is using some combination of GPS and wireless Internet to navigate our roadways.  I used to worry about the possible drunk driver crossing the center line and causing an accident with me or my family.  Now I worry about a hacker sitting in his underwear at home accessing mine or some other smart car and wreaking havoc.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Running For The Board

As in the past our non profit RV park in Gold Bar is seeking candidates to run for the Board of Directors.  This small (1209 space) park needs members in good standing to step up and put their names in the hat for three (3) upcoming, open positions.  After much consideration I have decided to put my name in the hat to see what happens.

I was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board many years ago so I have a clue as to the time required.    Since I am retired I felt I would have the time to invest in the future of the organization.  I bring lots of customer relations, human resources, and financial management experience to the table and I really have no agendas other than maintaining the fiscal responsibility of the park while creating and developing short and long term goals.

We are home until Sunday.  I was going to stay in the park while Mia came home but I thought the better of it when I remembered the parks 30 day rule.  You can only stay in the park for 30 consecutive days before you must leave for a 24 hour period.  This is in addition to the rule that only lets you use the park for 270 out of a year.  The conditional use permit provided to the park by the county sets the rules regarding the use.  So I came home as well, so we don't end up with a violation of the days of use.

So far today, I have filled out the application for the Board and voted in our local county elections.
My next project is to come up with the dates and plan our trip that I described in an earlier blog.

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Coolness Arrives

The Pacific Northwest heat wave appears to be over as Mother Nature's air conditioning as arrived in the area.  We cooled to the upper seventies yesterday and with the overcast I woke up to I suspect we will see cooler temperatures today.

I have been doing a lot of reading lately and often find myself reading the same sentence multiple times before the eyes close and I am gone for a short period of time.  I don't know what it is about reading that knocks me out.  I love to read and thoroughly enjoy the material I am reading and yet I can't beat the dozing off.

I just finished a book called The Happy Camper.  It is available in Kindle version from Amazon for $2.99.  I found it quite enlightening as the author describes how she and her husband made the decision to dump their corporate lifestyle, sell everything and hit the road in an Airstream travel trailer.  She has some very interesting insight to the process and even gives some very good advice about life in general as well as other people in her life.  A quick and good read for anyone interested in or all ready living the full time life.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hot Snohomish Car Show

Sunday we thought we could beat the heat by attending the Snohomish Kia Ha Ya Days early in the day.  It didn’t quite work out as planned.  We arrived shortly after 10:00 o’clock AM to find the temperature had already risen past the eighty-degree mark.  Hot pavement didn’t fair well with Honey’s little paws but I wanted to see the car show or at least the beginning of it so we walked through the Historic Downtown area to the park just past the Visitor Center.

There were several cars, motorcycles and trucks already lined up and some pretty nice looking pieces of equipment with an obvious bundle of money used up in engine, paint and upholstery work.  I walk though the cars snapping photos of some of the ones I liked and thought about how nice it would be to own the 1956 stock Buick Station wagon that was for sale at $23,000 or offer but I keep coming up with all kinds of other fun stuff I could do with that much money so I quickly dosed any thoughts of suffering in the heat as the folks who owned all these cars were going to have to do for the rest of the day.  I decided we had enough and we headed back to the trailer and the air-conditioned comfort it provides.

I was weak for the afternoon, spending it watching the Richard Sherman Charity Soft Ball Game on television followed by another wonderful hamburger dinner, a trip to the pool for an hour of relaxation in the soothing water and some discussion with some of the older members of the park.  All and all a wonderful day.

Hope all is well and thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Barclay Lake

Friday morning started out slightly overcast but there were some rays of sunlight making it through the cloud cover.  It was a bit chilly but it looked like it might turn into the perfect hiking morning.  It has been well over a year since either of us has communed with Mother Nature on a hike.  We decided to take what the Washington Trails folks call an easy hike to Barclay Lake located just east of us on Highway 2 in the small hamlet of Baring. 

You take a left off the highway at the sign that indicates Forest Service Road 6024 and head up a dirt road for some distance.  I didn’t look at the speedometer either way but I would guess it is a good three miles maybe more before it dead ends in the small parking lot.  The roadbed is decent but the width of the road is narrow and in places hard to navigate by another vehicle.  Expect to get scratches on your vehicle from low hang branches and blackberry bushes.

The hike it 2.2 miles and the trail winds up and down through dense forest.  Mother Nature is everywhere and with a couple of stops along the way we managed to make it to lake in pretty good time for a pair of older folks who haven’t hiked in some time.  Honey was along and wasn’t being to cooperative on the way to the lake but coming back she was much better.  The trail is easy with some ups and downs and neither Mia nor I started to feel tired or worn until we were about half way back to the trailhead.  We pushed on and returned to the parking lot feeling a little worn out.
It was definitely worth the trip and I would highly recommend it.  For those with more experience I am told the trail continues to another lake further up the foothills with a slightly more difficult trail.  We were satisfied with making it to Barclay Lake.

Hope all is well and thanks for dropping by.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Peace and Quiet

It is early Friday morning as I sit here looking outside while my coffee is brewing.  It appears that we will have another beautiful day here at the trailer and the weekend looks very promising with temperatures in the mid eighties.  This follows a couple of overcast days that produced some drizzle but not enough to make the current fire danger go away.

Wednesday afternoon I smelled smoke like brush burning.  I turned on the fire scanner that I have installed on my Android phone and listened to our local fire company as they worked a 20’ by 20’ brush fire just a quarter of a mile away from the park.  They were using two tenders to provide water since they were out of reach of any hydrants.  Shortly after I started to listen the dispatch called out a fully involved residential fire somewhere in Monroe, WA.  From the sound of the units responding the place was up a dirty driveway on a hillside and very hard to reach.  No hydrants brought the call for tenders to assist.  When dispatch told the commander that the first four tenders on the call list were unavailable he told her that they were in a “defensive posture.”  Another words keep the fire from spreading and let it burn.  Too bad someone’s house had to burn down for lack of water but that is what happens in this area so many times.  Just didn’t realize it was possible that close to a major town.

We haven’t done much since coming home from our long trip except continue to thank God we left the east coast when we did.  Weather conditions have not improved in many of the areas that we visited.  Flood and tornados are rampant.

I am planning another trip that will start in Washington State and travel up into Canada make a loop and come back via Montana and Idaho.  It is a 280-mile scenic trip that appears to be loaded with miles of natural wonders and small towns.  I am thinking late August, early September after we move back to the condo.


Map data ©2015 Google

Today we have some shopping to do and if things go well and the weather turns out the way I think it will perhaps a hike to Barclay Lake a few miles farther east up Highway 2.

Hope all is well and thanks for dropping by.