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I remember my AA sponsor telling me, many years ago, “If you want to hear GOD laugh, tell him your plans.”

On May 15, 2019, I entered the hospital with what I thought was acute appendicitis. I was wrong. After a CAT scan, I was informed that I had a blockage in my lower colon and a tumor on my left kidney. I was immediately prepped for abdominal surgery, which was performed by a great doctor who had been a combat surgeon in Iraq. He literally saved my life. He and an associate removed a two pound mass which turned out to be benign, I spent two weeks in the hospital and now have a permanent colostomy bag.

On June 27, I will travel with Ally to Spokane, WA – to have a biopsy performed on the tumor on my right kidney. I will then meet with my Urologist to determine the next course of action…

 

Today, this happened:

I have been graced with gifts beyond my wildest expectations…

 

 

PT/TB

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So yesterday, 5.11.2019 Michael and Aimee ventured up to Esopus Creek to wet a line. He caught several nice Browns and got to spend a beautiful day on the water…

Esopus Creek, New York

He worked a streamer…

…through the above run and let this guy go…

He tried this Iced Apple Caddis pattern that I tied up for him in 2015…

…and got this Brown…

Two others as well !!!

 

…way to go son … 😉🍏

 

 

NEXT: Some ties for Kelly Creek, the Locsha and Selway Rivers in Idaho…

 

 

PT/TB

Six months certainly makes a difference in driving conditions. It would seem that Winnemucca, NV is the halfway point for things to get more snowy, icy and cold. It was a beautiful sunny day in Los Angeles when we left Ally and Hero’s home with Jean Marie in Simi Valley to make the two day drive back to Eastern Washington…

Heading up to the Santa Susana Pass on the 118 West…

Cresting the hill…

Lovely Lake Palmdale, CA and into the upper desert…

Up a slight grade and headed into Red Rock Canyon State Park

Why it is called Red Rock Canyon…

A better view of the canyon…

Highway 178 West… just ahead. This turnoff takes one to Walker Pass, up to the Chimney Peak road, Lake Isabella, Kernville and the Kern River. I have taken this exit hundreds of times through the years…Back in the day, there was a phone booth next to the sign…windiest phone booth on the planet…

Little Lake with ice. No fishing allowed here. It is private property !

Red Hill and Fossil Falls. When Michael was a toddler, this signaled we were almost there. There being Lone Pine, CA…

Ranch House Cafe in Olancha, CA…I have been going to this joint forever when traveling up and down 395…

A cottonwood tree standing guard on a cow pasture with Owens Lake in the distance, in Olancha. I parked under this tree many times for a short snooze when traveling up to the Owens Valley to go bird hunting, duck hunting, varmint hunting and looking for bright, shiny black things…

That’s Owens Lake in the distance…

The Dino Hut in Cartago, a couples of miles North of Olancha and the factory of the water stealers…I never pass this place without taking a photo…

Almost there ! Coming into Lone Pine, CA…

Best Western Frontier Motel just outside of Lone Pine. I have been staying here since 1953 when the cost of a room was $6.00 a night. They have a room there dedicated to my Mom…

The main drag in Lone Pine, CA…two of the better local eateries on the right…

The climbing shop was my Dad’s favorite liquor store back in the day and two Trout art pieces on the roofs beyond…

They should be open now…Best hot dogs North of Pink’s in L.A. ...Frosty Chalet, Lone Pine, CA

Heading towards Independence, CA…High Sierra on the left…

On Hwy 6, going North to Nevada out of Bishop, CA…When I was stationed with the 10th. Special Forces Group (ABN), at Ft. Devens, MA…Provincetown wasn’t quite so far away…

Bye California…

The White Mountains, North of Bishop in Nevada…

Pulling into Hawthorne, NV…This town has more ammunition bunkers than anywhere else in the world…Just passing’ through…

Walker Lake, NV…

Booking it through the desert North of Fallon, NV…

…a right turn on Hwy 80 and we are headed East to Winnemucca, NV as the temperature falls and the light fades…

6AM the following morning…

Yep…I remember this place…

North on Hwy 95 outside of Winnemucca, NV…It is COLD !

