Monday, November 28, 2011

Carbon Monoxide and RV's

backroads information-carbon monoxide and rv's

We have previously covered carbon monoxide detectors and the importance of using them while camping in an RV.

This past week while camping on the Snake River I plugged in the digital readout carbon monoxide detector and was curious to see what effect the various gas appliances would have on CO build-up.  This was the prime suspect.

We have used this in the tent trailer.  Which gets plenty of air flow.  Not quite like the 5th wheel which has hard sides everywhere!!  Anyway, we plugged in the propane heater and then plugged in the CO detector.  It did not move for hours.  When we started using this appliance, the CO detector started moving slowly.

That was a surprise.  After a few hours of cooking dinner and heating strictly with the propane heater this is what the CO meter showed.

Well within the safe range.  It was an interesting project.  I now feel better about using the propane heater within the 5th wheel.  However, everytime I use it the digital CO meter will be running.  Somehow I still do not trust gas appliances so will continue to sleep with none of them running and a CO meter for additional safety.  Oh, I also keep the window cracked at night.  Paranoid?  Nah, just safety conscious.

I lined up my digital CO meters in the garage to see if they were reading in the same ballpark.  I started up the Honda Pilot and watched the meters do nothing for several minutes.  I was convinced  that I had several, not just one bad meter.  I then noticed the gas generator and fired it up.  All the CO readouts immediately started rising!!  And in a short while were well above the danger zone.

So NEVER use a generator in a confined space!!

A digital CO detector.  Do not camp in an RV without one!!

Here is the link to our discussion on CO detectors:  Carbon Monoxide and Camping.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Unleashing the Inner Dog.....

Backwoods Destination--Return to the Snake River.

Snowpatch has turned seven months and it was time to take him on his first pheasant hunting trip.  Now without a doubt he is the smallest hunting dog.  However, inside that little body there is still a dog.

We purchased him a reversible hunting orange and camo hunting vest.  Well, that worked more in theory than fact.  Seems four feet of grass and shrub will hide Bugaboo on occasion, but soon he jumps up and those huge ears and flowing tail become visible.  That does not work with Snowpatch.

Hunting with Snowpatch was different.  I was pretty sure that Bichon's were flushers rather than pointing dogs, however, I was not quite sure how he was going to flush a pheasant,  since he and the pheasants are almost the same size.  You just walk through the grass and wait for his barking.  The pheasants did hold well for his barking so we were able to walk in and flush the bird.  Almost like hunting with Bugaboo!!

Well, after we shot the first pheasant another problem appeared.  Try as he might, Snowpatch had a difficult time with the retrieve.  First he grabbed the pheasant tail, but then it just came off in his mouth.  So he grabbed a foot and slowly brought the bird back to us.

It was easy to lose track of Snowpatch in the grass and weeds.  So the solution was to give Buggy the command "Go find Snowpatch".  So there we were Snowpatch pointing the pheasant and Bugaboo pointing Snowpatch. 

Oh, I thought Bugaboo's long hair was a problem with seeds and weeds.  Well, Snowpatch was soon covered with every invasive weed and seed found in the Snake River ecosystem.  So at night it was brush the big dog first and then the little dog.

Well, after a couple of birds Snowpatch did get tired and we switched to hunting over Bugaboo.  Bugaboo was great several times working a bird for more than five minutes in a small area before finally pointing the bird.  The dumb pheasants became dinner during opening week so this time they were quite a bit more wiley.

We camped in the same spot, but this time we were all alone for the entire week.  That 19 lb steelhead is safely in Idaho and for the entire week we never had a bite.

The weather was very windy for three days.  It is very difficult to hunt in a high wind so we traveled to Walla Walla for a day and tried to find sheltered areas for other hunts.  It was great to be camped in the Cameo rather than the tent trailerl since it was much more comfortable in high wind.

