Monday, June 25, 2007

New Site + Archiving Oregon Outdoor Journal

Well, I'm all jazzed up about the new version of this site. Against all better judgement from readers, I'm giving up the Oregon Outdoor Journal Google Juice and nice number of monthly visits to continue my Wordpress blog.

I'm not shutting the doors on this site, since there's a lot of work here. But give Upstream in Oregon a shot. You won't be disappointed if you liked this site.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Blogger versus Wordpress

My blogger account has been jammed up for a couple weeks. I could post content, but it wasn't moving on to the home page. I got pretty frustrated so I started an experiment on Wordpress. Now I'm considering switching over fulltime. I'd like to get some votes on moving readers over to the new site versus keeping this Blogger account running.

PROS of moving over to WordPress:
  • Some of my favorite blogs recently moved from Blogger to Wordpress and they look really good. I think the new "test" blog looks better than this one already, and I haven't done much to it yet.
  • I've been more happy with Flickr than Picassa as a photo site, and Flickr (owned by Yahoo) and Blogger (owned by Google)don't get along. The Flickr photos don't size right. Flickr photos fit correctly on Wordpress.
  • I'm familiar enough with the Wordpress dashboard and I can get moving pretty quickly on it. I'm also inspired to most more often in the new deal.

    CONS of moving from Blogger to Wordpress:
  • I lose all of the search engine goodwill I've built up so far.
  • Everybody has to update their Oregon Outdoor Journal URLs to the new site.
  • I'd still have to keep my blogger account for a couple other blogs I maintain.
  • I might shift my focus on the new blog to more personal/navel gazing style, rather than trying to keep up with Oregon Outdoor news and controversies. I'd still talk about fishing, environmental news -- but I'd also post more about what I'm reading, what I'm doing at work, etc.

    Looking for feedback. What do you think?

    PS: Special thanks to Ron Southern for helping me kickstart this thing and get it displaying again.
  • Redwoods photo trip

    Lots of photos from our Redwoods National and State park trip.

    Coastal California Elk

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007

    Pressure DeFazio on Snake River Dam study

    Last week, the Eugene Register Guard published a letter from my bud Karl Mueller. Karl is advocating for a study of the dams on the Snake River, which Representative Peter DeFazio has declined to endorse. From Karl's letter:

    Snake River sockeye are already extinct, as are Snake River coho. Snake River chinook continue an inevitable slide toward extinction, yet there is still time to act. A bill in Congress would fund nothing more than an objective study of the costs and benefits associated with these dams. It seems prudent to examine the situation and act on the basis of the best available information.

    This bill has broad support in the House including the support of Rep. Earl Blumenauer. Rep. Peter DeFazio, who in his last campaign received $27,000 (one of his largest supporters) from a political action committee titled Action Committee for Rural Electrification National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, does not support the act. His position reeks of Bush-like special interest pandering.

    Do your part and contact DeFazio and let him know where you stand on this issue.

    In other Oregon Outdoor news, I was mauled by rampaging ground squirrels on top of Spencer's Butte yesterday. For the first time in my experience, wildlife outnumbered smarmy undergrads on the summit. The sound of the zipper on my camera case brought them in -- must sound a lot like a backpack full of cheez doodles opening.

    Ground squirrel gets frisky

    Squirrells on Spencers Butte

    Spencer's Butte

    Top of the Willamette Valley

    Also, Big Al took me out to a sweet spot on the Middle Fork, above Dexter and Lookout reservoirs. Easy access, but tricky to get to. I'm not blowing this spot on a blog post, but it rocked. You have to go with me if you want to check this one out -- drop me a line. We hooked about ten fish apiece, landed only a couple, but that's a different issue. Bad hands yesterday. They were taking my Madam X, green -- once again proving my saying -- OREGON TROUT LOVE LEGS. I can't say it enough. I'm getting it on a T-Shirt.

    We saw elk, a bald eagle and an otter. Check out the big image of the otter on Flickr.

    We also caught some salmon -- little landlocked guys coming up from the reservoir -- really silver with a forked tail. They don't fight as hard as rainbows, but it's cool to see them. They're coming from the fish spawning up on the North Fork and higher on the Middle Fork.

    Trailer-man is still holed up with his rottweiler at the confluence of Salt Creek and the Middle Fork. Forest Service still hasn't done anything about it.

    Monday, June 04, 2007

    Oregon outdoors weekend warriors

    I've been back from Alaska two weeks, but I'm having a hard time getting back into the writing swing of things (both here and at work unfortunately). I am making my rounds on the Oregon Outdoors though. Over Memorial Day weekend, I managed to get out on a drift boat with Karl from TU 678 and we covered Helfrich to Ikes and slammed the stocked rainbows. Karl runs a mean drift boat -- wish I'd have had a camera. Most of the fish were up at the beginning of the run and I caught almost all of them on the Mega-Prince (favorite fly of 2007). The next day, the bear climbed over the mountain and so did me and Al. We were on a mission to actually use the Spring Bear tags we bought and we ran up and down every backroad in the Smith River drainage. We got out and wandered a few old logging roads, I made a few squeals on the predator call, but it was a pretty half-hearted attempt. Good times, mostly an excuse to get out of the house. We came out of the mountains in Elkton and tried to hook into the Umpqua Shad run, but nothing happening. Lots of folks out on the banks, but not as many as Al expected. No shad. Then Monday, Sarah and Wild Bill pulled some strings to get KP and I out onto the North Umpqua for a whitewater trip with Destination Wilderness.

    Rafting the North Umpqua

    Rafting the North Umpqua

    Rafting the North Umpqua

    Then this last weekend, Wild Bill and I escaped Eugene to check out the scene on the McKenzie on Friday night. We tried to do the run again that Karl and I did, in my inflatable kayaks. I seem to have forgotten how hard it is to fish out of those things. We did pick up some feisty stockers in a hole at the beginning of the run. I also managed to "test" my new SOSpenders -- see pic below.

    Emergency! Inflatable life vest saves local moron

    We camped out at McKenzie Bridge that night. Pretty sad -- we forgot the beer and I burned my leg. The next morning we checked out Horse Creek though and that was really amazing. I'm pretty sure it's breeding/rearing habitat for the wild fish on the McKenzie. Bill and I caught three juvenile fish -- biggest one about 9 inches or so. We tried back on the McKenzie after that, but the fish weren't biting high up and the crowds were too bad down low.

    River Sandal

    Finally, yesterday I fished the North Fork of the Middle Fork Willamette with KP. I really need help with that river. It's one of my favorite places to fish but I haven't had a bite there. After getting discouraged on the NFMF we headed out to the confluence of Salt Creek and the Middle Fork and someone had set up a camper blocking access to the river and had 3 big agressive dogs loose that ran us off. I reported it to the Oakridge Police, but they said it was a Forest Service or Lane County Sheriff issue. We'll see if that gets cleared up.