Friday was a long day and I got home from work late. Heath had picked up the kids and everyone was home being silly when I got there.
Heath ran a few quick errands I turned chicken leftovers and some other stuff into some really tasty enchiladas. Stooks came by and we all had a relaxing evening watching tv, playing wii and hanging out.
Saturday we slept in and I made pancakes, sausage, eggs and squash for breakfast. Then I got busy packing for my fishing trip and preparing for my tree cutting.
I got mostly packed and ready and the kids came to play outside. We worked on the yard some and then started picking tomatoes.
Peanut and I were collecting the big ones and a few of the small ones and Pumpkin was just eating up all the cherry ones she could find.
We ended up filling the window sill and having a nice pile on the counter top.
Once we had them all gathered I headed in to help Heath clean up stuff and the kids went to the trampoline.
Around lunchtime Heath and the kids headed to Paola, I got changed and then started getting ready to cut down the tree between Stephen and my house. Jon Stephen and Stooks came over and we got to work.
We set up a ladder and Jon went up as high as he felt comfortable and tied a rope on then tossed us the other end. We tied it to the truck and gave the tree a little pull to help nudge it in the direction we wanted.
Then I got the chainsaw and started cutting.
This is where a few things went wrong. I cut a nice wedge out of the tree in the direction I wanted it to fall and then started cutting into it from the other side. I cut most of the way and the tree just stood there. Jon was worried about breaking the rope and was not pulling much if any from the truck. I waved him to pull hard and decided to cut more.
In no time the tree snapped and fell over, not anywhere near the way we were pulling it.
It fell one of the 3 ways we didn’t want it to and hit the garage. We cautiously cut it up and made sure it did not go into the house and cleared everything away.
Luckily it missed the window and the branches were really dead and small at the top and nothing was really damaged, there was a little scuff on the paint and some denty gutters but otherwise everything was okay. We cleaned up some more then Stooks and Stephen went home.
Jon and I headed to the bar both to recover and to scout out Triathlon plans. First we went to What’s Happening. It looked like it could be rough from the outside but was a great little dive bar inside and will fit well with our group. Next we drove the route a bit and then checked out the bowling ally. It was also fine for the route. We drove the rest of it and then headed home. We loaded the truck with the canoe and our gear then headed west.
We stopped by McDonalds for burgers and then Walmart for beer, lines and licenses and then pulled up to the Kansas River just west of 435. We tossed most of our gear from the truck to the canoe and paddled off. There was not much current though we were going with it but the wind was pretty strong and blowing against us and making some waves. We paddled down a ways (seems a lot farther in a canoe then Grandma Natty) and then rounded the corner of the island. Once on the small stream it was real calm and the wind was not an issue. We paddled upstream a ways and found none of our previous campsites still habitable so made a new one.
There was a little muddy ledge out of the water and then a nice flat grassy area plenty big for a tent and campfire. We unloaded anything we didn’t need for fishing then headed back into the stream.
We opened a few beers and then worked our way down 1 side of the creek taking down someones ancient limb lines and putting up our own. We baited with chicken livers. Once at the Kaw river we crossed the creek and headed back up the opposite side setting more lines. We probably had 20 or so baited hooks in the water at different spots and depths. Once back to our site we ran a trot line all the way across the creek and put 12 hooks on it.
The sun was going fast but we had a little light left. We parked the canoe and ran into the woods and grabbed wood and tossed it down to our camp area. It got dark but there was a clear sky and a nice 3/4 moon. Once we had plenty of wood we lit the fire and immediately it was nearly out of control. The ground was all thick dry grass and big leaves and everything wanted to burn. We kept cool and burned some and stomped out other and adjusted and after a few scary minutes our campfire was perfect.
(remains the next morning)
We tended to the fire until it was burnt down to a safe level. Then we went out in the dark to check the lines. They were harder to find but we checked everything and there were no fish and most still had bait. We headed back to the fire and built it up and had a few beers and enjoyed the great night. Hours later we checked again and before getting into the canoe we could feel one on the line across the creek right by our canoe. We excitedly rushed out to find … a … nice … big …
Not the catfish we were looking for though he was a good size and could have been eaten if we were hungry.
We were not really hungry enough to bother trying to make him taste okay and eat him so we took a few pictures and tossed him back. We had a few more beers and relaxed a while and then we got hungry. We had not caught any fish yet so we had to eat backup dinner plans.
Handfuls of dehydrated cranberries and pocketknife scoops of peanut butter. We had drank enough beers that this was an okay dinner. Afterwords we found a nice thick area of grass and put the tent up on it. It was still really nice outside but I bundled up expecting it to be freezing in the morning.
We slept really good though the trains were a little annoying and in the morning it was warm. I got up first and drank a bunch of tea and explored the area and took pictures of our site.
Then I got hungry and started working on breakfast. Still no fish in site. Also I didn’t have any shoes or matches so I got busy cutting potatoes.
Jon woke up and started the fire and I got shoes on and gathered wood and tossed our catfish frying pan on the fire and loaded it with potatoes, salt and onions.
While it cooked we got our campsite all packed up and taken down and everything ready. Then we ate some of the best potatoes I have had. We didn’t bring spoons or forks so used pieces of the beer box as scoops. Once the taters were gone we loaded up the canoe and headed out. We worked our way up and down getting all our lines and hooks. About 1/2 still had bait on them and no fish were in sight. Then we went back down to the Kansas river, pointed the canoe upstream and set out on a fast pace. The water was calm and we watched the birds and ducks and trees as we paddled and paddled.
We got to the boat ramp and truck and packed away everything and headed home.
Once home and somewhat unpacked I ate some leftovers and took a shower then watched the chiefs game with Heath and Stooks. Pumpkin watched part of it with us then took a nap and Peanut was feeling sick and relaxed in bed with the iPad.
After the game we got Pumpkin up and Heath and I took her on an Aldi trip while Stooks napped on the couch and kept an eye on Peanut. We got a ton at Aldi. Then Stooks headed home and we unpacked groceries and started making the best salsa. First we sorted the big pile of tomatoes.
We replaced the ones in the window that were ripe with some of these greenish ones and got some water boiling.
3 by 3 we added them to the boiling water for 30 seconds then moved them to the ice water.
After they had been in the ice water the skins just slid right off.
We had a shiney bowl of skinless tomatoes shortly later.
Then we started getting hungry so I started working on dinner and Heath took over salsa making. She cut them into quarters and then removed any stems, seeds and bad spots.
I got dinner ready and we all sat down to eat. We decided to call this phase 1 of salsa and resume tonight. We had Peanut come join us and there was a massive spread of fried pork chops, mashed potatoes and sausage mushroom gravy, baked beans, asparagus and biscuits. We all ate pretty good and then were done for. We were all exhausted from the weekend and food coma’fied from dinner. We got the kids in bed and then us and it was an early night for all.