Some selected personal outdoor memories from the year 2007 |

Some selected personal outdoor memories from the year 2007

Don Quilici

As I look forward to 2008 with high expectations, dreams and hopes, this is an appropriate time to take a moment to reflect back on some selected personal outdoor memories from the year 2007. Here they are:

Calif. Free Fishing Day: Elaine and I took Dan and little Daniel Dutulescu (our Davis Lake cabin neighbors) to a special fishing location for their first-ever fishing trip.

Both of them were required to bait their own hooks, cast out their lines and bring in their catches.

Elaine and I were the tutors, they were the students, and we only got involved whenever they had a problem such as: A snarl in their line, a snag, etc.

Did they catch any fish? You bet! They caught 12 catfish (six each).

Carson Valley Chukar Club: Once again, my horrendous losing streak was extended at the annual Carson Valley Chukar Club raffle.

In all the years (21) of that fun-filled fund raiser, I have only missed one (I was in Southeast Asia), and in all those years, I have never won a single raffle prize.

And, yes Virginia, before you ask, I buy lots and lots of tickets. Sigh, maybe 2008 will finally break that long-running jinx.

Dellrose, Tennessee: In late August, we visited some very special friends in Tennessee.

We spent a memorable five-days, visiting with Jerry and Mary Herbison and “Miss Jo” at a tiny dot on the map known as Dellrose.

Jerry and Mary and I have served for a number of years as Forum Moderators on the website http://www.ModernSportsman.Com.

The Herbisons’ old fashioned, five star, Southern Hospitality, combined with Miss Jo’s old fashioned, five star, Southern cooking was an unbeatable combination.

Goofiest drivers: During the year, I saw some classics:

The woman driver in the fast lane on the U.S. 395 freeway in Reno, who was holding a plate of food in her left hand and eating with a fork in her right hand.

The guy driving next to me on Carson Street, who was busy working on his lap top computer.

The young female driver in the SUV, who cut across three lanes of heavy traffic to exit the freeway while busy talking on a cell phone!

Kauai, Hawaii – Plus: My first-ever trip to Hawaii was highlighted by a 5-hour sunset dinner cruise along the NaPali, coastline, where we saw spectacular rugged coastal scenery plus all kinds of wildlife including:

Humpback Whales on their migration to Alaska, Spinner Dolphins putting on spectacular aerial displays alongside our Catamaran, and Albatross skimming along the ocean surface, looking for prey fish.

Also, the unforgettable, 1.5 hour helicopter tour of the entire island featuring the rugged NaPali coastline, the Grand Canyon of Kauai and many spectacular waterfalls.

Kauai, Hawaii – Minus: On the minus side, there are the Kauai wild chickens. There are chickens everywhere you go: Countless numbers of big and little roosters, hens and chicks.

All of those birds are the descendants of birds that escaped when Hurricane Iniki destroyed a number of chicken farms in 1992.

The roosters crow all day long and the hens cluck all day long.

I sure as heck never dreamt that my first-ever trip to the Hawaiian Islands would involve encountering huge numbers of chickens everywhere we went. A Kentucky Fried Chicken dream come true!

Lahontan Reservoir: The many memorable times that Don Hettrick, Rich Bachle and I fished for White Bass during the summer.

On most of those trips, we would stop counting catching and releasing the bass when each of our three counts reached 100.

Hmmm, perhaps, the reason for our success was Hettrick’s inability to run his boat in a straight line.

Our erratic trolling patterns, must have confused the fish, making them easy to catch. Those patterns sure confused me!

Plastic Pink Flamingo: It was placed, high up, in the tree in our backyard by Norm Budden and Bob “Slick” McCulloch, while Elaine and I were out of town.

Months later, during an afternoon barbecue in our backyard, they pointed it out to us. That miserable Flamingo had been there all that time, without us seeing it.

It is still there, plus the two other plastic pink Flamingos that Dave Beronio and Nate Johnston put in our front flower beds. Geez, we have Flamingos everywhere!

Sitka, Alaska: Don Hettrick, Rich Bachle, Elaine, and I spent three unforgettable days fishing for Halibut and King Salmon with Kingfisher Charters in late June.

The four of us scored a rare “Grand Slam” with each of us catching a Halibut over 100 pounds. Don H (206 pounds), Bachle (188), Elaine (148) and Don Q (115). Mine was the smallest!

Finally: Take a moment to reflect back on year. And, when possible, share those memories with someone close to you.

• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you which of those memories is the top one.

If he grins and says, “Shucks, it’s Don’s 115-pound Halibut. That is the largest Halibut that he has ever caught in 10 trips to Alaska,” he could be a close friend of mine.

• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.