Poronui, Taupo New Zealand. Wednesday November 18, 2015

Today’s fruit with granola was pineapple and coconut!

My fried egg.

After Steve and the rest of the anglers and guides took off in the helicopter I was going to try to go for a ride. Last time I rode was in New Mexico where the elevation was 9000 feet and I got very tired. Here the the elevation is 2250 so I hope to do better.

This field is where cattle wintered over. Turnips are planted and the cows feed on them all winter. First they eat the greens and then they eat the turnips.

These are our horses for the ride. I had Shelby, the dark horse.

This is where we stopped for lunch. Dismounting was quite inelegant as my hips got stuck on the back of the saddle. When my guide helped me lifted my leg up I fell right to the ground! I landed with a quick soft thud! I can be quite the klutz at times! Years ago when Sally took dance classes I took a summer class with her. We were supposed to dance across the room doing jetés across the room. I couldn’t stop and ended up crashing into the wall! We all had a good laugh at that!

We remounted after lunch and I was able to walk, trot and canter on the ride back.

Dismounting at the end of the ride was a lot easer as there was a mounting block!

After my ride I asked to check out the wine cellar, which was in the building I showed you yesterday.

It was gorgeous.

There was a bottle from 1967 that I wanted to google a price for but couldn’t find it on line. Not sure if it is vinegar now or superb. It’s not mine, so who cares?

Steve’s fishing locations are all pretty much inaccessible unless you chopper in. It would take days of hiking to get to where he goes via the helicopter. Yes, this is an extra fee, but if Steve doesn’t fly to the spots where the water is fishable, he can’t catch fish! Here are some pictures from his trip today.

I went to town with one of the other guests here who is a non fishing spouse. She needed to mail a package at the post office.

Lake Taupo. A former caldera like Lake Tahoe. It is the largest lake in the Southern Hemisphere. In Taupo I bought three pairs of pants as I thought that I had left a pack with seven pairs of pants on the bed at home! Three weeks vacation with one pair of jeans and two dress pants wasn’t going to cut it for me!

A beautiful fish that Steve caught! This fish was 8.25 pounds! The fish was 26 inches long with a girth of 16 inches. This was Steve’s personal record to date, so I would consider the trip a success so far!He fished the Rangatikei and caught five fish for the day. This stream was bigger, but easily crossable at the tails of pools and wider riffles.

The helicopter approach for Steve’s pickup at the end of his days fishing.

This is where it landed!

The view on the way back.

Appetizers after fishing was beef on a bun.

Chicken pate (not raw).

This I never really figured out what it was!

Nor this one!

Beautiful flowers in the lodge.

Romaine hearts with a chorizo creamy dressing.

Roast pork with twice baked mashed potatoes.

A vegetable medley.

Flan for dessert.

How many pairs of black pants do you own?

How much clothing do you bring on vacation?

Steve’s beard looks a lot less white today. Do you think he packed some Grecian Formula to darken it up? Just asking for a friend.

Poronui, Taupo New Zealand. Tuesday November 17, 2015

Today it is supposed to be sunny and 69 F! Since we are in the Southern Hemisphere, that means we are in late spring!

I wonder what’s for breakfast.

The beautiful spread of fresh juices, coffee and granola.

The sandwiches for the guides and fly fishers!

Delicious banana apple muffins.

Cantaloupe with raspberries.

Omelette for Steve.

Fried eggs for me.

After breakfast we met Duncan, Steve’s guide, and I checked out where the helicopter would land.

Steve with Duncan his guide.

Flyagra for flies that sink instead of float.

Steve’s gear ready to go.

Waiting for the helicopter to arrive.

The helicopter lands outside the lodge. Helicopter flights are an extra charge. A very expensive extra charge, but if you don’t fly out, you won’t find fish!

Loading up and they are off!

After I saw the anglers and the guides off I decided to take a walk to find someplace comfortable to read (besides our cozy cabin with comfortable chairs, a coffee table for my feet, a kettle to make tea and a drink stocked refrigerator. Remind me again why I wanted a walk?)

Over the stream that ran behind our cabin I wandered. If it hadn’t have rained so much in the past few days Steve might have been able to fish here.

I found an outdoor pavilion where barbecues were probably held.

Then I wave Hi to the horses, I was planning on riding the next day.

I thought I finally found my perfect spot. Sofas, lots of natural light and a beautiful trophy specimen on the wall. I think that it was a 16 pointer! Although the room was pretty, the chairs all faced inside and not toward the view. Plus there were so many flies buzzing in the room I couldn’t stand it any longer!

So I trudged back to the lodge but by mistake took the upper pasture because I saw the lodge in the distance. Unfortunately I was supposed to take the lower pasture!

So after walking back and forth I finally figured out my mistake and made it back in time for lunch.

A lovely garden salad.

A cheese plate and fresh grated beets.

While I was reading today and exploring Steve was off fishing. Here are some pictures Steve took from the helicopter, some of the places that he fished, and the fish that he caught!

