Tag Archives: Family fishing memories

Fishing With Ivan Part 7A

5 May

A Slice of LIfe

Bill Lites

Having been raised most of their younger years in Colorado, Ivan and Dora both liked the high cool Colorado areas for their hot and humid summer months ‘get-a-way’ living when possible.  One of the Colorado areas they found to their liking was Sapinero, CO (elevation 7621’).  This small community is located on US-50, roughly halfway between Gunnison and Montrose, and on the southern edge of the Gunnison National Forest, adjacent to the Blue Mesa Reservoir (the fishing hole).

Photo: https://maps.roadtrippers.com/us/co/nature/blue-mesa-reservoir

They liked this location so well that they made arrangements with the RV Park owner to permanently park their 30’ Silver Streak travel trailer on one of their upper level lots overlooking the lake.  They had spent several summer seasons there in Sapinero, and were even allowed to build a permanent wooden roof over the trailer to protect it from the winter snows.  They extended one side of the roof (on the door side of the trailer) to include a very nice covered Patio deck.

Photo by Ivan Bowers

The time DiVoran and I visited Ivan and Dora in Sapinero we stayed in one of the ‘Rustic Cabins’ there in the RV Park.  I use the term rustic loosely, as it looked like it had to be at least 100 years old and never been painted.  As I remember, the lap-siding boards were nailed to the 2x4s that held up the roof and that was it!  There was nothing much on the inside to stop the cold and wind from coming thru the cracks in the siding.  There was a small table, two wooden chairs, a sagging double bed (with squeaky springs), and a small stained and chipped porcelain sink with a single faucet.  The water was ice cold and drained on the ground outside the cabin.  The single pull-chain lightbulb hanging from the ceiling gave off barely enough light to see your way around the cabin at night.  The outhouse was about 25 yards away, and seemed much further than that at two-o’clock in the morning.

Photo: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/309622543126549588/

DiVoran remembers that there was a good sized gap under the door.  We didn’t pay much attention to it until, in the middle of our first night in the cabin; she almost gave me a heart attack.  She woke me up screaming and jumping up and down in the middle of the floor.  I asked her what was wrong, and she said, “Something was crawling over my head!”  In the poor lighting, we searched the cabin but couldn’t find anything.  It was really hard to get back to sleep that night.  Visions of what might be scurrying around the cabin didn’t help.

The next morning, when we told Ivan our story, he just laughed and said, “It must have been one of my little friends that like to come in from the cold.   You wouldn’t blame them from wanting to get in there where it is warm would you?”  DiVoran didn’t think it was funny.  The next night you better believe we stuffed a towel in that gap under the door, to keep any visiting critters from bothering our sleep.

Image: http://clipart-library.com/laughing-man-cliparts.html

—–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

Fishing With Ivan Part 6

28 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

I remember one trip to visit Ivan and Dora when they lived in Vista, CA.  This trip took place sometime around 1985.  DiVoran and I started this trip by flying from Orlando, FL to San Diego, CA.  After we picked up our rental car, we met with our high school friends, Jim and Charlene, who had moved to San Diego from Flagstaff, AZ.  We had a wonderful visit with them, remembering fun high school times and other times we had experienced with them in days gone by.  Then they took us to their favorite Mexican food restaurant where we enjoyed a delicious meal and more memories.

Photo by Bill Lites

After dinner, we said our goodbyes, and drove about 50 miles north to visit DiVoran’s brother, David, and his wife, Susan, in Vista, CA.  David was in the middle of restoring an off-road vehicle project, and enlisted me as his helper and go-fer.  DiVoran and Susan spent most of their time discussing children and grandchildren.  The two ladies conspired together to cook a wonderful meal that everyone enjoyed.  After an evening of more reminiscing, we finally called an end to the fun.  After that wonderful visit they put us up for the night at their lovely home.

Photo by DiVoran Lites

That year Ivan and Dora had decided to spend some time fishing at the Salton Sea.  So, the next day we drove east from Vista thru Escondido, Ramona, and Santa Ysabel (elevation: ~5000’), and then back down and thru the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, to somewhere on the west side of the Salton Sea (elevation: -226’).  I ask Ivan why he didn’t stay at the Salton Sea State Recreation Area where they had camping facilities (located on the northeast side of the lake), and he said it was too expensive and the fishing wasn’t any better in that part of the lake.

They had their 30 foot Silver Streak travel trailer setup near the water’s edge with nothing around them but a few other campers.  I never could figure out what had attracted them to this desert area, where there was nothing around them but a few scrub bushes and tumble weeds for as far as the eye could see.  

