Saturday, December 6, 2008

Holy Crap We Actually Did It!

Some of you may remember a previous post about Seth and I signing up for a 5K race.... the Snowman Shuffle. It was our attempt at forcing ourselves to run on a regular basis to try and get in shape.

Well, after training diligently for 8 weeks, race day (December 6th) finally came. The weather was beautiful that morning and I was very nervous and excited for my very first race. The race started at 10:00am, but Seth and I were both up and raring to go at about 7:00am. We wanted to make sure we got up to Brigham City with enough time to get our sweatshirts and do a warm-up walk, so we arrived at about 9:00am.

I was surprised at how many people ended up coming to the race. The route followed the area around the Eagle Mountain Golf Course and the old World War II Army hospital buildings.

Seth pulled ahead of me very early in the race and stayed in the group with the faster runners. He did very well and ran the whole time... even up the very steep hill by the golf course towards the middle of the race. He came in 35th place overall with a time around 26 minutes (I'll update this when I can get the exact times).

The Snowman Shuffle course was pretty challenging... very hilly. It was definitely harder and probably about a half-mile longer than what we had trained on, so I thought we both did really good. I was at the back of the middle group (or the front of the slower one!) and came in 56th place overall with a time around 32 minutes. The benefit of me coming in way behind Seth was that he was able to get the camera and take some really flattering pictures of me crawling across the finish line.

Seth mainly wanted to run in a 5K so that he could get a t-shirt. We ended up getting sweatshirts so that was even better. Seth was a little disappointed because red isn't his signature color. I however look ravishing, especially when flashing my million dollar smile.

We both decided that signing up for races was a great motivator for us. I'm sure we'll be signing up for another one soon!

Look We're Festive!

After going for about 4-5 years without a Christmas tree, Seth and I decided this was the year to get one. We didn't have much room for a tree in our apartment, but we squeezed it in! I think it turned out pretty good and Gracie hasn't even torn it down yet!


This year Seth and I spent Thanksgiving with his family up in Idaho. It was nice to have a long weekend to just relax and hang out doing what we like most.

We didn't have our Thanksgiving dinner until Friday so we went out trolling on Thanksgiving Day with Seth's dad on Ririe Reservoir. It was a beautiful day and we almost had the lake to ourselves. It was my first time fishing from a boat and I found it very relaxing slowly gliding across the water with my line in the water, looking around and enjoying the scenery. We actually spotted a golden eagle sitting in a juniper tree near the shore of the lake.

We ended up catching 5 cutthroat/rainbow hybrids and 1 kokanee salmon. It's definitely something I'd like to do again.

Friday was pretty packed with activity. Collette and Rachel's families had both done Thanksgiving the day before and apparently it's a family tradition to go rabbit hunting on the day after. Marty, Arielle, Seth, Grandpa Hanson, and I were the only ones who ended up going because most of the others had to stay back and work on Thanksgiving Dinner #2 (or they weren't big on huntin' wabbits). I didn't know about the tradition and Seth had forgotten about it, so neither of us brought our guns. Luckily Grandpa Hanson was nice enough to let us borrow some of his.

We decided to go hunt out between Sage Junction and Mud Lake. We chased out a handful... 2 jackrabbits, 1 snow hare, and a cottontail, but didn't get off a good enough shot to take any of them home. One of the Smith's grazed the snow hare, but after trying to follow the blood trail for a while, we gave up and let him go.

Am I dreaming or is that a really hot chick with a gun?

We got back from rabbit hunting just in time to help finish up the last couple dishes for Thanksgiving dinner. The food turned out amazing and of course we all ate way too much and had a great time doing so. Grandma Hanson's turkey was delicious and Rachel was the most talented turkey carver we'd ever seen.

On Saturday Seth and I went out fly fishing with Grandpa Hanson on the South Fork of the Snake River. It was a rainy/snowy day but it was fun nonetheless. We caught mostly whitefish and a couple browns. Of course Grandpa out-fished both of us. Every time we looked over he was reeling in another one!

