Outdoor Observations

Fly Without the Fishing

by Rebecca on November 14, 2013

in Outdoor Observations

Keeping it vicarious…


Good Mountain Town Gone Wild

by Rebecca on July 9, 2012

in Outdoor Observations

Just your typical Amateur firework set off 10 feet from you…

I could write a book about Growing Up Garlock. The multitude of traditions, the many little quirks and family style occasions that mostly centered around the Outdoors that I grew up with and still live by. The 4th of July is one of those occasions where the Garlock tribe has always come together for good food and fun times.

Yay for Sparklers

Growing up, every 4th of July was spent camping in the mountains which meant usually I was only given a sparkler or two to light and hold safely over the campfire.

Sometimes other campers (that dared camp within the vicinity of a Garlock camp compound) would shoot off real fireworks and I can remember my elders grumbling about the morons that must want to burn down the forest.

Sparklers roasting over a campfire was actually a real treat in those days.

But about 10 years ago the Garlocks broke a 60 year tradition and found a small town, still in the Mountains of course, to celebrate their 4th of July.

I’ve tried to explain to the innocents who have never experienced a 4th of July in the small sleepy town of Garden Valley that for one night every year, there seems to be no such things as say, laws or even guidelines.

This man came prepared for the war zone

Civil disobedience is almost…expected. 

In the big city of Boise Idaho where I reside, a firework that ‘lifts off the ground’ is considered illegal and the cops WILL come for you if you shoot one off.

An hour away in a typically quiet mountain town, if your firework doesn’t lift off the ground at least 20 feet and threaten bodily harm to those around, it is considered rather boring by the watching mob.

I asked various family members what how they would describe this unique experience and this is what I got:

Cousin: Vietnam War

Aunt: WW3

Friend: Good Town Gone Crazy

Cousin: The War Zone

A Roman Candle Salute

In other words, it’s pretty crazy and all of us go with the full understanding that we will return to the late night campfire to assess the damage and tell our stories of how we got: Deaf ears, burns in various locations on our bodies, burnt eyes from all the debris, holes burned in our chairs and other various collateral damage.

Helmets are advised along with hand held rocket launchers and protective eyewear

We also talk about how it was a blast and we can’t wait to do it again next year.

I hope your 4th of July was exciting, injury free and full of amazing memories!

All photos by my daughter Kaitlyn ~ taken from behind the safety of her camera

Crowds are not a concern, neither are telephone wires…


A Delicate Presentation

by Rebecca on February 18, 2011

in Outdoor Observations

~ Madison River, Montana ~ Fall 2010~

I realize that if I don’t start posting here soon,
I’ll be forced to kick myself out of my own Outdoor Blogger Network.
I think that would be rather embarrassing…

I’m not sure why I’ve been so negligent about posting here the last few months other then I’ve been distracted. I’ve been the person trying to juggle 3 Fly Boxes in one hand while casting to several rising trout from the other. It’s been so long since I’ve actually signed into my Outdooress email account I’m positively frighted at the prospect. Who knows how many waiting emails lurk growing mold. (If you’ve emailed me ohh..in the last 2 months, please, I’ve been in New Zealand fly fishing this whole time and surely you understand)

I think if you take anyones lifeline and stretch it out like a river, it’s bound to resemble the rivers we fish. Stretches when the current of life was slow and meandering and times when the water of reality took on a swift and unpredictable course.

In a way, I guess I got swept out into my own version of rivers life and I’ve been swimming against the current for awhile now. Sadly, the writer in me tends to ditch me in times like this (the reason for the quiet around these parts) but I know I’ll make it back to the bank eventually.

I do have news and I am pretty excited about this upcoming fly fishing adventure: At the end of March I’ll be heading off to attend the FIBfest at Andros South. Can I get a Woot Woot for that?

Of course, I’ll probably be the only one there that has never been saltwater fly fishing for bonefish —ok, make that saltwater fly fishing for anything at all– which will rank me as the newbie in the group. I’m not sure how well my fly fishing for trout, steelies and salmon will translate on a tropical level, but I’m willing to take one for the team and test it out.

I learned to include Bass in my fly fishing abilities last year, I played nicely with Mountain Bonefish (a.k.a my nemesis, the Mr. Whitefish) as well in 2010, so for 2011….I will add Bonefish to my list of fly fishing experiences. I’ll be groveling for advice in the coming weeks…for sure.

I look forward to what 2011 will bring….and getting back into writing again on this blog.

Be Back Soon,


As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been camping off and on for the past 2 months. Now, just for clarification, by camping I mean: In the Outdoors. In a tent. On the dirt. No modern anything. In all the years that I’ve camped, which is the whole of my life, I’d never invested in a decent sleeping bag. This means I had 5 cheap sleeping bags laying around which I would pack into the Fishcruiser and pile around myself in a fruitless effort to keep warm at night. In other words, the last few months my sleep has been cold, miserable and less than desirable.

The Elkhorn of Heat

A few weeks ago, I finally sucked it up and purchased a sleeping bag that promised toasty feet and heat radiating peace. I purchased The North Face® Elkhorn 0-Degree Mummy Sleeping Bag.

Now, I had a few things to get used to with this new sleeping bag. For one, sliding into this new slim version of a sleeping mode lived up to the description of Mummy Bag. Insta-claustrophobia. I had no choice but to stretch out my legs, arms pinned to my sides, shoulders encased, with just my face peeking out.