Paradise Mountain, NV at sunrise…

There are Trout streams up in those mountains …

We didn’t see this on our way down because it was dark…

Bored driver…

Classic Casino in Mc Dermitt, Nevada

Oregon State Line

Coming down the hill into the flatlands of Western Idaho…

Just South of Weiser, ID…

Map of what is left of our journey…

Finally, some mountains in the distance…

North of Weiser, ID…

Cambridge, ID …a good place to visit in the Summer…

Getting closer …

New Meadows, ID

The 45th. Parallel…near McCall, ID

Salmon River just outside of Riggins, Idaho…

Riggins, Idaho…get wet…

Two Time Zone Bridge… Confused ???

The turn off to White Bird, Idaho

Mountains above White Bird, ID…

Last stretch of mountains before Lewiston, ID…

Crossing the Clearwater River heading North out of Lewiston, ID…and yes, that paper mill stinks from miles away…

Heading up the grade…go left…

Yay !!!

Pulling into Pullman, WA…

Downtown Pullman…The Black Cypress is in that brick building on the right…YUM !!!

View of fog from the casa, upon arrival…

Shortly after arriving, we got buried in this for the next seven weeks…

HERO was digging it…

 

 

Next: We shall see…

 

 

PT/TB

 

 

Before leaving California, the majority of the family gathered at The Huntington Gardens in San Marino, CA to spend the day amongst the flowers, bushes and trees scattered on the grounds of this wonderful location…

The grounds…

A familiar face…

First on the tour…

Bright, shiny object…

Lil’ Moo bites…

Miles & Jean Marie getting into the spirit of things…

Lil’ Moo treed…

The usual suspects…

Two Hams that cameras love…

A jungle in this building…

Just beautiful…

Rainforest indoors…

More…

Yellow and burgundy…

Most important discussion of the day. What fly pattern would you use ???

Japanese Garden…

I’ll meditate on this for a few moments…

Of course I’d would be taking a photo of this…

In the Chinese Garden…

Nadia, Jean Marie and Lil’ Moo in a rose garden…

Time to head to Din Tai Fung at the Westfield Mall in Arcadia for the traditional after Christmas Chinese Dinner and to hook up with Nick and Ally…

Foodies…

Lego King Moo scores the big box that was delivered by Nick and Ally…

Michael was still hungry so we stopped for some yogurt…

 

The following day, Michael, Aimee and I hit some favorite eateries and shop in Pasadena…

NIGHT SONG MARKET SILVERLAKE, CA…

Michael in his heaven…Thai food…

Something for HERO at the Pasadena Orvis Store

Michael at Orvis Pasadena, CA…

Maybe something for Ally at the Pasadena Patagonia Shop

The Pièce de résistance…Soot Bull Jeep for dinner… in Koreatown…

Digging in…Aimee & Michael…

Side of spinach…Ally can eat at least three or four of these…

Another side, the name of which escapes me at the moment…

A great layout…and that big spoon is for soup that is coming…

Spicy marinated pork….Mmmmm…

Same pork on the grill with roasting garlic…

Marinated beef…

A mess of plate with Kimchi, beef & rice…dipping sauce at 12 o’clock high…

The soup…ice cubes go into the plastic tumbler on the right to control the burn on the grill…

A gathering of Nadia and Miles Godfather’s for Brunch in Pasadena on New Year’s Day while everybody is at the Rose Bowl for some unimportant football game…

This place, Paul Martin’s American Grill in Pasadena, CA

Those guys…Steve,Lil’Moo,Greg, Nadia&Barry…

OK…I am going with the Steakhouse Cobb Salad…

Greg’s Vege Grill…

Steve went for the fried chicken and mashed potatoes…

Barry had the baked chicken…

After brunch stroll on the deserted streets and byways in Pasadena…

Miles rocking his Razor outside of the Lake Street Mall…

The three wise men…Steve, Lil’ Moo & Barry…

 

NEXT: Up the road II…

 

 

PT/TB

 

 

 

