cat and water

Ah, March. In like a lamb, and out like a lion, at least this year, anyway!

March is one of my favorite months, for a lot of different reasons. For one, my birthday is in March, and has almost always been accompanied by blooming daffodils, and, by the end of the month, trilliums are also blooming in the woods.


And for another, it is when I usually start fishing for springers. I have made a tradition out of starting on my birthday, but I usually don’t see much action until the end of the month, or later. I got my first strike while trolling yesterday, but it didn’t stick, and that was all the springer excitement I’ve had so far this year.

Dynamic Water training

It’s also when I start getting the first kayaking work of the year. I usually have a custom tour of some kind in early March, and this year was no exception. Andrew had someone sign up for one of his Gray’s Bay tours, but his broken foot was still healing, so I took the tour. That turned out to be the same weekend that Jukka Linnonmaa from Kayak Finland came to visit, so he came along with us. It was a beautiful day, as was much of early March, and we made it all the way to Knappton and back.

Jukka and Me at Altoona

Jukka stayed with Don and Kitty at the Inn at Crippen Creek Farm, and showed us slides of some of his paddling travels after dinner. He’s been paddling in a lot of the places that I want to go paddling, like Japan!

The next day he asked to borrow a kayak, and since my other plans for the day had fallen through, I decided to go paddling with him, too; he and Andrew and I paddled to Altoona and back, about 20 miles. On a beach downriver from Skamokawa, Andrew made an incredible find: fossilized teeth and a piece of jawbone from a Pleistocene era horse of some kind. Besides bringing us this amazing good luck, Jukka was great company, gifted me a beautiful Finnish knife, and sold Andrew one of his digital cameras and a waterproof case for a song.

fossil teeth and jawbone

Columbia River Kayaking also held a leadership scenarios training day for Josh and Katie this month, has been busy getting ready for the first of this year’s Exploritas programs, which starts this coming Sunday, and we cleaned up the paddle center in preparation for the upcoming kayaking season, even as we await some kind of news from the bank regarding the future of Skamokawa Center.

high tide at number 35

In between all of this, and occasionally getting up before dawn to go fishing, I overhauled the home website for Red Alder Ranch, cleaning up the appearance a bit, and getting rid of some old, irrelevant pages. I still need to finish updating the links page, but it looks better than it did!

Springer fishing sunrise

I’ve also been engaged in some spring cleaning on a larger, and less “virtual” scale, clearing away some old trucks and boats that are no longer useful, and endeavoring to clean up my shop so that I can work on a couple of boatbuilding projects that have been brewing for a while. Stay tuned for that.

My old, mostly faithful Toyota 4×4 left today, on its way to a new life with a group of young Mexican guys down in Portland. It was actually a little bit sad. That truck was my daily driver for years when I lived down in California. But it’s been sitting in my pasture since 2004, with a jammed up timing chain, and I finally admitted to myself that I really wasn’t going to get around to rebuilding the engine anytime soon, and it was time to move it on.

Toyota truck in the weeds

As if by magic, almost as soon as I started clearing out old projects and cleaning the place up a bit, my good friend Scott emailed to say that he wanted to give me his ’68 GMC pickup, as it was time for him to move it on. What can I say? Nature abhors a vacuum, I guess. I’ll be going up to Seattle sometime soon to pick it up.

Spring Chinook nigiri

Levi did catch a springer the other day, and gave me a piece of it. I cooked some up for dinner one night, but saved the rest of it for some springer nigiri. It was as delicious as it looks!

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