Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Few Thanksgiving Giblets ~ Damsel Style

Thanksgiving is a day when many Americans gather together with family for an afternoon of food and football, but just how far do people travel to spend turkey day at Grandma's house?  The AAA estimated that 42.2 million Americans traveled more than 50 miles over Thanksgiving weekend last year. 
Here are some fun factoids...errr...giblets for you.

1.  The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys—one fifth of the annual total of 235 million consumed in the United States in 2007—were eaten at Thanksgiving.

2.  Cranberry production in the U.S. is expected to reach 750 million pounds in 2011. Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are the top cranberry growing states.

3.  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long. It was baked on October 8, 2005 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, and included 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon, 2 pounds of pumpkin spice and 250 pounds of crust.

4.  The sweet potato is most plentifully produced in North Carolina, which grew 972 million pounds of the popular Thanksgiving side dish vegetable in 2010. Other sweet potato powerhouses included California and Mississippi, and the top producing states together generated over 2.4 billion pounds of the tubers.

5.  Though many competing claims exist, the most familiar story of the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in present-day Massachusetts, in 1621.  Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a harvest feast, acknowledged as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations.  The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three daysMore than 200 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. Congress finally made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.

6.  The top five most popular ways to serve leftover Thanksgiving turkey are: sandwiches, soups or stews, salads, casseroles, and stir-fry.

7.  Only tom turkeys gobble. Hen turkeys make a clucking noise.  A large group of turkeys is called a flock.

8.  Several Thanksgiving day parades are broadcast on television. These parades are organized by big stores in several American cities. The parade organized by the Macy's store in New York is the biggest. Giant balloons 200 meters high float above the street. The balloons are in the shape of creatures from popular cartoons and television programs. People on the ground hold heavy ropes so the balloons do not fly away.  Hey...Look!  It's Mr. Potato Head!!

Stemming from traditions seen in Europe, the first parade was put on by Macy’s employees who were first-generation immigrants wanting to have festivals similar to the ones their families experienced growing up in Europe.

9.  Thanksgiving also is a time when Americans share what they have with those who do not have much. Churches and other groups provide free meals for old people, the homeless, and the poor. Many Americans give turkeys or other food to these groups. Some spend part of the day helping to prepare and serve the meals.  Several families in my neighborhood go downtown in the morning to the homeless shelter.  It is a great experience to volunteer and share time with those that are so truly appreciative.

10.  Did you know that the River Damsel started her blog on November 24, 2010?  Yes, my friends, the blog has done it's best to bring you some type of reading enjoyment these past 4 years.  This will be the 349th post.  There have been 230,000 pageviews on those posts, along with 3,800 comments.  I know that it wouldn't have been as successful if it wasn't for my wonderful readers and commentors.  So, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  

I have thouroughly enjoyed my time with my fellow bloggers.  Your stories and postings are often inspirational to me.  The friendships made are definitely a bonus... I love meeting my fellow bloggers in person and to be able to fish in different parts of the country from time to time.  = )  It has been a great experience.

It's been another great year.  A very memorable one.  Some amazing fly fishing trips to write about.  A very lucky girl am I. The writing has slowed down a bit this past year.  But, when life gives you a little health hiccup to fight, all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and do your best.  Funny, how fishing can make most of the aches and pains subside for a little while.  Maybe that is why I haven't put that fly rod away yet... Ha.  It soothes the body, the soul, the mind.  Be good and enjoy your time with family and friends during the upcoming holidays.  Give out as many hugs as you can.  For this life is about people in your life, not the material things one gains. Be grateful for all that you have.  I love you all.  Happy Thanksgiving!!  


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Planning That Expedition ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

Yes, I'm still here.  It seems that I write less and less these days.  Or maybe it is the fact that I am fishing more and more.  Regardless, it is getting to be winter around here and that calls for one last weekend trip.  Somewhere warmer.  Somewhere close, but still far enough away.  So, let's see where I am at in my planning.