Michael and Aimee took off right after our Sunday brunch and picked up his ride for Death Valley and other environs deserty – thereabouts. What follow are a few photos of that trip and then my venture down to Palm Springs, Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage to spend time with my oldest daughter Nadia, her guys and her Mom…

Michael preps breakfast in the van…

Somewhere out in Death Valley…

Exploring a canyon in Death Valley…

Light and shadow…

Michael and dune at twilight…

Red Rock Canyon State Park

Settled at the campfire…

Past twilight…

 

Down to the Lower Desert

Loading the elf in …

Quick stop at the best bakery in Glendale to pick up a birthday cake for Nadia’s Mother… Porto’s

On the road East of Los Angeles…

The stop at In-N-Out…but of course…

On approach to Palm Springs…

The Casa in Palm Desert…my daughter Nadia designed and built this place for her Mom…

The Christmas Tree…

Dinner with Nadia, Miles and Omi at Tommy Bahama’s in Palm Springs

The usual…

Miles getting the day before, the day before, one XMAS gift to open…

FOXY, it is…all the way from Deutschland…

Chocolate croissant…

…and berries for breakfast the following morning…

Nadia is in charge of overseeing the caterers for her Mother’s birthday party…nice spread

Another view…

Somethings to wet the palate…

Back to the food…

Lil’ Moo relaxing with FOXY…

Ilse had quite a few friends over along with a woman from her church who told me that I had dated her roommate back in 1965, when both girls were students at West Georgia College in Carrollton, GA. That was certainly unexpected, but I remembered. Above is a photo of Nadia’s Mom when I met her in September of 1971…

Something light to eat…

Miles in the jacuzzi  after the guests left…

Sunset in the desert…

I whipped up something to throw on the BBQ along with the jar of cocktail onions that Miles is now addicted too. Yep…he’s a Barker…

All set and ready to go…

Going light…

With Miles and Nadia…

The presents are growing beneath the tree…

 

The following couple of days were spent shopping for additional stuff for the family, just relaxing and doing what we like to do…eat at good restaurants. This spot, in the Hotel Paseo, was a place Nadia had wanted to go to for awhile. She’s also a big fan of the decor…

But first, Miles had to open another present…

Uh-oh…

On the Rodeo Drive of Palm Desert…

“Why R U guys all dressed in black ?”…

AC3 at Hotel Paseo

“You WILL like this place !!!”

“Pick something !”

Caesar Salad…

Prime Rib…

A view of the rear of Hotel Paseo in daylight …

A view at night by the fire pit…

Then there’s the Airstream…

Looking straight up…

The Airstream with elf in the lobby…

 

Now we are down to Christmas Eve and Nadia wants to take the whole gang over to the Ritz Carlton in Rancho Mirage to do a walkabout and snack before we attend midnight church service at Ilse’s church…

A Gingerbread replica of the hotel in the lobby…

That took some work…

Nice Christmas Tree…

…and palm trees too…

A view across the valley from the hotel’s back terrace…

Nadia, Pop and Ilse…we all got old…er

Looking out over one of the pools…

There’s that Elf guy …way down there…

Another view of the Christmas Tree…

Time for snacks !…

…and for those who can…

The usual Virgin Bloody Mary…

Nadia’s stuff…and her Mother’s white wine…

Lil’ Moo wants Mom to collect as many of these as possible…

Michael texts me and lets me know he’s back in L.A. and having dinner with Aimee here…Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood

We go back to the Casa for some warm clothing and head here…

“Hey Dad, what happens if I turn this upside down after it’s lit ??? “… 🤪

 

Next: A visit with the family to Huntington Gardens…

 

 

PT/TB

So…before I get back to tying flies again, I have to put up a few more posts about traveling down South to spend time with family and friends over the holidays. Kind of a repository if any of those guys want to snatch a look at this time period. As usual, the festivities begin with FOOD:

A snazzy joint on Vermont, in Los Feliz, for brunch – Atrium

50’s Post Modern…

The watering pond…

The family came from all over Southern California and these guys were the first to arrive…

Green stuff…potatoes & meat…

Next arrivals…Michael and Aimee…

Somebody went basic…

More great stuff…

The late arrivals…Nick & Ally…

…and while we are eating, Miles hips us to the fact that one of the chicks he follows, slid into a table nearby…kid don’t miss a beat (Halsey)…

More food ….