After Steve was done clambering in the streams Steve had to hike to a meadow to wait for the helicopter to pick him up. Steve told me that I would have divorced him if I would have gone along. He is right. I stroll, I don’t do whatever he was doing!

Steve fished theUpper Mangamarie above tree line. He described it as follows: It was super clear, about 200 cubic feet per second. It was tough going due to gorge sections that require scrambling “up and over” cliffs and deep pools. I caught 3 rainbows. Steve has told me since that it was one of the most difficult days fishing that he ever had. Not only were there cliffs, but he had to climb them wearing waders and his fishing boots!

Two of the fish weighed 4.5 pounds, one was 5.5 pounds.

Later in the afternoon the helicopter returned Steve, Duncan, and the rest of the anglers and guides. Then after showering and changing it was time for dinner.

For appetizers we had bacon wrapped figs, they looked too rare for me to eat!

Curry chicken wings.

Green lipped mussels, which are a Kiwi (New Zealander) favorite! Mine too!

Cheese straws.

Meat with vegetables.

Chocolate lava cake (lava was set and not oozing.)

Can you believe how white Steve’s beard was?

Would I have physically been able to clamber all those rocks like Steve did?

Weren’t those bacon wrapped figs disgusting?

The High Lonesome Ranch, De Beque Colorado. Tuesday September 6, 2016

Steve and I headed down the road to the main lodge for breakfast. Steve would be going off with a guide and I was planning on riding.

Fresh yogurt at breakfast.

Granola and fresh fruit.

More berries.

Quiche with a avocado.

I went on a ride with my wrangler.

She took a picture of me facing both directions!

I spied some deer outside our cabin after my ride.

I went back to the lodge to look around. If you wanted to you could hang out at night around a fire pit. We never did!

My sandwich. Brisket sandwich with match stick french fries.

Lunch included some great cookies! Many chocolate chips in these cookies.

Before Dinner Steve got to sign the book at High Lonseome for getting a grand slam. He became a member of The Grand Slam Club. There had been only 8 people so far this year to have reached this highly coveted accomplishment! He caught a brook, cutthroat, cut-bow and a brown trout. He got a special pin and bragging rights. All the fish have to be caught in one day. There was much festivities involved with the announcement, the chart signing and then the pin presentation. Well done Steve! Not for nothing, but Steve is generally one of the best anglers anywhere he goes!

Steve caught 23 fish this day including this four pound Rainbow!

Dinner started with a Frisée Salad and a fried egg on top.

Fresh rolls in butter.

Cassoulet with rabbit, elk and venison.

Apple Crisp ala mode for dessert.

One of the guests was Gennifer with a G. She loved Orange!

She had her orange hat!

And her orange boots! Gennifer with a G’s boots and hat were all custom made.

What is your favorite color?

Did you know that there used to be a car dealership in Albany called Orange Ford?

Their billboards had on them “What color is your Orange Ford?”. I thought that was the greatest. Unfortunately they were acquired by another dealership.

The former manager of Orange Ford was accused of embezzling over $750,000! So my next question is…Have you been caught embezzling over $750,000? I have no interest in any amounts under that number.

Coyhaique, Chile. Wednesday January 11, 2017

It appears that I posted Thursday’s blog post before Wednesday. Oh well, here is the proper post. Reread Thursday’s again before I post Friday and you will be all set!

Wednesday morning! Since Steve was such a good sport in spending the day with me yesterday, I told him I would tag along with him today. I always say that I don’t want to get between him and a big fish. Steve says that he doesn’t mind. I hope I catch at least one fish and he gets the big ones!

Here is an exposed copper cut in the rocks. See the green? That is oxidized copper!

Steve and our guide for the day, Troy. They are looking for fish.

Steve looking at the condors. They are somewhere above us.

The two black spots above Steve’s head are condors.

Here is a video of them. Don’t worry about the above picture being sideways. The video plays normal.

Armadillo road kill. These guys are very hairy. This one was very flat and hairy.

Steve casting. I fished a little bit, but as I had no luck I found a nice log and leaned against it while I read a book. It sure was difficult getting back up again! You can see why Steve enjoys fly fishing so much. The countryside here is gorgeous.

Here is Steve landing a fish. Did you know that in 2016 Steve caught 2028 fish? C’s husband is a big fisherman also. His goal is to go fishing for a week every month of the year. So this is how Steve started his goal (he says I started the goal) of a fish a month until he is too old and decrepit to fish. This is why we are always traveling! So far on the three days he has fished at Coyhaique he has caught 114 fish!

Steve and his nice fish.

The fields were filled with pretty flowers.

Part of our adventure was crossing the barbed wire fence.

Foot placement and hip elevation is important in crossing the fences in your waders and fishing boots.

Steve was more graceful than I was, but he has been doing this for years.

Up and over.

When I went over the fence I was sure I was going to fall on my butt! But I didn’t. Ha Ha!

The signage for roads is great here. You would think with all the gravel roads, they would have lousy signs, but that is not true at all. This is where we will stop for lunch.

