The Neil Blog continues. My computer, not happy with me. The mouse is very angry with me. I made the necessary adjustments to be in action but I’m baffled by the trouble. Anyway, the Blog has a solid following. People have been telling me “I follow your progress by your blog.” That’s good. This one: Informative. I am still working at it. It has been a challenge. The Life of Neil. Read on.
So, I don’t really need your unwanted advice. Live your life. Stay out of mine. Make it simple on yourself. The past blogs: Lots of feedback. Part of life: Move on. Pretend I died.
The big information: Strike Three Kayak Fishing is not gone. The way things have just kind of happened: If it is a lousy winter in Greer, I’ll drive down the hill and head east. I’ll take fishing charters back in my home waters while the snow is on the ground in Greer. The interest is there. My van, might not do well in the snow on the hill. I could hole up and wait it out but going to Florida was pitched and over a few days time, the idea grew. I have everything set up. When? Not sure. But this resurrects Strike Three Kayak Fishing. I would enjoy doing it “part time” for a shorter time of every year. If it is well taken, I will just plan on doing it every year. With the red tide, I was going to wait a year. People have said they are OK with lesser results if that’s the case but they would like the option to go.
Same as before: No hotel, not spending money. The new van has been great, once the windows were fixed. I bought a mattress that has been just fantastic for sleeping. What to do? Four more weeks until the house arrives. Biting my lip waiting on that. The 2nd shed still needs to go up. Hopefully in the days to come. There is still much to do.
Got a really nice package from Les Betz. Cigars and pickled garlic. Thanks for my years of fishing knowledge shared, it was a very nice gift.
Cell reception is interesting. Bad in most of Greer, decent at my property. One day in four: Not so great. Get half a mile on 260 toward Springerville: Full signal. Can they boost it? Years ago when it was Sprint, they did a booster for my mother. I believe it was connected to the internet. The internet I will handle when the house arrives. TV I will handle when the house arrives. If I’m leaving for Florida, both can wait until I get back.
The work done on the property: Chris had his tractor there for about five days. The rocks he unearthed, impressive. He dug the trenches, installed the water tank, dumped five truckloads of dirt. One guy did more than everyone else combined. Placement of the water tank changed where the house is going to go. He needed a soft enough spot to dig deep enough to fit the tank. 1000 gallon tank so it takes up some space. But it’s in. Oh, if everyone was like Chris. Dependable. Knowledgeable. A hard worker. To me, the rocks interesting. Millions of years old..
The house arrives: Get shelves built. Do a little firepit work. Some cement to go down. To town at sunrise: Coffee. Then, fill buckets with rocks. I have been doing daily road improvements. In another two weeks, the road will be excellent. Using some of the excess rock at my place, I have a place in town that has unused rock. I’m using it. The goal: Get something done every day, a goal that I have been successful.
Interesting: The way the work on the place went, half a dozen trees got a stay of execution. Makes me glad I didn’t have them taken down earlier. The rocks piled up, something I didn’t anticipate that I’m fine with. Probably arrange more of these for a second fire pit closer to the house. Cement and carpet will be part of the flooring between the house and the firepit. A garage: Like TV and internet, the garage may be a year off if I am leaving for Florida.
The deer, daily. Snow? Twice it has fallen. The last time, I didn’t like the forecast, took off south. Got to Phoenix and immediately got hit by a car. I was going like 60 and this guy hit me hard. Pulled over, thinking he would do the same. Nope. High speed chase with the police on the phone. I couldn’t keep up. Some people have told me there’s cameras on those highways. Big dents in the rear hatch and the bumper. So, 36 years with USAA and I still have a $500 deductible. So it is. The deer: Pretty dependable. The other animals have moved. I don’t see the elk and bighorn sheep like I did three weeks ago. I don’t even hear them as often as I did.
Driving in the mountains. My cruise control is set. You have someplace to get to: Pass me. Mostly it is pretty easy. I let people go by when I can.
Life without power has been acceptable. But the power should be going on in the next 24 hours. Unlucky,came south without getting the check to the county. Got it in the mail. But, they’re good to go. Finally.
Arizona: Needs Florida rain. The lakes have come up a few inches. Are there substantial good fish in there? Not enough. Dad’s Greer lakes: They’re pretty dead. Winter jackets, ready. Blankets, ready. When I was a kid, the water was up to those bushes. Now, it’s 50 yards further down. Not good. Bunch: You can catch fish by boat or kayak, not so great from the shore. River is hit or miss. Tunnel is just not very good. Not enough people “let them go.” “Neil’s Point” vacant. Driving to Big Lake, very interesting to me to look at the fire damage from 10 years ago. The downed trees stripped by fire look like toothpicks.
Who is the dumbass who put perch in River Reservoir? Most people just don’t know “how it’s supposed to be.” Things have not changed for the better. I may not stay. For now, it is home. But I could sell out for a profit and go to south Texas or Louisiana. I spend every day remembering “when things were better.” Big Lake, pretty sustained. A1 is decent, especially for a mud puddle. Luna: Get decent reports. Hawley is on the Indian land, but it seems to be good there. Horseshoe Cienega, I drove there and watched some people trying but didn’t see anything caught. The lakes on the Rim: Willow Springs and Woods Canyon, seem to be good. Crescent: Not good. Lee Valley, don’t really know. Never anyone there when I drive up. I do park and look across Crescent. Think about making that walk south on the west side of the lake, all the way to the south end to catch fish. And we did. Now: Zero people fishing there and the water level is just BAD. The dry season. Not good.
Watching the families: When I was his age, I fished here. I am learning every day. Different things.
The wind has been howling a lot the past week.
There are a lot of days spent “waiting for sunrise.” The sun is setting earlier so with power I’ll have lights and that will improve life.
I notice, lots of people just not very loyal to their teams. The Devil Rays went from a scoring machine to impotent.
Bears: Other people are seeing them. I haven’t seen a bear in Arizona in 37 years.
Out on the town, a guy got me talking. I paused. I had my father’s voice. First time I ever heard it that way. My thoughts of him, daily. It brings a mix of good memories and depression. I don’t have him to talk to anymore.
Simplicity of life: Getting laundry done. Going to laundromats, not my favorite thing to do, but if there’s no one there, it’s not bad.
Neil “don’t burn the forest down.” My fire pictures generated some interest. One of them, I had the fire department come up to put it out. The wind was blowing and the fire was spreading toward a large pile of wood that was closer to the shed. With Chris’ work, now I can light whatever is laying there.
Leaving Greer: Return to old haunts. Looking around. That’s new. That’s like it always was. No more Wayne DesCombes. Stopped at the Agua Fria baseball field, named after him. Did the University of Arizona tour. Drive by at the Copper and Adams houses. It was warm, not hot which was nice. Not the same: Softball fields behind the high school baseball field. That was corn. That drive Litchfield Park to Avondale, it used to be cotton fields. It’s now solid houses or businesses. And new exits off Interstate 10: Avondale Blvd? Fairway? Back in my day, the other side of town “Power Road” was way out. It isn’t anymore. The olden days? I climbed that hill.
28 years: What happened to the radio stations? Not good. Half of them aren’t even in English. I guess that is just the way it is. I find something to listen to but 28 years ago, the stations you had: They were solid.
That does it for the latest edition of The Neil Blog. I will continue it. I’ll do it as often as I can. Some of them will be from Florida. Fishing stories about who they are and what they did.