Camping in November means colder weather and we hit a low of 24 degrees, but the water system continued to work.  The Honda generator provided light and electricity for the long nights.  We could only get four Idaho PBS stations.  So instead of football, we watched shows on the Idaho Wilderness areas.  Somehow it was appropriate.

The Cameo was staged in Eugene for the trip to the southwest after the first of the year.  I did pay to winterize the trailer and LEARNED a LOT about doing it right.  If your in Eugene, I used  to winterize the trailer.  Manny's phone number is 541-731-9137.  No credit cards: cash or check only.

The Cameo is back at Eugene RV and Boat Storage.  We were happy with both RV services.

Here is another picture of me and Snowpatch showing off the pheasants.  Normally, I am not a fan of pictures of dead birds, but the pride that Snowpatch showed in hunting these birds does deserve some recognition.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Snake River Invasive Avian Species Project

usbackroads--Snake River Invasive Avian Species Project

Late October, means a return to the Snake River and our continuing efforts to remove non-native, invasive species of birds such as pheasants and Hungarian Partridges from the ecosystem.  Chukar partridge are safe due to the steep terrain they occupy.  We left them for all those 20 something bird hunters that still appreciate hiking on steep slopes.

We established camp at Little Goose Dam, but our favorite campspot was taken so we had to move a few hundred feet east to our campsite. 

After establishing camp we threw out our fishing lines hoping to hook at least ONE steelhead heading for Idaho and their ancestrial spawning grounds.  Well, I guess these days most of them were headed back to a fish hatchery.   

You fish for them with a BIG bobber leading to a jig and a marinated shrimp impaled on a barbless hook.  I was fishing with Terry's setup.  Well, actually I was watching his bobber when suddenly it started heading for Little Goose Dam leaving a little wake behind it.  I was reeling line when the steelhead surfaced.  It was at least 15 pounds and I am sure in future tellings it will continue to grow in size.   Just as I was to set the hook the line and the fish parted company.  It took two days to finally figure out that it was not the fishing line or a bad knot, but rather a chip and sharp fishing guide that cut the line.  So one fish hooked after ten years and it parted company after 10 seconds!

The pheasant population was down this year.  We suspect it had more to do with a wet and cold spring that killed the hatch rather than our previous years efforts.  However, we had Bugaboo in his third year and in his prime.

Fewer birds, but Bugaboo was able to find and point them.  The best thing about hunting is the hiking and watching Bugaboo work.  

And way back from roads there are treasures from times in the past.  Maybe one day I will have to drive my 2011 to a spot in the middle of somewhere and park it for the ages.  

By the end of the trip Bugaboo was hunting for both Terry and the Great Orange Pumpkin hunter.  Though he did show a preference for returning bird to the Great Orange Pumpkin hunter.  Here he is on point.  This was the last bird of the day.  There was plenty of time for the Great Orange Pumpkin hunter to move to the front of Bugaboo by 20 feet to get the bird to flush.

Bugaboo still did not want to voluntarily return his birds to me.  I even tried to trade a dog treat for a bird, but it was no sale in his eyes.  However, after I showed his the electronic controller he gave me the birds.  I never had to "make a connection" just showing him the charge controller was enough.

Bugaboo made some spectacular points.  Holding for five minutes while we caught up with him.  He also made some spectacular retrieves.  With a pointer it is always a problem that they point rather than retrieve the down bird.  This year Bugaboo seems to have made the distinction when to point and when to retrieve.

The formal count was 17 pheasants and four Hungarian partridges over a week of hunting.  The informal count was some beautiful points and retrieves by Bugaboo.  The 17 pound steelhead headed for Idaho.  A beautiful multi-point whitetail buck that flushed out a patch of brush.  Great views of the stars at night, but we missed the northern lights that were visible in the rest of the country.  

This year we will take the 5th wheel via the Snake River for its temporary waiting spot in Eugene.  Following Eugene, we will head back to the southwest and those sunny winter skies.