Photo: https://saltonsea.com/events/seafest-october-21-2017-7-am-to-7-pm-salton-sea-state-recreation-area/

I don’t remember much about that visit, but somehow Ivan had heard that the Mozambique Tilapia in the Salton Sea were plentiful that year, and he was determined to catch his share of them.  I don’t know how good the fishing had been for him before we got there, but that first night we didn’t have fresh fish for dinner.  DiVoran remembers that Dora had apologized for having to serve us canned salmon patties for dinner.

The only thing DiVoran remembers about that trip is that Dora had learned to paint there from a lady who lived there at the lake, and that she and Dora spent much of their time painting.  This activity ended up creating a new and very special life-long bond between DiVoran and her mother.

Note:  For an interesting read, check out Wikipedia for the details of how the Salton Sea was formed over millions of years, from a natural Salt Sink to a thriving 343 sq. mi. size lake, and how it has now been transformed to its present day ‘dead sea’ condition by mankind over the years.

—–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

Fishing With Ivan Part 5

21 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

After their retirement, Ivan and Dora tried to spend the three hottest months, each year, in a cooler part of the country.  They would pack-up their 30’ Silver Streak travel trailer and head for an RV Park somewhere near a good fishing spot.  Dora had a brother who owned an RV Park on Marrowstone Island, located in the Port Townsend Bay area, northwest of Seattle, WA.   They had visited Smitty and his wife, Waunita, several times over the years.  One year (I believe it was in 1980), I had a business trip to the San Francisco area, during the time Ivan and Dora were on their summer stay on Marrowstone Island.  When I completed my business, I took a week of vacation and joined Ivan and Dora for some relaxation time.  DiVoran had flown out from Florida to be with her parents a few weeks before I got there.

Photo: https://www.roverpass.com/c/smitty-s-island-retreat-nordland-wa/

DiVoran and Dora both enjoyed painting and they found lots of subjects to use to apply paint to canvas.  When they got tired of painting they would walk down to the beach to look for special pieces of driftwood they could use in their artwork.  They also found ‘Jade’ rocks that seemed to be prevalent along that beach.  On Wednesday evenings Dora would take DiVoran to her weekly Bible Study with some of the other ladies there on the island.

Photo by Bill Lites

       Each day Ivan would take me somewhere different where there were some old pilings (at low tide) where we gathered ‘tube worms’ for the day’s fishing.  Each day, after collecting our bait, we would head for another of his ‘secret fishing spots’ (he usually had more than one) to fish for Cod and Mackerel for our dinners.  That was always great fun learning how to fish for the different types of fish.

Another day Ivan took us to the clam beds (again at low tide) to dig for Horseneck Clams.  We learned how to watch for the clams to spout water in the air; then we would rush over quickly, and dig them up before they could borrow their way back down into the sand.  What an interesting learning experience that was.  DiVoran and I learned to eat a large variety of seafood, and other things (well at least I did), during our visits with Ivan and Dora.

One day Ivan and Dora took us for a tour of Fort Flagler, located in the Fort Flagler State Park.  The fort is located at the northern tip of Marrowstone Island.  I learned that Fort Flagler (1897), along with Fort Worden (1898) and Fort Casey (1899) once guarded the Admiralty Inlet, which is the nautical entrance to Puget Sound.  Because of the many tourists that visit the park, some of the wildlife are very tame.  As luck would have it, Dora got a chance to feed a small deer the day we were there.  What a thrill that was!

Photo by DiVoran Lites

On a couple occasions, DiVoran and I made the trip to Port Townsend to do some shopping and to enjoy a bowl of the most wonderful Crab Bisque I have ever eaten.  I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant.  Ivan was an excellent cook, and he and Dora kept us well fed.  It didn’t matter, what the season was, or in what location we happened to visited them, the food was always good and plentiful.  However, I don’t believe I have ever known Ivan to cook fish any other way than pan fried.  Yummm!

I was amazed at the tide levels in the Port Townsend Bay area.  The difference between Low Tide and High Tide was over 9½ feet.  In the photo below, you can see the pilings behind us (at low tide) which will give you an idea of how much difference there is.  This amazing tidal difference gave us wonderful opportunities, during low tide activities, to participate in such interesting adventures as beach combing and digging for Horseneck clams.  It’s amazing the kind of things you will find on a beach, at low tide, especially after a storm. 

Photo by Dora Bowers

—–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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