We spent the rest of the weekend catching up on old "Perfect Strangers" episodes with Grandma Hanson, saw the giant trevache (catapult) that the Smith's built, and met up with a couple of Seth's old buddies. Oh and we also found out that Gracie LOVES road trips (OK not really).
It really was a great weekend and as usual we were sad to come home. We can't wait to go back up to Idaho again soon!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Purist

Lately I've been reading a book by John Gierach called "Death, Taxes, and Leaky Waders." It's the first book I've read about fishing and I really love it. Not only do I love his style (personal stories with a humorist twist) but his stories are also true (well, as much as possible considering he is a FISHERMAN).

Quite often I read in bed at night before going to sleep and Seth is there with me reading a book of his own. Those who know me well know that I don't often do much more than smile when I think something is funny. Books rarely make me laugh out loud. But this book has me laughing constantly. Seth is always looking over at me like I'm crazy. I laugh at stuff that regular sane people wouldn't bother to bat an eyelash at. It's so funny to me that I can read this guy's stories and think that I have had the exact same experiences. It actually makes me jealous sometimes because I wish I had thought to write about it first. I'd like to just cut and paste his words as my own but the law calls that "plagiarism"... government... always trying to hold me down.

Anyway, back to my point. In one of the chapters of his book, Gierach talks about fly fishing 'purists'. He labels a 'purist' as one who "fishes exclusively with a fly rod, .... he owns a spinning rod and sometimes uses it, but he doesn't take it seriously, doesn't talk about it much (is, to tell the truth, a little embarrassed about it), and stores it separately from his fly tackle." OK, so maybe I'm a purist. Are you happy? I said it. I'M A PURIST!

I guess fly fishing is kind of like religion. Whatever YOU believe is 'right' and you wish that everyone would just see the light and realize that your way is best. It's not that you look down on other people, you just feel sorry for them because they are missing out on something so much better. Then you try to secretly convert them to your way of thinking by using some sort of tricky covert tactics. They don't realize this of course until it's too late.

In all honesty, up until Thanksgiving weekend this year I thought I was a purist. Fly fishing was the only way to go. I owned a spinning rod, but I thought of it as you would a bike with training wheels. I was too old for that now... too smart... too talented. I'd use it occasionally maybe, just to goof around with, but I was a serious fly fisher now, I couldn't be bothered with that sort of childish riff-raff.

As part of the Thanksgiving weekend plans, my father-in-law thought it would be fun to take Seth and I out trolling in his flat bottomed canoe. I had never been fishing in a boat before, let alone trolling, so I decided to at least try it. Maybe I'd get lucky and catch one of those giant lake fish or something.

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical though. The thought of just sitting on a slow moving boat all day waiting for some fish to bite the line didn't sound like it'd be my cup of tea. I'm not much of an ice fisher because I don't like to just sit and watch a bubble all day. Ditto for the worm and bubble setup on a lake. The bubble is my enemy. I prefer to constantly be casting and moving.

So, there we were, the three of us out on this little boat in the middle of a deserted reservoir. It took a minute to get used to the fact that there was a seemingly endless abyss of frigid water right underneath me, but soon I was relaxed and was just along for the ride. I had to admit it was beautiful.

We trolled along the outside edge of the lake with our copper spooned leaders dragging in the water. I finally learned the reason for the reverse setting on my spinning rod. Wait a minute... did I just say SPINNING ROD? I thought I'd swore those off for life! I was a purist now. Only fly rods right? Wrong.

OK I admit it. I used a spinning rod and I liked it. I liked sitting there in the boat lazily fishing and gazing at the deep green water and blue sky. It was one of the few times that I honestly did not care if I caught a fish or not. I lounged around in a cramped little boat all day eating Hostess chocolate donuts with worm guts on my hands and drinking Dr. Pepper and I liked it. We did catch some fish by the way, but it was more of a pleasant side note. The icing on the cake.

So maybe I'm not a purist. Not quite anyway. Crazy things happen when you keep an open mind and try new things. I better watch out.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Secret to Understanding Women

The million dollar question men always want answered is "What do women really want and how do I understand them?" Being a woman myself, I believe I can usher in some valuable insight. If you understand fish, you know all there is to know about women.

This weekend I was very excited to get out and go fishing. Why? Because I had the new secret weapon. I invented a custom made sow bug. The fish I'm after these days are all about sow bugs. They love them.