The second obstacle: Conventional wisdom suggested that in order to let the bag ‘properly heat up’ one must strip down to bare skin. As in nadda in the line of clothing protection. With my previous sleeping bag arrangements, I’d crawl into my bags with wool socks, sweat pants, a sweatshirt, curl up into a newborn position and still freeze my arse off. So the idea of going into the confines of straight bodied claustrophobia without the additional clothing protection went against everything (me) rational. But I did it and the 8 seconds between strippin’ in the tent and diving into cold bag was pure icy agony.

However, I discovered after my first nervous night that I could survive the feeling of mummification and—this is a big AND—I stayed warm. In fact, I was so warm I’d even venture to express that I got HOT. As in camping, in the back country when it was 34 degrees at night and I didn’t experience any of my normal hypothermia related tortures! Each night I was a wee cooking butterfly in her cocoon who emerged each morning rested and ready to fish. It takes alittle wiggle dance to actually get out of my mummy bag, but I didn’t mind. I was warm all night! (Ok, there was the issue about leaving the cocoon in the buff and diving into clothes, but I’m not complaining)

It was after a week or so that I had been lulled into a false sense of sleeping utopia when I was instantly awoken around 5:00 a.m. For illustration purposes: I was sleeping on my stomach, mummy zipped up to my neck, arms down to my side when—and this is a big holy shit WHEN—-I woke up with an unmistakable feeling of something inside my sleeping bag, crawling over my ass. My bare ass mind you. I’m pretty sure my body did an involuntary jolt and I felt that something run up my bare back to my shoulder blades.

I tried to pull a Superman. You know, when he bursts out of his street clothes, shredding them to bits and  flies off into the sky. Cept’ it was me, mummified and trapped in a cozy warm tomb with SOMETHING that suddenly became just as alarmed as me running around on my back. I jolted, I twitched. I convulsed. I swirled and twirled. I may have even dropped a few vocal F-bombs……As the IT clawed me, I clawed for my mummy ripcord.

As soon as I escaped the tomb of terror, I fled to the corner of my tent, grabbed my flashlight and looked for the nasty little invader. And there, under the bright glare of my maglite, I spotted a mouse. Now, under normal circumstances I don’t have anything against mice, no irrational phobia, no heebie jeebies……but at 5 a.m. discovering one crawling over my bare ass in my sleeping bag flipped some sort of switch in my mind and it was GAME ON!.  I’ll just say, it became boot against one springy little mouse bastard. Those things can jump and spring and fling and run!

Score one for the Kenetrek boot.
Thank you very much.

I’ve heard the rumors before.
The Outdoor legends about snakes, animals, and bugs crawling inside a sleeping bag to shock an unsuspecting camper, but until last week I’d never had the pleasure of such a personal invasion. Surely something like this has happened to someone else??

(Un) Official Northface Elkhorn mummy bag review:
1) The feeling of claustraphobia goes away in one restful nights sleep
2) Keeps a bare body toasty and warm at night
3) Stuffs into a little sack without the irritations of ‘rolling’ it up
4) May attract little/big varmints seeking warm shelter or midnight action
5) Will not rip apart, burst or shred under extreme physical duress/panic/freak outs
6) Could use some work in the “mouse proofing” department (wisely added by Clif of Lunker Hunt)

And lastly: In case anyone is blown away by this killer gear review and runs out to buy a Mummy bag, please keep in mind Brett Colvins ( blog Fly To Water) sage advice:  “The mummy bag also poses a serious threat to those who do not bother to mentally prepare for all possible scenarios. As an example: What do you do if a bear enters your tent in the pitch blackness of eternal night? Do you lose the precious seconds needed to unzip, or do you set the land speed record for the gunnysack race? Personally, I recommend the gunnysack method followed by a “Stop, Drop, and Roll” exit at the 100-meter mark.”


About a Fisherman named Dave Crawford…

June 23, 2010

I like to be taken by surprise by people, the good way that is. I’ve learned through time that admiration for another person can be forged in many ways, and on Saturday I found myself first admiring a certain man for his quiet act of Fatherhood and later for his  more profound jaw dropping actions of a hero. On Saturday the [...]

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Found! Thy Waders Hath Returned…

June 22, 2010

When I wrote my first Lost Ad for the local Newspaper about my wayward waders, it went something like this: “LOST in the Great Outdoors and I’m still crying like a baby. Please help me find my sweet Blue and Gray Backpack that is cradling inside a precious pair of new Patagonia waders that I [...]

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Lost (and never found) In the Great Outdoors

June 14, 2010

I’ve wrote it before here and I’ll probably write it again over time, but I absolutely hate losing flies. It isn’t about the monetary loss with the average 2 dollar fly at risk. No, for me it’s about ‘that’s my little trooper and I’d like it back pretty please’. I do understand that losing flies is part [...]

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March is for Recovering from a Winter Hangover

March 23, 2010

I’m not sure how other people feel about this time of the year, but I’m fighting off the last lingering effects of Old Man Winter rolling me up into a nice sized cigar and smoking me for personal entertainment purposes. I’m not an indoor person and this Lady Bear doesn’t hibernate peacefully during winter. I tend to pout and pace [...]

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Warning Signs and Other Perplexing Ideas

December 4, 2009

This is the second edition of Signs that make a person think…What The Hell? The first entry of signs that I had collected from various places is located here ~ Warnings and Other Reasonable Guidelines and I’m happy to say that entry inspired a few people to send over more signs….. Without further adieu ~ This sign was [...]

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Outdoor Adventures: Living The Dream

November 30, 2009

I’ve been known to load up an SUV with bare essentials and fly solo for days on end (sometimes a week or more) adrift and 100% alone. I’ll grab fly fishing paraphernalia, a sleeping bag, a pillow, a few items of clothing, a single cooler for my diet coke addiction and food items if there’s any [...]

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