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August 30, 2006

Fishing is fun

Big enough for 2Last year, we had a really good time fishing here in Yosemite. Water was nice and clean, trees gave cool shades, beautiful scenery and small creatures. It was almost therapeutic just to be in such a wonderful nature. So fishing at Tuolumne river was one of my main reasons why I wanted to come to Yosemite.

Yesterday evening, I had sudden urge to go fishing. It was already getting dark outside, but I had to go. Keath and Kodiak agreed to come with me. We packed fishing tools quickly and started walking towards the dam. Walked around the pond and entered the trail, we realized the level of water was really really low. Even at the dam, water level was almost 3 feet lower than the edge of dam, not like last year with full of water and the width of the river is almost 1/3 of its full width. Instead of water, there's huge sand bar in the middle. Keath checked the shallow stream and noticed some fish still there. If there is fish, we have to try, don't we?

As the result, Keath got a baby (about 6 inches long). Too small to bring home. Say good-bye to the kid and release him back to the stream. See you next year! It's really dark and cold already. I was really disappointed, almost sad to see the changes of the river, no catch and too cold as I forgot to grab jacket. I wish I could come here a couple weeks ago when the river was still full of water and fish.

Good eatDuring Kodiak's walk this evening, we decided to check the other parts of the same river. One section was shallow, but still has nice flow and, and, and FISH! Yey yey yey yey! Sorry Kodiak. We need to go back to RV and get the fishing tools.

I heard it before that "the fish you can see is the fish you cannot catch". I don't remember when and where I heard about this, well, it's true. We can see lots of trout swimming, chasing each other, or making splash right in front of our eyes. But, nobody wants to play with our lure or yummy bites. Smart fish.

After trying different methods, Miki caught 1 good size trout. Clean up and bring it back to home. There must be hundreds of good recipe to cook trout. As fish-eater Japanese, I'd rather cook it simple to enjoy its freshness. Means - salt the fish and gill it on BBQ. I wish we could have wood campfire and grill these fish... It must be the best way to eat fresh fresh-water fish. Unfortunately, the fire danger level is really high in Yosemite and no wood campfire now. (I bought marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers... Sad)

Kodiak is also fish-eater Japanese (dog). He was stirring at our main dish during the dinner. Sorry Kodiak. We can't share this with you because you have very sensitive stomach. Trust me, this is tough love. LOL

August 28, 2006

Blackberry and turkeys

Bears' favorite - BlackberryYesterday, we found blackberry bushes while out walking Kodi. The whole area is covered with blackberry bushes, which are all full of berries. We tasted some and it was really good. So this morning, my main job is - to pick some blackberries! (Not those blackberry device addicts! (CrackBerrys?))

Make sure to wear long pant since blackberry vine has thorns like roses. Tiny, but sharp thorns give your hands and legs nice itchy scratch. Grab a container and my good body Sony CyberShot and go!

At the beginning, I was more playing with thorns than blackberries. Man, such a friendly thorns! It really wants me. After few scratches, I started learning where and how to pick berries. Once I get used to it, I was hopping from this vine to other vine like honeybee. Shortly after, I filled the whole container with blackberries and headed back home.

10 oz of blackberryKeath was impressed how much I picked and decided to weigh it. 10 oz! Wow! That's a lot! hhhmmmm... How are we gonna eat... Muffin? Sounds good. Pancake or Belgian Waffles? Then need whipped cream. It will be nice to throw some in yogurt. O! Blackberry salad dressing will be Nouvelle Cuisine a la Yosemite. LOL

Keath, Kodiak and I went to Jamestown and Sonora in the afternoon. While cruising in Sonora, we saw a sign said "Turkey Ranch". That sounds much more fun than walking around the old downtown area. Let's go check the big ugly birds.

Well, turkey ranch was filled with turkey. Look around you and all you see is turkey. And they are watching you, too. For some reason, Watching the farm instead of something like petting zoo I expected to see, I was overwhelmed by hundreds of turkeys and their smell. Take some pictures and drive back to the town.

Shine like cavier

To see turkey pictures? Click "Continue reading"

Kodiak seems he doesn't care about turkeys. I guess there were too many of them and not wild ones. But Kodiak loves cows. Even he is sleeping, as soon as he hears the word "Cow", he jumps up and come to check outside. We have no idea why he likes cow this much. He never encounters any cow from close distance. Not like horses at Rancho Oso that they surrounded poor Kodiak for detail inspection. (Since then, Kodiak always keeps nice distance with horses)

Turkey, turkey, turkey What up? More turkeys more

August 26, 2006

Way to Yosemite

Are we there yet?Yeah! We finally made it to Yosemite! We put up with the delivery nightmare of Data Satellite System just to come to Yosemite. And here we are in Yosemite at the first time this summer.

Left Acton in the afternoon yesterday. Took care of some errands before leaving LA, then headed up north. Our plans is drive as far as we could and stay at a Wal-Mart parking, and leave early in the morning to get to Yosemite. Hopefully we can reach Fresno before midnight.

Since there wasn't any traffic, Keath pushed more and more and at the last, he decided to spend the night at Wal-Mart in Turlock. This is the first time we spent overnight at a Wal-Mart. It wasn't bad, actually, it was nice and safe as 3 security constantly checking their parking lot all through the night. I was way too tired and crashed, but even security alert man, Keath, had a good sleep after confirm that Wal-Mart parking is much safer than he thought.