The sow bug I currently use is a pattern from the local fly shop. It's called a PMS (ironic, I know). It's a light tan-ish grey color with a hot pink head. The fly works very well, but I knew that I could come up with something better. Those fish would want my fly, they just didn't know it yet.

Little known fact: I keep bug samples from the local river in little glass jars in my sock drawer.
When I designed my new fly I pulled out all the stops. I matched the exact color. I matched the exact size. I put little antennae and tails on it. I could hardly tell which one was real (well, almost). I even weighted the thing with lead on the hook before I tied it up so the 'drift' would be perfect. I tied up about ten of them because I was sure it was going to be the next great pattern. I had to make sure I had enough for myself and for the other fly fishermen on the stream that were sure to come begging for them.

I can't tell you how excited I was to try out my new fly. I had to hold back from pushing my husband out of the way to get to the best part of the river first. I was finally there. I was standing in the river in the best hole and now I was going to catch so many fish my head would spin.

Long story short I fished for an hour with my new fly. During that time my husband caught several fish on the good old standby... the PMS. I didn't catch anything. With great hesitation and sadness, I finally gave in. Those fish did not want what I had. They didn't care how much love and care and meticulous planning and effort went into making it. They didn't want it and that was that. I swallowed my pride, put on a PMS and caught fish.

Now for you men out there that are completely confused... stay with me. I'm about to answer your question. What do women want and how do you understand them?

Why does a fish readily eat something that looks nothing like a sow bug and ignore my fly that looks like the real thing? Why will a fish eat a flashing spinning gold rectangle with red dots on it and not a lure that looks exactly like a fish? Why? BECAUSE THEY CAN. Because they know it frustrates the hell out of you and somehow makes you want more. Figuring out what they want is the fun part. Trying to win them over with what you've got is the whole reason for fishing. It's too easy to just go with what you know works. It's the thrill of the hunt. If I told you what us women want and what makes us tick, it'd take all the fun out of it. It's part of the game and you know you like it. That's why you keep coming back for more.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Foul Hooked Whitey

Right now I'm sitting at my desk at work, thinking about my fly fishing trip up on the Weber River this last weekend, and smelling the empty plastic container that held my spaghetti lunch just a few hours ago. During lunch the savory smell of the spaghetti was heaven to my senses as I wolfed down the noodles to fill my empty growling stomach. Now the container has been sitting on my desk for a few hours and the smell has become more of a putrid nuisance. Apparently it is too difficult for me to rinse out the thin coating of spicy tomato sauce that lingers on the sides of the dish. I prefer to sit here and be disgusted and annoyed. Funny how an empty spaghetti container can bring me back to fishing. Of course, just about anything can make me think of fishing.

Not more than a couple weeks ago, I thought I had conquered my Weber River nemesis. It became my favorite spot. It had everything I had ever dreamed of: beautiful surroundings, close proximity to my home, plentiful fish that I could catch. Not much has changed really, except for the fact that although it still contains plentiful fish, I can no longer catch them.

But that alone isn't exactly true. I caught fish there, just not legally. You want a foul hooked whitey? Coming right up! This week I didn't catch a single fish by hooking it in the mouth. Not one. Foul hooking fish (on accident, I might add) isn't quite as bad as getting skunked, but it's right up there on the same level.

In each hole I fished, I could see at least 15-20 whitefish. You'd think at least one of them would be dumb enough to eat my raggedy looking sow bug. I watched as the school of fish purposely dodged my flies and lined up to let them pass by. At least I gave them some exercise. Sure I may have been too lazy to tie up some decent looking sow bugs before I left that afternoon, but should I really have been punished so harshly?

What chaps me more than anything is that I know whenever I have a less than stellar fishing trip, 90% of the time it's my own fault. Just like this smelly spaghetti container sitting under my nose, I sit here and suffer because I'm too indolent to fix the real problem. It's impossible to be a phenomenal fisherman and remiss at the same time.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Had To!

OK so I know you're all like, "Why doesn't she write about anything but fishing?.... BORING......" Well my answer is... TOO BAD! That's the only exciting thing I ever get to do so that means you all get to hear about it!

I mainly just wanted to post the pictures and brag about the gigantic fish that Seth and I caught last weekend, so if that means I have to write a little bit then so be it. In all fairness, Seth kicked my butt on this trip. I had a pretty crappy go of it until the very end of the day when I caught a huge rainbow. They all seemed to be lining up to jump onto Seth's line. Oh well, I've had my fair share of extremely good fishing days, so I figured I'd let him have one!

