Now, that we are well into that miserable time of the year that I hate (the blistering hot "dog days" of summer), I thought that it would be interesting to create a personal wish list for what I would like to see happen at this time of the year. It's just like the wish list I create each year, just before Christmas.
So with that said and because this is my column and I can write about whatever I want to write, here is the 2001 version of my summer wish list:
Things I wish for:
-- Rain - Rain - Rain. This is the top item on my summer wish list. And it should be the top item on everyone's wish list. Our area desperately needs precipitation And when I wish for rain, I am not asking for one of our typical Western Nevada summer rainstorms. Those are the ones where it begins to cloud up early in the morning on a very hot day. The clouds quickly become bigger and bigger and get blacker and blacker. Then, in the early afternoon, it begins to rain. There is loud thunder, lightning everywhere, a high wind and a torrential downpour of driving rain. All this is usually followed by a hailstorm. Then the storm is over. However, when the storm is over, there is a rash of fires caused by the lightning strikes. That is not my wish.
I wish for a very gentle, steady, soaking rain. I want that rain to fall about once a week for about 3-4 hours and turn everything green and lush. I want a nice rain!
-- Good fishing success for everyone. At this time of the year, our fish populations are bothered by the warmer, water temperatures. As a result, they go deep into cooler water and then develop "Lock Jaw." Anglers continue to fish but their success rate drops way off. One of the ways to offset this drop in fishing success is to seek out the fish at higher altitudes. Unfortunately, many of those higher locations require hiking. Many anglers simply can not hike to those waters.
So, I wish for the following:
A large lake with that lake accessible by any two-wheel drive vehicle.
That it contain a healthy population of large, hungry fish.
And, most importantly, that all anglers return from there with limits and big happy smiles. Not too shabby!
-- A new fishing partner. This is an on-going request by yours truly that never seems to get fulfilled. Through the years, I have fished with may different fishing partners including: CK Baily, Jackie Baily, Dick Biggs, Norm Budden, Doug Busey, Bart Cranney, Mickey Daniels, Rich Dickerson, Bob "Slick" McCulloch, Elaine McGee, Lex Moser, Dick "Father" Murphy, Kirk Portocarrero, Jim Quilici, Larry Roach, Ruby Roach, Tom Roberts and Bob Tompkins, just to name a few. Heck, not one of them has ever volunteered to carry my fishing poles, reels, equipment, bait, lunch, drinks, inflatable raft, oars, air pump, etc. when I have hiked into one of the many backcountry lakes in this area. Geez, you would think a real friend would volunteer to do so. Obviously they are not real friends or they would take better care of Don Q.
-- Get rid of my garlic allergy. It's true. I'm allergic to garlic. And, to make matters even worse, I am Italian. Go figure: an Italian who is allergic to garlic! That's unfair. I would love to get rid of this allergy but don't know how. When people first find out that I am allergic to garlic, they usually snicker, begin to laugh and then ask how I can live without garlic. Heck, that's easy. If I don't eat garlic, I don't throw up. It's that simple. Even a tiny amount of garlic salt will nail me. I once got sick at a banquet in Las Vegas when the person across from me ordered Escargot. I got ill from the smell of the garlic on the Escargot! So, with a last name of Quilici, wanna guess where I don't go to eat when eating out. You're right. I do not go to any Italian restaurants. Garlic....yuk!
-- A replacement for my pickup. I currently own a bright red, four-wheel drive, Ford Ranger pickup, with an extended cab. It is a very, very nice vehicle and with the exception of its color, I do not have any complaints about it.
However, I really miss my former pickup. It was a bright orange/red, Ford Ranger, Splash Model. Bright orange/red! It was my pride and joy and most importantly, that little truck was distinctively "Don Q." It was the only one like it in Carson City. If you saw that orange/red pickup, you instantly knew it was Don Q.
My Ranger is very nice, however, red is not orange. There are all kinds of nice, red vehicles in Carson City. I want orange/red! So, if anyone knows where there is a brand-new, bright orange/red, small pickup, they will immediately become my nearest, dearest, closest, warmest, "bestest" friend for life. I want orange/red!
-- A snug, well-built, hideaway cabin in the mountains. I want a cabin in the mountains that has a number of features including:
It must be within a maximum of a two-hour drive from Carson City.
It must be accessible by a two-wheel drive vehicle.
It must be located in a rural area, complete with sagebrush, Manzanita brush, large pine trees and a grove of "Quaking Aspen" trees.
It must have very few neighbors.
The cabin must be two-stories high with a front deck and a full basement.
That cabin must be built on a slope where you have a spectacular view from the front deck.
It has to have full services of water, sewer, electricity and phone.
In that cabin, I want amenities such as tall, large windows in front, a wood-burning stove, propane cooking stove, refrigerator with freezer, comfortable couches, easy chairs and a television set with a satellite dish.
And, it must also come with a good-looking, long-legged, dark-haired, female as my companion. Hey, I may be ugly but I'm not dumb!
-- One more trip to Middle Striped Mountain Lake. This remote lake is located at an elevation of 11,500 feet in High Sierra of California, just west of Big Pine. I have been there on five previous occasions and each trip was one week in length. All five of those trips were by backpacking but this time I want to ride in on a horse. I'm getting too old to make that 11-mile hike with a heavy load on my back. For you see, in the first nine miles of that trail, you gain 7,000 feet in elevation. That's right, a gain of 7,000 feet from the Owens Valley floor at the trailhead at the U.S. Forest Service Taboose Creek Campground (4,500') to the top of Taboose Pass (11,700'). However, it's well worth it, because the fishing at this large, super deep lake is unbelievable. It has rainbow trout in the 6 pound class and Eastern brook trout in the 20+ inch class.
-- There you have it, my summer wish list. Do you have one?
-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you the name of the passes that are located just north and south of Taboose Pass.
If he says, "They are Mather Pass to the north and Pinchot Pass to the south," he could be a backpacker who has done a lot of serious backpacking.