Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Fishing! .... OK, Who Am I Kidding?

Emily bought me a new fishing pole and some fishing gear, and a fishing license for my birthday, as well as a new 256MB flash-memory card for my camera! The one card will hold over 400 good quality, big photos. I can't imagine what one of them 1 Gigabyte cards would hold!! Anyway, this being one of my few days off, I decided to go try my hand at fishing one of the local mudholes.

Now, understand this: I am an awful fisherman. I really don't know that much about it, except that there's got to be fish IN the water to catch, and I have to have my line IN the water to catch them. I've heard bait helps, but I don't know much about that either.

I'm what they call a bait-soaker. I soak my bait, read my book, listen to the radio, and drink coffee. ONCE in a while I do catch fish, but it's usually despite my best efforts. I fish mainly just to get out and get away.

Today, I took a drive down to southeastern Sacramento County, to Rancho Seco Park. Rancho Seco is a decomissioned nuclear power plant.

I believe it's the only one in the county ever to be decommissioned (as opposed to melting down and nearly exploding, like 3-Mile Island). SMUD, the local electric company, built a 160 acre lake next to the plant as a source of emergency cooling water if there ever was a problem and they needed to SCRAM the reactor. Seeing as how there is no reactor to SCRAM any longer, the lake has been developed into a really nice recreation area.

The cooling towers still loom over the landscape, but they no longer belch great clouds of steam like they did years ago. It used to be a Sacramento staple, to look south and see the great steamclouds from Rancho Seco, back when it was operating.

While soaking my bait, I saw this little spider sitting patiently in his web, waiting for lunch to fly by.

After Monday's wild weather (yes, more odd weather here), you can see the Sierra snowpack from all over the valley. This being the middle of May, I think this is the most snow I've ever seen this late in the year.

Getting to and from Rancho Seco is no easy task. There ARE no easy north/south roads in southeast Sacramento County. The roads all run diagonally on the map, generally paralleling the Cosumnes River that runs through that part of the county (the last major, wild river in California without a dam on it). So, to get home I drove nearly to Ione, and took Ione Road to Jackson Road toward home. Snubbing Sloughouse, I decided to stop at this strawberry stand at Sunrise & Jackson, where I got a flat of the most delicious strawberries!

Camie just told me, "Dad, we're gonna have to eat all these in a hurry, because they're ripe NOW and are gonna go bad if we don't." I could tell it was breaking her heart.

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