We fished on the inlet of Echo Reservoir (I believe it's still considered the Weber River up there). I spent most of my day being pissed off and untangling my line. Seth spent the day whooping and hollering about another giant fish. He was pretty excited and having a lot of fun, so I still had a good time nonetheless.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Need

I miss the emotions I felt as a kid. I watch old home videos of Christmas mornings when I was growing up and almost feel sad for the loss of the ability to exude pure thrill. I can't figure out why I have such a hard time showing people my genuine appreciation for things that they do... showing and telling them how much I love and adore them. There never seems to be words to say how you feel and really get across that deep emotion. Maybe we are so afraid of looking foolish or being rejected that we hold back. We hold back our thoughts, feelings and inner reactions to events in our lives because we are afraid of how other people will see us. Children don't have those fears; they let the world see everything.

Recently I found a path back to those childhood emotions that eluded me. The genuine show of feeling that you need to express or you will explode. Something so intense that there is no time for your brain to stop and ask for approval of the display that is to come.

It's amazing.... Amazing how much a fish can change your emotions. The frustration, anger, pain, madness, embarrassment, rage, joy, elation, happiness, hope, excitement, camaraderie, euphoria, satisfaction and pride that you feel, all because of one little fish.

If you fish, I mean REALLY fish, you know what I mean. How you can be out in the fresh cool water of a river on a chilly fall day and just look in awe at your surroundings. How your heart jumps when you see the first fish of the day dart from under your feet to the dark eaves at the edge of the water. The indescribable joy and excitement that comes from landing that trout you've been after all day. The anger and frustration you feel when everybody seems to be catching those once-in-a-lifetime fish but you. How you can be ready to break your rod in half and go home when a tiny six inch Brown jumps on your fly and teases you into staying six more hours.

That rush of childhood emotion... that's what it is. It's what keeps us all coming back for more. It's our drug, our addiction. We need it.

Meet the Fishing Pros

As many of you know, Seth and I have been taking a fly fishing class. We learned mainly how to fish with nymphs and even learned how to tie our own flys! (You can see one of the beautiful flies I tied in the mouth of the fish above!) We had our last class this past Monday, and on Saturday we went on a class field trip up on the Weber River to practice our skills.

As part of the field trip, the teacher and a few of his helpers would work their way around to all the students to make sure they had their rods and line set up correctly, the casting was good, and most importantly, that they caught a fish.

Seth did really well the whole time and caught a lot of fish from beginning to end. It took me a little while to get the hang of things, but after a very frustrating hour or so, I too began to get the rhythm down and caught fish as well.

We caught browns and whitefish... some in the mouth and others foul hooked in various places. We had a great time and actually ended up going there again ourselves the next day. We couldn't believe how many fish we could see in the water. We were catching them pretty regularly and they were fighting really hard. It was one of the best times I've ever had fishing.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Football and Fishing

My husband, Seth and I have a few running jokes when it comes to football. He actually likes to watch the games... I just like to listen to all the cliches the players, coaches and sports announcers say in their interviews. It's always "we gotta take it one day at a time" and "you gotta give em a lot of credit," etc. It makes me laugh every time.

Seth and I just finished taking a fly fishing class that centered on nymphing. My limited experience in fly fishing up to that point involved only dry flies and I'd found it to be very enjoyable. I was sure after taking the class that I would be the most amazing fly fisher in the world. Or, at least the best woman fly fisher and thus end up getting my own television show, fancy equipment, and a lifetime of all-expense paid fishing trips around the world. Then I'd design my own line of high-end fly fishing gear for women and watch the profits and acclamations roll in. Unrealistic? Nah.

The last part of the class was a field trip up on the Weber River in Utah to practice everything that Navi, our instructor had taught us. The actual field trip wasn't until Saturday, so Seth and I decided to go practice at the designated fishing spot before we went with the class. On Wednesday evening when I got home from work, we drove up Weber Canyon to the Devil's Slide area to fish. Seth had actually driven up to Devil's Slide on Monday to check out the spot and was raving all week about the hoards of Whitefish and Browns he'd seen. When I first got out of the car and looked over the railing down at the deep green holes of clear swirling water, I knew we were going to catch a million fish.