Strange name 1/2Got up early and get ready to move. Well, we meant to do that. Just needed to fill RV, get some parts for RV, grocery shopping, etc took longer than we calculated originally. No problem. It's still before noon. LOL.

No major traffic or anything until we hit the notorious Priest Grade. The old one is too steep for RV, so we took new PG. In the middle of steep hill, they were re-doing the road and controlled 1 lane traffic. Luckily, we didn't need to wait too long to pass the section.

After Priest Grade, enjoy the scenery and cruise to Yosemite Lake. We hoped we could get the same end site as we had last year. Unfortunately, the new manager of the park changed the whole area designated ONLY for the park employees. That's not fair. They have 50amp power (even it's metered) while the rest of the park have only 30amp hook-up. And that area gets the best satellite receptions, too. Oh, well. That's bummer. Hope this is not the sign of "not so happy changes" by the new park management. Hey, we would love to see "Improvement" for members. Of course, happy employees will serve better. Then, make members happier, please.

BTW, our moving house hit 55555miles on the way to Yosemite. Here's some memorial shot.

55555 miles☆

August 24, 2006

The harvest of hard work

The REAL ORANGE JUICEGood news! We've changed, modified, postponed, cancelled our trip to Yosemite this summer, but, but, but, finally we could adjust all known schedule and make Yosemite trip happened! We will leave Los Angeles tomorrow no matter what. Cross fingers for us!

Couple days ago, Keath stopped by his mom's house on the way back from work and brought a big bag full of oranges. There's an old orange tree (and a lemon tree) in her backyard. The taste of fruits varies every year depend on weather, sun, water, etc. According to Keath, this orange tree hasn't produced good oranges for a while. For some reason, this year, the fruits became super sweet. So Keath's mom shipped us some to make orange juice.

OK. First, rinse all the oranges. They are not big, rather small size oranges with really thin skin. Then, cut each orange in half and hand squeeze. It's not easy task as she gave us more than 30 oranges, but when I taste some, OMG, all the hard work was rewarded! It's incredibly sweet. No tanginess, and no bitter & sour flavor. It's just pure orange sweetness! Forget about those "juice from full-grown on the tree oranges" you see at stores. This is the REAL ORANGE JUICE. Now I'm happy! Appreciate the sun and did happy dance.

The mom's orange juice was so great, I had to pour some for Keath. He was on the phone when he sipped some and I can see his eye blow raised with unexpected delicious fresh juice. He's not a orange juice person usually, but at the dinner, he requested the REAL ORANGE JUICE as the choice of this drink. Please save some for the weekend. We can have Mimosa with breakfast. It will be awesome!

So what happened to the orange tree to harvest amazingly sweet oranges this year? Did we do something special this last year? Maybe because mom fed the fertilizer for citrus tree? Maybe because of not enough rain? Maybe she trimmed some overgrown brunches?

I know the truth. She had Kodiak all through the last winter. That made the major difference from regular year. (You dig?) Kodiak did work hard to let us enjoy the harvest. Good job and thanks, Kodiak!

August 22, 2006

Wild Raccoon Party

The sign of raccoon visitWe had unexpected visit from young raccoons last night. They were totally wired and had fun playing around our RV. I say they had too much fun.

This morning, with mix feeling of curiosity and worry, I searched around RV to see there is any signs of the raccoon visit. First thing I noticed was a clear paw-print right next to BBQ on white tablecloth. That's right. We used BBQ to cook bacons 2 days ago and oil receiving pan was full of bacon grease. It seems raccoons either "wash" or "dip" their paw into bacon grease and walk around the table. As I get closer look of the table, I found more paw-prints even on the spatula and BBQ cleaning brush.

Keep looking around the area and realized there are more paw-prints on Keath's kayak, which was stored in between the table and RV. At this point, I couldn't stop laughing. Well, continue the investigation. I remember I left cargo basket on the kayak, but it's not there. Hhhmmmm. I wonder what happened to the basket. Here I found a paw-print shows that the owner of this paw-print stepped, slipped then slid to the underneath of RV with cargo basket. Yes! I was right! There I can see the parts of the basket with another paw-print are sitting under the rig. The clunk, ting, scratch and noise last night was him kicking the basket around and sliding.

I have no idea what was the occasion of their wild party. I wish I could take more pictures last night. Hope they are coming back tonight.

Paw-prints around BBQ Paw-prints on Kayak Slip & slide One more paw-print

Band of Raccoons

Racoons wild partyKeath came home late last night. Kodiak was so happy to see Keath and was laying on the floor watching Keath eating late dinner. Suddenly, Kodiak got up and went to the door to inspect outside. He persist there's something going outside so Keath grabbed flashlight and went outside to check the area. Then, I heard "Mikki, come here quick. There raccoons all over the front yard!" Hearing the word "Raccoons", I immediately rushed outside. You wouldn't believe how many raccoons were around us. 2 there, 5 on this tree and couple of more on that tree and more. I ran back to RV for camera and started taking pictures. We have no idea where they came from. Most of them look young kids.

After Keath took off to Jacuzzi, Kodiak and I could still hear all sorts of noise around our RV, like clunk, scratch, ting, etc. I guess I'd better check the damage in the morning...