…and berries…

After brunch, Michael and Ally lay some LOVE on their nephew…

Ally ready for a walk…

So we visited some shops on this strip of Vermont Blvd.

Michael attuned…

After our walk, we headed a few blocks away to pick up the van that Michael and Aimee used for their tour of Death Valley…

Somebody picked a favorite spot in the upper reaches of the van hoping to stowaway…

The following morning (Monday)…Nadia, Lil’ Moo and I headed to downtown Los Angeles and the Grand Central Market for lunch and to pick up Xmas goodies…

Oh yeah, Horse Thief BBQ

Lil’ Moo was fascinated by a bunch of guys from the L.A.P.D. Bomb Squad who sat nearby for lunch – dripping in black, with Glocks in leg holsters…I figured it might a good idea to NOT photograph them…

Cruising the Grand Central Market…

One could spend an entire day here…

Wait !…I think we have found Nirvana for Lil’ Moo…

“I’ll take that and some of those…ummm, those too and that over there…”

“Did we go down this aisle ???”…

Off to Moskatel’s for more XMAS gifts…this place is unreal…

Miles, trying to twist some fat guy’s arm…

Miles…making out like a bandit on art supplies…

Santa City…

Lil’ Moo being photobombed…

With his buds…

Ready for his close up on the way to Pasadena…

Santa’s helper at The Congregation Ale House in Pasadena…or as Miles calls it  – The Church of the Burger…

One greasy brat on a bun with onions…

Calling it a day on Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA…

 

 

NEXT: High Desert / Low Desert

 

 

PT/TB

 

 

The following three posts will cover the trip that Ally, Nick, Hero & I took back to the environs of Southern California for the 2018 Christmas Holidays. Some of the photos in this family travelogue were lifted from Ally, Michael and Nadia…I only took a few photos over the duration ( 1600+)…This post features  our two day trek down to Los Angeles…

Nick packing up the rental vehicle so the kids don’t have to put wear and tear on their own rides…

Ally takes the first shift driving until dark. We left at about 11AM …Ally needed burger fuel…

Snow in the pastures as we headed South towards Lewiston, ID…

Coming down the grade into Lewiston, ID where the Clearwater River become the Snake River…

Lewiston, off to the right looking South…

Gas stop in the flatlands of Idaho, on Hwy. 95…

Canyon country South of Lewiston, ID…

Canyon driving with the white stuff…

Coming down a steep grade into Whitebird, ID…

Along the Salmon River…

Riggins, ID…Jet boat and rafting town…

Downhill towards Boise, ID…

A rough estimate of location…

Chilly out there…

Sunset near Marsing, ID…

A long stretch of road through Oregon and down to Winnemucca, NV where we finally got some food…Chihuahua’s | Grill & Cantina

Up at 6AM…

Heading West in Nevada…

Walker Lake, near Hawthorne, NV…

Getting close, California is that second range of mountains in the background !!!

Ally takes Hero for a pit stop…right at the state line…

Back in the high life again…

That looks familiar…the High Sierra, Lower Owens River to the right…just outside Bishop, CA…

After gas…the place to stock up on treats for the family…Mahogany Smoked Meats, Bishop, CA

Fill ‘er up…Paiute Palace, Bishop, CA

Ally’s happy now !!!

Late afternoon in Lone Pine, CA…where it all started and a lot of good memories…

Cinder Cone and Fossil Falls…heading South on 395…

Red Rock Canyon State Park at sunset…Santa Clarita, CA …

Hwy. 14…lots of friends and memories here…

Unloading in Burbank, CA and waiting for Lil’ Moo, Greg and Nadia…

Dinner with the guys …where else…Bob’s Big Boy

 

 

Next: L.A., Big Moo in the Upper Desert, PT & Family in the Lower Desert and around town…what do we eat next ???

 

 

PT/TB