I Did My Part for Sustainable Fishing and It Was Delicious!
Consider this great experience gift for your next Father’s Day or other family event!
My parents live in Minnesota, and ever since I can remember, they loved to fish. After ten years in the Pacific Northwest, it finally occurred to me to take my Baba  fishing here, given the abundant fish and all. I hadn’t gone fishing on my own in about ten years, and didn’t own a boat or equipment, so we hired a guide.
K and I had heard through the grapevine that bass and walleye were “🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥” in Potholes Reservoir and Moses Lake this time of year! We booked with Shelby Ross of Ross Outdoor Adventures last minute. I was glad he made room for us in his schedule on a sunny Saturday, the morning after my father flew into town. He was very responsive by phone and email, so it was less intimidating calling a stranger for a short notice booking. In my Midwestern childhood, I learned that fishing was all about getting up at the crack of dawn to sit quietly on a boat or dock and wait, possibly never catching any fish. So I steeled myself to be happy even just for a day on the water in a boat, rocking gently to and fro…
As the days yawn longer and air gets warmer, my snowboard powder dreams recede and give way to the echo of hypnotic rhythmic waves of a good lake paddle. Several friends asked me about my SUP (stand up paddle board) equipment, all in this last week, so I thought it was finally time I jot something down for you.
Q: Which paddle board do you have? Thinking of making an investment. A: Woohoo, SUP! I have this one from Isle Surf & SUP:
Q: You’re happy with it? Inflatable sounds awful, but look a lot cheaper than the non-inflatable..
A: Yes, very happy! I’ve brought it with me all over the Pacific Northwest since Fall 2016, a feat which would’ve been hard and much less likely with a rigid board since I have a Honda Civic so it would’ve been hard to carry and store. Once inflated to proper PSI, it’s quite rigid and stable. I suspect that a different rigid one would be extra maneuverable, but not nearly so grippy for those nice yoga stretches. To me, inflatable is worth the trade-off for portability. How portable? Well, I even took it on my back on an e-bike to get it from my AirBnB in Bend to paddle the Deschutes River the weekend of the eclipse. Yup.
On Wednesday morning, a good breakfast spread included with our stay gave us a peek at the restaurant space at the AirBnB in Holmur (photo after the jump). It was easy to imagine it as a lively popular affair in the Summer. This was perhaps the best hosted breakfast bar of our trip! Darn tasty. I took a few extra moments to gaze out the window to the bucolic paradise of ducks and geese chillin’ in the brush, in front of the distant Vatnajökull glacier. I was a little sad to miss communing with the farm goats, as getting out the door and on the road took priority. This was to be one of the longer stretches of our drive around Iceland.
Entertainingly, my travelling companion’s mood lightened with the cold thermal pool debacle, and mine darkened with the rain. Plus wind. I don’t recall what else went on in my mind to dampen things and I don’t care to recall more. May have also been influenced by a morose audiobook.
The distant rock of the towering formations out past the deadly waves on the beach could easily fit the Icelandic legend telling of huge trolls turned to stone at dawn, caught while dragging some ships out (or in?) long ago.
The basalt column formations (although busy with tourists) transported us to the moment of torrential, deadly-hot lava meeting the equally stormy sea, frozen in time forever, in hexagonal rock columns once the sea receded.Continue Reading
Woke up amazed to find myself in the dreamland of Iceland, excited to start the day. Kris was acting grumpy-pantsed, unclear why…
We had a chance to catch breakfast from our host Snæbjörn in the flesh. I found our host accommodating but ambivalent about his home. He seemed not to like his area, but maybe because his girlfriend was in Bristol, and he’d been woken at 2AM by a drunk neighbor-friend last night. When asked if Icelanders liked to party (I’d heard they had a reputation for it), he retorted no, and that visitors seemed much more prone to drinking extra. Breakfast was toast, jams, salami, cheese, nutella, butter, coffee, and home-cooked heart-shaped waffles. We sat across from some young honeymooners from Korea. The wife was so delighted when I took a photo for the two of them, lol. Later we were also offered some caviar out of a metal tube like toothpaste. Fancy.
I’d heard of a neighborhood thermal pool in the hills nearby and we headed over. Grumpy K was not happy with the pot-holed dirt road, lest we get stuck – and even less impressed with the van of visitors when it pulled in next to us.
Reykjavik Roasters was in the university area of town. Early on a Sunday, it had a hushed but not unfriendly atmosphere tinged with a hipster coffee shop vibe familiar to Seattlites. My oat pudding breakfast even had chia seeds served in a mason jar.
As we drove out of town, I was at first struck by the prevalence of blocky buildings.
I felt a vague awareness I was supposed to find them ugly, surprised instead to find a quiet calm in the uniformity of seeing so many blocky buildings set side by side. Perhaps they were built by a somewhat boring but practical people.
This is the first installment of my #100DaysofAllThingsWater per Day 1/100 of the the #100DayProject kickoff. I’ve got some ideas jotted down, but am working first on the long-procrastinated scribing of my backlogged travel adventures from Iceland. Water-related, per the name, and the landscape. I’m setting a minimum of 5 minutes a day to work on this and post something related on Instagram. Follow me there to get more! fresh! content!
Sunday Morning. We arrived bright-eyed but sleep-starved, at 6:30 AM on a Sunday. The forecast had been for overcast sky and drizzly rain all week, which wasn’t a step down from Autumn in Seattle. I had red that it was a strange land, but being there was still a whole other reality. The sky lightened and the sun rose, but through some cosmic joke, that white orb stayed floating across the sky around 45 degrees, as though uncertain we were worthy of more. Then, gradually, she would sink back down around six. At least for now, it was dry, and not too blustery. We count ourselves lucky for what sun there was.
After a stroll outside to a lengthy line of uncertain-looking new arrivals, we beat the twenty-odd other travellers to the desk at Gold Car/Blue. The two employees at the desk seemed conspicuously lacking in that friendly, reflexive smile often associated with customer service, until I remembered we were not in the U.S. They apologized repeatedly for the wait and explained and re-explained to each new customer in soft, stoic, tones.
The driver orientation was both alarming and fascinating. I felt smug that we had reserved an all-wheel-drive vehicle, daunted by the various sheep and one-lane-related signs, yet adventurous enough to add myself to the driver’s list. The offers of rock chip coverage and warnings not to off-road were plenty. After more waiting, we were off and cruising out of Keflavik, stopping for coffee at Reykjavik Roasters, and on the road out of town toward Thingvellir.
1] Iceland logistip: we’d been warned car rental in Iceland would be a substantial part of budget, renting a All-Wheel-Drive/4WD with a local car rental agency was definitely cheaper than it would have been. As of 2017, it was $79,185 Krona, a little under $800 USD. We had a good discount via large corporate employer affiliation [$145], so estimate just under $1k for budget of 8 days.