So here I am beat and tired and waiting to sit down and eat lunch. I almost caught an 18 1/2 inch fish. I lost him just at the end as the guide was unable to net him. Steve and all the other guests at the lodge say that the fish counted as it was operator error by the guide in not netting the fish. Steve caught quite a few fish in the morning. I only wanted one little fish. I was not happy to have the big fish on. When you don’t understand what the guide is saying because you don’t know the lingo it makes it difficult to land the fish. For some unknown reason, this is one of Steve’s favorite pictures of me!

This was my throne at lunch.

Steve is showing a gate where some sheep wiggle through. That is sheep fleece on the fence.

Appetizers at lunch.

Asparagus soup.

Lunch was potatoes, and pork with tomatoes and onions.

Our fancy lunch set up. Now ordinarily Steve does not look like an 80 year old man without his dentures. I must have taken the picture of him mid chew.

Dessert was rice pudding. It looked even worse in real life.

Here is a grey may fly. This is what the fish are eating. The fish eat them up like crazy!

It’s time for Pisco Sours! Can you believe it is 8:15 pm? The sun won’t set until 9:30!

Here is Julio with tonight’s snackies.

More empanadas. These are meat, not cheese. I am making Julio a star!

Deconstructed chicken Caesar salad.

Beef with salsa and some potato corn glop.

Tonight’s dessert. Dulce de leche with broiled meringue.

Almost 10:00 pm and it’s still light out!

Julio brought me an after dinner drink tonight. Manzanilla! I think he really enjoyed me taking his picture all the time!

Today Steve caught 29 fish, he would have caught more, but I was fishing also, and enticed some of the fish from his flies.

That’s it for today!

Have you ever seen a dead armadillo?

How about a live one?

Should Steve continue his streak, or just go cold turkey and stop the nonsense?

September 4, 2011. Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming

This is a great picture of Brush Creek Ranch. You can see the iconic rock in the middle of the picture. To the right is the main lodge. I haven’t given you the link to their web site yet, so here it is. BrushCreekRanch.com

Here is a picture of me out and about in the RAZR. It sure was fun to drive. Much faster than walking, and easier on the hips than horseback. Steve was out fishing for the day, and boy did he have fun! Twenty nine fish for the day! This beautiful rainbow was from the North Platte River. After lunch, Steve went to Brush Creek and caught this nice brown trout. A beautiful 2 pounds and 17 inches.

Now seeing all these big numbers of fish, you might think that the fishing was easy, and you will do as well as Steve did. I must remind you that Steve has been fishing since he was four years old. He started fly fishing when he was 25 years old. He is 55 years old in this picture. So after 30 years of fly fishing you might be as good as him. Or not.

Steve has remarked to me that many of the guides at Brush Creek love to fish with him as he knows what he is doing. Many of the guests have never fished before, and I would not say they are incompetent, but they are not very good. So it is always fun for the guides to see the guest get some really nice fish.

While Steve was out fishing I planned a special surprise for Steve. At breakfast one of the guests was showing pictures of a private dinner that she and her husband had at Falcon Peak Overlook. It was quite romantic and everyone at Breakfast was so excited! Falcon Peak is at one of the higher elevations of the Ranch. There is a lovely platform there where yoga is held at sunrise and lunches and cocktail parties before dinner are held.

Steve had a half day fishing on the North Platte and then came back for lunch with the rest of us at Falcon Peak. In the afternoon he fished on property on Brush Creek. Now having dinner with Steve at Falcon Peak was going to be a surprise. I had to figure out how to get him there. What was I to do?

Well, I decided to play “Misplacing Linda”. Just before we were going to take the RAZR to the Lodge for dinner I told him that I had left my phone up at Falcon Peak at lunch. We were going to have to go back up there and get it before dark.

So off we went, when we got up to Falcon Peak Overlook, Steve saw that there was a private dinner all set up for two. He told me to hurry up and find my phone as Bruce and Beth the owners of the ranch were going to have an intimate dinner there.

“Surprise!” I told him. This is all for you! Yes, he did actually get a little bit teary. Look how happy we are! Too bad I have a heat lamp growing out of my head!

Here we are, looks like I got quite the farmer’s tan earlier in the day. The couple the night before had a harpist play, that I thought was a bit much. It was more than enough for the two of us to sit and make goo goo eyes while we cooed our endearing love to each other! Who could not fall madly in love with this charmer? Doesn’t that face ooze endearing love with just a sparkle of mischief?

This shows how much sunburn I got. We were at an elevation of about 7500 feet. The air is much thinner there than back home in Poughkeepsie where our elevation is about 200 feet. Here is a picture of our waitress and chef.

I hope you enjoyed this Excellent Adventure as it was our last night at Brush Creek Ranch and it was time to go back to reality in the morning. We had great fun at Brush Creek. We left with our wallet a bit lighter, but hoped to return again next year!

Do you do yoga at sunrise?

Do you like surprises?

Do you misplace stuff?