Now as a background, I rarely ever get skunked, especially on rivers. However, I had fished the Weber River several times before and had always been skunked. Not even so much as a nibble. The Weber had become my nemesis, and tonight I was going to conquer it. I was going to make it beg for mercy. The main difference with dry fly fishing and nymphing is a couple split shot weights on the line. You've got to get that bug to the bottom of the river so the lazy fish sitting down there will eat it. I had never tried casting with weights on my line, so needless to say my first few casts were pretty ugly. Instead of the usual smooth, tight loops and straight graceful layout onto the water, the end of my line flew into the river with a haphazard spinning dive. Seth was nice enough to give me some tips though, so after his instruction my cast improved significantly.

Navi had instilled the belief in us that we'd be getting bites on every cast. Every twitch or movement of the strike indicator was a fish, not a snag. I had never used a strike indicator so was not quite sure what a real bite would look like. So, following directions from Navi, I set the hook every time I saw the strike indicator move. I don't know how many times I 'set the hook', but I can tell you that it was never a fish. Seth and I became more and more discouraged as the evening wore on. We kept our distance from each other and silently fumed with agitation. We could see several fish swimming around that would periodically jump, just to taunt us.

Towards the end of the night I set the hook once again and felt resistance. I was sure I had yet another snag. To my surprise my line began moving around and I realized it was a fish! I yelled to Seth that I'd caught one just as the fish jumped off my hook. I never got a good look at it and I didn't get it close enough to even see which one of my flies it'd taken. We ended the trip with my one bite and Seth getting skunked. Before this trip we had done pretty well on all of our fishing excursions. Now, we couldn't catch a fish to save our lives.

On the way home that night we reflected on our experience. Because we had gotten all riled up thinking we'd be catching fish on every cast, we hadn't enjoyed fishing like we normally did. Instead of screening the river for bugs first and catering to the fish like usual, we had fixated ourselves on the idea that nymphing was the way to go and nothing would work better. We realized how inflexible we'd been... thinking that we were already all-knowing professional fly fishers.

Just like anything you practice doing, you're going to have your good days and your bad days. Greatness doesn't come easy; it takes a lot of hard work, patience and perseverance. You gotta take it one day at a time and always remember... to give 'em a lot of credit.

Not to Toot My Own Horn or Anything...

Look, I'm famous!

Field and Stream

They pretty much accept anybody who submits a picture, but I'm still on there, right?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Call Us Crazy...

The other day one of my co-workers was talking about how fun running is and got me to thinking that maybe I should try it... again. I've tried running a few times in the past, but never stuck with it very long. I figured that somehow running is harder for me than everyone else and that my body just isn't designed for it. I always forget about this though and whenever I hear someone talk about running, my brain tricks me into trying it again.

When I got home that night I talked to Seth about maybe starting to run again. We've been wanting to get into better shape lately, but somehow have lacked the motivation (wierd, I know). He said that he would like to try running too and suggested that we sign up for a 5k race so that we'd be forced to train for it or die. For those of you who don't know, a 5k is about 3.1 miles. I'd be lucky at this point to be able to run 1/4 mile.

The race we signed up for is the Brigham City "Snowman Shuffle" on Saturday, December 6th. It is exactly 8 weeks from the time we decided to try running. Oddly enough, 8 weeks is the amount of time they say it takes to train for a 5k, so hopefully that's true. I'm a little skeptical.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A New Addition

Well, Seth and I have been talking recently about adding to the family. I kind of pushed back a little bit, not really feeling ready for that big step... all the responsibility, the extra cost, and the long commitment. But today as we were screening for bug samples on the Weber River, we realized that we had to add the next member of the Hanson family.

At our first stop on the Weber just a minute or so after we got out of the car, I kept hearing a noise and couldn't tell what it was. It sounded a bit like a radio or something at first, but it was so faint and sporatic, I wasn't sure. Finally I heard the sound loud enough to see where it was coming from. There was an old truck next to where we'd parked and underneath was a little black cat, meowing like crazy.