First, it was to the internet.  You need to check your resources!  What is fishing well in the early winter season?  I first go to the Utah Division of Wildlife.   It pinpoints the fishing hotspots in my home state.  And a pretty good report on how the fishing is doing in each location.  Then, there is Facebook.  There are always others out there on the beaten path before you.  Yes, truth be told, I am not always fishing.  = )   And I might not be as reliable as Sacagawea.   Sometimes, other's knowledge and direction can help!

Lewis, Clarke, and Saci.
So, with my research in hand, I write down three possible places for my cold weather...err, wishing it was summer destination.  No, I can't afford to go to the Bahamas right now.  So, I figure that I can drive 3-5 hours at the most.  Off to Mapquest.  I need to check out my three possible destinations.  Miles, fuel cost and driving hours will be evaluated.  Will it be worth going to Plan B over Plan C and driving that extra hour?  Which roads are the safest, quickest, and best for fuel economy? (I personally don't like two lane highways) 
Or one lane...  Yeah, I don't think so...

Then, we need to look at lodging, since camping is out in 32 degree temps.  Troutrageous Mike came up with an idea today... But, yeah, a little too brisk this time of year to be hauling trailers of any sort... even a mini.

 I am one to find the dirt cheap motel that looks somewhat safe.  Haha.  So, I head on over to the internet again or go to my resource of friends who have been there before.  I have done pretty well in this category.  I can honestly say that I have been happy with my choices until the last trip.  Well, so I'm batting .925... Sometimes cheap isn't better as they say.  Lol.

And always have a back up plan with another motel phone number to call in case you get to your destination and you change your mind about staying there.  = )   I've changed my mind before... Well, I am a woman!  Ha.

Next, the weather report.   You didn't think that I would miss that little piece of information when heading out on a fishing trip, did you?  Weather is a crucial part of this early winter trip.  Don't want to run into any icy roads if I can help it.  So, I add the forecast to my columns of info in front of me.  

And finally... a call to the local fly shops to see what their fishing and weather forecast really is.  Hopefully, this helps in the final decision.  Get dialed in.  And a report on what the fish are eating is also important, as you might be able to whip up a few flies to take on the trip.   Get their store hours and pay a visit too, as they might have a pattern or two that are working that you don't have.

So, I have pretty much made my decision...  Now, to round up the troops and coordinate.  I'm so glad that my fishing buddies like to travel as much as me... The last trip of the year is looking pretty good.  Got my handwarmers and my "technical clothing" to keep out the cold.  Yeah, too bad Mexico was scratched off the list...  

But, it didn't really look that goooood anyway!  = )

Stay tuned!  I will report back after Thanksgiving.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Rowing For Pink Stripes ~ Part 2

The journey would continue to catch the ever elusive brown trout.  Funny, I catch more browns than any other species.  But, for some reason, they were not to be found on this trip.  Ernie and his son Squiggy would meet up with me on the water for Days 4 and 5.   I have had the privilege of fishing with them for a few years now.  We have fished all over Yellowstone National Park, Montana and Idaho.  Ernie and Julie have their digs next to Henry's Lake, ID., so Ernie decided that we should take advantage of some fine cuthroat fishing in the lake.  But, every good fisherman knows that you should have a good breakfast before heading out because it might be awhile before you eat again.  And a boat full of chips, cookies, and pastries isn't going to give you the proper nutrition for the day... haha.

Ernie wanted to make everyone "Hole in Ones".   I had no clue what he was talking about.  (My family seemed to know what they were when I got home...)  Anyway, I had a little cooking class from Master Chef, Ernie.  I embellished them a bit,  making it "a la French Toast" around the egg.  And it was YUMMY!!!  Gotta have maple syrup... right?

And we were off!  In search of a Cuthroat, a Brookie, or a Rainbow trout...

And by the end of the day, it was time to enjoy the sunset and the stillness in the air...

The final day would bring us to more stillwater action in another lake.

Squiggy showed us how to get it done.

And his dad, Ernie follows suit...

The pressure is on as I watch these guys slam it.  

We all got into fish and enjoyed a great day on the water.

Another great trip in the books.  A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone that made it happen!

From Ernie to Squiggy to Julie...

Now a little slideshow to wrap up the Pink Stripe Adventure...

Fall 2014...The Pink Stripe Adventure from The River Damsel on Vimeo.