Pssst, here's a peek at my Christmas wish list for 2000

Hey gang, Christmas is only 12 days away. 12 days! And it's time to let everyone know what Don Q would like to receive this year in the way of some nice presents.

I've carefully put together a list of things that Don Q would like to have someone (anyone!) give him.

If you're interested, pick and choose from the items on my list.

If you do, you'll be happy and, boy oh boy, will I ever be happy.

If you don't, then: "Bah! Hum Bug, I hope your uncle is Scrooge and you get a piece of coal for Christmas!"

So hopefully someone, who is reading this particular column, will surprise me on Christmas morning with one or more of my requests.

I sure hope so!

Here's my Christmas wish list:

-- Snowshoes. As I indicated last week, this is the No. 1 item on my Christmas wish list. As you may remember, due to the broken tailbone I suffered on July 8, my Orthopedic Specialist advised me not to do any cross country skiing this winter. So I am restricted to walking on snowshoes rather than having a ball telemarking down some steep mountain side. I've got five (5!) pairs of cross country skis but no snowshoes. Pssst, a pair of Peak Series, 9"x30", Tubbs snowshoes for backcountry use would be deeply appreciated. I'll be anxiously waiting with great anticipation.

-- A return fishing trip to No Tell Um Lake. It is located in a remote portion of Central British Columbia. It can only be reached by a flight of one hour by float plane from the Northern end of Babine Lake. No Tell Um is jam-packed with rainbow trout, up to about 16 inches. Those trout will strike at anything. On our last visit, on 20 consecutive casts with 20 different lures, I caught and released 20 different rainbows. The combination of fantastic fishing, spectacular scenery, the wildlife of that area, the solitude and the comfortable accommodations at the lake's only cabin are almost impossible to beat.

-- A return trip to Middle Striped Mountain Lake. I have been there on five previous occasions and each trip was one-week in length. All of those trips were by backpacking but this time I want to ride a horse. I'm getting too old and feeble for that long, 11-mile hike with a heavy load on my back. Most mind-boggling, in the first nine miles, you gain 7,000 feet, from the Owens Valley floor (4,500') to the top of Taboose Pass (11,700'). The fishing at that large, super deep lake is unforgettable, with rainbows in the 6 pound class and Eastern brook trout in the 20+ inch class. Does anyone out there have a couple of horses I could borrow?

-- A hunting trip for a Rocky Mountain bull elk. This is the trip that I have always desired: A rifle tag for a bull elk in Nevada big game management area No. 16. That is the Table Mountain area located between Austin and Tonopah in Central Nevada and it contains some huge, record-book bulls. Vehicles are not permitted in that area and I have a number of friends who have volunteered to provide horses for me if I get drawn. I apply every year but have never been able to draw a tag. Maybe 2001 will finally be my lucky year. I hope so.

-- A companion to fish with me at Sitka, Alaska. I was originally scheduled to travel to Sitka on a four-day, halibut and king salmon fishing trip last August. However, also due to that miserable broken tailbone, that trip had to be re-scheduled for 2001. A good-looking, long-legged, dark-haired, female would be an ideal companion. The two of us could then catch twice as many fish as I would if I went alone. Pretty sneaky, huh? Geez, why else would I want a good-looking female to accompany me?

-- A brand-new, bright orange, small pickup. I really miss my former, bright-orange, Ford Ranger, Splash Model pickup. It was my pride and joy and distinctively "Don Q." My current bright-red, Ford Ranger is very nice, however, red is not orange. I want orange! If anyone knows where there is a brand-new, bright-orange, small pickup, they will become my nearest, dearest, bestest, closest friend for life. Well, we would be friends at least for as long as I have that orange-colored truck.

-- A hideaway cabin in the mountains. I would love to have a small, snug, well-built cabin somewhere in the nearby mountains. It would be reached only by skis, snowshoes or snowmobile in the winter. I would want it to be two-stories high, have both electricity and solar-powered lights, a propane cooking stove and refrigerator, plus a small wood burning stove. And it needs to have a basement. In that basement, I could stockpile a huge quantity of assorted food and drink items (Manhattans!) for many fun-filled winter weekends. This is also where that good-looking, long-legged, dark-haired, female would be an ideal companion. Hey, I may be ugly but I'm not dumb! Winter nights can be cold!

-- New fishing partners. This is a repeat request. My current, motley collection of fishing partners: "Gunny" Benson, Dick Biggs, Norm Budden, Elaine McGee, Marty Martinez, Bob "Slick" McCulloch, Jim Quilici and Larry and Ruby Roach desperately need to be replaced. And soon! They constantly try to cheat, chisel, con, deceive, defraud, harass, lie, swindle or tease me. Plus, they are also mean to me. However, come to think of it, I can generally con them into some real sneaky "Sucker" bets that keep me well financed. Boy I would dearly love to replace them with some gorgeous, topless, female dancers from the Las Vegas shows. I would do it in a New York Minute! Heck, then I could teach the dancers how to catch fish. And think how much fun it would be to teach them. Right on!

And then finally, if you don't want to give me anything on my wish list, then to heck with it. Just buy one of my usual dumb Christmas gifts. They always, always consist of white T-shirts (large), socks (size 11) or jockey shorts (size 36). Come to think of it, does anyone want to trade any Manhattans for lots of old, leftover T-shirts, socks or jockey shorts? I'll make you one heck of a deal!

-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you where I will be this year for my Christmas vacation.

If he grins and says, "Heck, Don Q will be spending Christmas with me," his name is Ed McRoy and he lives in Fountain Hills, Ariz. Ed and his wife Carol are long-time friends and former residents of Carson City.

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