The cat immediately came over to us and repeatedly tried to jump into the back of the car. We could by looking at her she was hungry, she was very skinny. She just kept looking at us with her big green eyes and meowing non-stop. She looked so happy to see us.

We tried to suppress her cries at first by catching a sculpin for her to eat. She was very grateful and inhaled it without thinking twice. However, she continued with her vocalizations. We unsuccessfully tried to catch more sculpin but to no avail. She sat on the bank of the river and cried and cried.

After a while she went into the thick brush and the meowing stopped. Seth and I continued to collect our bug samples (used for fly tying by the way), and both continued to silently wonder where the little cat had gone.

When time came for us to leave, Seth asked me if I would want to take the cat home. I knew he'd wanted a cat and I felt so sorry for the starving little thing. She had clearly been around people and seemed to be well mannered. I didn't have the heart to say no and leave it there, so we decided to go find the cat and bring her with us.

We called and called and didn't hear anything. Finally I heard the meowing again and went back down to the river to find it. There in the thicket of bushes was the cat. I lured her to the edge of a branch and then lifted her off into my arms. She panicked a bit at first because of the water, but we both made it back to the bank without getting too wet. Seth bundled her up in a little blanket and we drove her home.

I went to the pet store to get some food and supplies while Seth stayed back and fed her a can of tuna. When I got back she was still crying so we gave her a small pouch of wet cat food. She inhaled it and continued to cry. We didn't want her to eat too fast and throw everything up, so we waited a while and fed her a bit more dry cat food.

Seth and I were both surprised at how beautiful she was. Aside from a burr or two that was stuck in her tail, she was pretty clean and had nice fur. No fleas or wierd skin problems and besides being extremely skinny, looked healthy. We found that she had been declawed so we're hoping she's already been spayed as well. Best of all, she's litter box trained. Yeah! I think somebody dumped her there by the river for one reason or another. She didn't have much chance of survival, especially without claws.

Seth came up with a name for her after reading a chapter in a book he's reading about "grace." The definition of grace is "Free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God." That cat is probably only alive because of the grace of God. So, we decided to name her Gracie.

On the night of her first day here, Gracie is still crying a lot. We're not sure if she's just traumatized, ill, or really starved for attention. Hopefully after we take her to the vet we'll find out. At least now she's not starving for food. We are pretty attached to her already and are glad to have her in our little family.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Iron Bog Blog

Seth and I spent this past weekend with his family up at Iron Bog campground in Custer County, Idaho. We've had some pretty fun trips together so far, but I'm sure we'll remember this one for a long time.

On our way up to the Iron Bog campground, Seth and I stopped and fished Big Lost River coming out of Mackay Reservoir. It was a beautiful stream and was a really good place to practice our fly fishing skills. I got lucky and ended up hooking two small fish (not sure what they were as they jumped off my hook before I got a good look at them). Seth got skunked which made my already large head grow even bigger. Most days Seth can easily out-fish me, so when it's the other way around, I gotta make sure and rub it in!

Well we probably could have spent the whole day fishing there by Mackay but we knew the family was already up at the camp site, so we decided we better get up there before dinner time (plus we were really hungry). Everyone in the Hanson family was able to come except Scott and Amanda, who were both missed. It's quite the trip to Idaho from Houston, plus after making it through the aftermath of the hurricane a couple weeks before, we decided they were excused.

That evening Seth and I fished the little stream next to the campground and caught 14 small "Brookies." It was my first time catching them and it was a blast. I can see why the Hanson family loves them so much. When we got back from fishing, Tessa was very excited about the Brookies she'd caught with Grandpa and made sure to show them off to us. Marty and Arielle spent the evening hunting for elk, and checking out the deer for the October hunt. This was Arielle's first hunt and she was definitely ready. She was pretty tough and kept up with her dad the whole time. Marty Jr. was a big help keeping the fire going and I've never seen feet dirtier than Calysta's (although Abe was a close second). Rachel was the entertainment for the evening. We all enjoyed listening to her stories while admiring her impressive baby bump.

Mom and Dad Hanson were nice enough to bring the big white tent for Seth and I to sleep in. The wood burning stove was definitely a "warm" welcome at night and before getting out of bed in the morning. Seth was such a good husband and made sure the tent was warmed up before he'd let me get in bed, or out! I'm sure everyone would agree that nights up there got pretty chilly!

