Fishing With Ivan Part 7B

12 May

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

I remember one morning, there in Sapinero, as we were launching Ivan’s boat at the boat ramp, the front mooring line slipped away from us as the boat came off the trailer.  Yep! The boat kept moving out into the lake.  Luckily the mooring line was made of hemp and was floating, trailing after the boat.  Ivan had to wade out to catch the line before it was out of reach.  Whew!  If the mooring line had not been floating, the boat would have glided out into the open lake and someone would have had to swim out to retrieve it.  That would not have been fun, as the water was really cold!  Burrrrr!  Or, we would have had to get one of Ivan’s friends to launch his boat and take us out to get Ivan’s boat.  That would have been very embarrassing, and Ivan would not have been able to live that one down.  I guess he figured it would be better if he got a little wet than the alternatives.


The Trout and Kokanee Salmon in the Blue Mesa Reservoir were good size and gave us a good fight.  However, the fight was worth the effort when Ivan cooked them up for us for our evening meals.  Ivan and Dora were good friends with the owners of the Sapinero Trading Post and had become a part of the ‘family’ there at the RV Park.  Ivan helped with RV Park repairs and Dora helped in their “Ley-Z-B” Restaurant.  On the weekends, they both helped cook and serve the restaurant’s outdoor Bar-B-Q dinner that drew folks from near and far.  It was an “Old Home Town Event” every Saturday night.


In addition to the RV Park repairs and helping with the Saturday night BBQ, Ivan spent much of his non-fishing time entertaining the young children who seemed to always be running around the RV Park.  They thought it was magic that ‘Uncle Ivan’ had an endless supply of rock candy in his pocket to hand out to them.

Photo by DiVoran Lites

Note: The town of Sapinero has an interesting story.  It goes that the original town was founded somewhere around 1882, and was named for the famous Ute Indian Chief ’Sapawanro’ (it is believed to have been changed to ‘Sapinero’ by the railroad).  It was located on the banks of the Gunnison River about halfway between Gunnison and Montrose, CO.    About that same time the D&RG Railroad pushed its tracks thru the area, and Sapinero became a railway stop on their Denver to Salt Lake City route (see Wikipedia for the detailed history of Sapinero and the influence of the D&RG Railroad on the area).  In 1962 the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation was given the responsibility for the design and construction of the Blue Mesa Dam across the Gunnison River.  When finished, the dam forming the largest artificial reservoir in the state of Colorado.  It also covered the homes, businesses, schools and churches of the town’s 500 residents with over 300’ of water.  The residents of Sapinero had to relocate just as the Ute Indians had to do in 1864 when they were forced to relocate from these same Colorado lands, by the U.S. Government, with the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851.


—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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