I am not, by definition, a keeper of all things in their places, analytical type. But there was a time, where I thought different groups of friends should be kept separately and some things shouldn't mix - like salt on watermelon. Along this same line of thinking, I believed that fishing trips had to be separated from family vacations in order to have quality time. Surely some of this thinking must have come from my prior experiences and the belief systems I had developed as a result. Most definitely, I tried to keep fishing separated from family time, because Hyrum was so obsessed with fishing - and my reluctance to have our vacations become sitting by a river, undoubtedly made him feel he would be missing out. We'd leave the fly gear at home and he'd look longingly at the rivers we'd pass on the way from places like Portland to the coast.
And so it was.. he'd go on fishing trips, we'd go on vacations and then there were times that our family took drives and joined at the river. It has taken time for us to figure out the pattern of the metaphorical river we lived - and now that our kids are older (16, 14 and 10), I can't decide if it's our maturity or theirs that helped us figure it out. Regardless, there are valuable lessons we've picked up along the way, that I wish I'd known then. I'll share them with you now.
The boring Metaphor (bear with me):
With increasing population in metropolitan areas such as Colorado, geologists had to take a look at the growing issue of water supply. The source was first looked at from an obvious angle; the rivers, the lakes & reservoirs, and the snow collected in the winters. If one was to look at those as the only resource for water, they couldn't possibly allow any further increase to the population. But they looked a bit deeper. In reality, water saturates small spaces between the pebbles, sand, and other tiny particles in the soil and between the grains in rocks. This is called ground water, which can also exist in cracks and fractures in crystalline rocks, such as granite or limestone. In fact, it has been found that there's evidence of water in minerals deep within the earth’s mantle, hundreds of miles beneath the surface. Water beneath Asia, for example, is estimated to equal that of the Arctic Ocean, around 4.5 million cubic miles of water. So in short, there's plenty of water.. if you look between the cracks.
Now let's move on.
A couple of our recent vacations will serve as an example for the way we've made it work. I now, tell Hyrum to bring along the fly rod when we travel together as a family. Last year, we traveled by road trip from Utah, through Idaho and then along the coast of Oregon. Along the way, we saw the picturesque mountains of McCall, with large boulders jutting out of the perfect rivers. I broke out my camera and captured the scenery as our kids enjoyed climbing throughout the landscape, and collecting rocks, while Hyrum experienced fly fishing in the rivers that fell over the boulders and broke to make it's way around the very island my kids were climbing on. We all cheered when dad caught a beautiful trout and I captured it all on film as he released it back into the glorious river that surrounded us, before returning to town to eat the famous treats in Ice Cream Alley and taking walk by the lake.
Onto the Oregon Coast, we enjoyed morning walks on the beach looking for sand dollars and dancing in the clouds reflected on the glassy surface left by the tide. During the day, we explored the little shops, flew our kites and built sandcastles. That evening, we watched the sun set on Haystack rock and the next morning returned to look at the sea life that clung to the iconic rocks, now exposed by the very low tide. We went on hikes surrounded by ferns and moss covered trees and climbed the stairs of lighthouses imagining what it was like for the keepers in the past.
I know, you're probably wondering where the fishing comes back in. But here's the secret; those moments we spent together were the rocks of our vacation and family experience. Like rocks, those moments created a foundation for our childrens life experience. Moments painted in time of something we all did together, felt together and experienced as one. Those were the rocks.. between those rocks was yet to flow the water - and Hyrum knew that it would come.
We continued to drive the coast to the rivers he longed to fish - like the salmon fly hatch on the Rogue River. Spectacular waters that litterally flowed between the rock walls and eventually ended up joining the ocean. Both places where we all did what we loved the most. Hyrum fished, the kids searched for special rocks and explored the area, and I got to take pictures of my favorite things; my kids, nature and my husband doing what he loves.
(pictures to hopefully come later - once we recover them from our broken computer- maybe we need to repeat the trip instead..?)
Our most recent trip to South Dakota to see Mt Rushmore had us dicovering more than the spectacular monument. Over the span of 4 days we visited caves, explored the beauty of Custer State Park, drove to Devils Tower one day and Badlands Natl Park the next. We walked the streets of the infamous Deadwood, where Wild Bill Hickoc was killed as Sherriff while playing his deadly hand of poker and drove the spectacular Needles Highway. And, if you're catching on to moral of this blog, then you've probably guessed it - we fished every river in between, finding our own secret spots to catch beautiful fish on new rivers we now long to return to.