Grandma had so much fun!

On Saturday part of the family went on a hike up to Iron Bog lake. It was a steep 1.5 mile hike, but everyone made it... eventually. Just as we reached the lake we even saw a mountain goat way up on the side of the mountain. It was a beautiful lake and the weather was just great. We couldn't believe how big the fish were there.... a mix of cutthroats and cutthroat/rainbow hybrids. I caught the first fish of the day on a fly... the biggest fish I've caught yet. He was about a 2 lb. 18" cutthroat. Luckily Seth happened to be filming my sweet fly fishing skills at the time and caught it all on video. Needless to say I was pretty excited. Anyway, everyone ended up catching a lot of huge fish and we enjoyed eating them that night for dinner! As a bonus Grandpa, Seth and I all heard an elk bugle on the hike back down to the car. We sat and listened for at least a half hour to see if we could hear it again. Grandpa and Seth thought they heard it again about 15 minutes after the first one, but I was too distracted by a wasp flying around my head at the time to notice.

We finally made it back to camp, all worn out, and were greeted by Tessa who said, "Grandpa, can we go fishing?" Grandma, Calysta, and Soren were all pretty tired from their long day at camp and joined us in sitting around the campfire for the rest of the evening.

The next day Seth and I had to go home, so we didn't get to do much except pack up. We were definitely sad to leave so soon and wished we could have stayed a few more days. We really had a lot of fun. Oh and before I forget, the food was great too. The Hanson family has some mad cooking skills! In case any of you wanted that French Toast recipe, this is the link to it. If you want access to all my secret recipes, this is my own page where I keep all the ones I like (shameless plug, I know, I can't help it).

Isn't he beautiful? And the fish ain't bad either!

Arielle caught the biggest and last fish of the day!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Our Fun Little Weekend

Seth and I had both been wanting to hike the Adam's Canyon trail here in Layton for a long time and this weekend we finally did. The hike was about 3.5 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 1187 feet. The trail leads to a 40 foot waterfall which, as a boy scout told us on the way up, "is totally worth the hike."

I think working out in Colorado has put Seth in a lot better shape. We used to have pretty equal fitness levels, but he kicked my butt hiking up there. He could have hiked to the top without any breaks, but I probably would have died had I not pretended to stop periodically to "admire the scenery." So now I guess I'm gonna have to work out in order to keep up with him. Or I could take the easy way out and make lots of delicious food that he'll scarf down, unaware of my secret attempt to bring him back down to my level.
Doesn't he look heroic?

Our friend, Ramona, came up to Layton that same evening and brought her Wii. We had a great time playing Mario Kart, boxing, baseball, target shooting, and Seth's favorite... cow racing. Seth and I both agree that we should definitely buy a Wii for exercise purposes (it's a hard sacrifice I know, but I'm willing to do it for health's sake). We worked up quite a sweat playing those games, especially the boxing. My shoulders are actually sore from all that punching!

This weekend was really fun and I had a great time hanging out with my wonderful husband. We technically have a few hours left before the weekend is over and I'm sure we'll try and squeeze more really amazing things in. Although, I don't know if anything can top BYU beating UCLA 59 to 0 (at least in Seth's eyes).

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Labor Day Extravaganza

Every year the Holley family gets together for our annual Labor Day vacation. This year just happened to be my year to do the planning, so Seth and I decided we'd camp at Potter's Ponds up by Joe's Valley Reservoir. Everyone was able to make it this year although some (Corinne's family) didn't get to stay as long as we would have liked. It was a bit chilly and rainy that weekend and those Arizona natives just can't handle anything below 70 degrees. I think everyone still had a good time though despite the weather and I think the kids especially had fun fishing. Four year old Lily caught 2 or 3 fish all on her own and two year old Ella caught one! Everyone was very impressed with the girls and their karate moves as well.

Seth and I went fishing one afternoon when everyone else decided to take a nap and I got a chance to test out the new fly rod Seth got me for my birthday. I actually didn't do too bad (only got the line stuck in a tree a couple times) and actually caught my first trout on a fly! It was just a little 6 or 7 inch brown but it was the most excited I've ever been about catching a fish.

I'm really glad everyone was able to make it and we all look forward to the family vacation next year!