There has been a whole lot of winter and even more work between the flintlock finale and this beginning of April.

A long and unwavering stretch of cold, snowy weeks dragged on endlessly with a few days above 30 degrees randomly mixed in. Even when there would be a few intermittent hours of decent weather, the snow would inevitably return – like it did overnight Saturday into Sunday – and we’d wake up to sub-freezing temperatures. Finally, yesterday, we climbed into the 60s and even chased the mid-70s. Amazingly it wasn’t an April Fools joke. Hopefully spring decides to stick around for a while.

Now we’re trying to catch up at home. We’re behind on pruning the apple and peach trees, and the raspberry, blackberry and blueberry bushes we expect to produce each year. We need to fortify the grapes’ trellis, do some work in the chickens’ run and take care of a few other projects before things start to grow. We did manage to get some work done Saturday before the cold returned. Melissa pruned the grape vines and cleaned out the garden beds while I broke out the chainsaw and cut a large limb off the ash tree in the middle of our yard, then pieced and stacked it. I also did some work on our compost pile and started building a potting table in the shed. We can continue to cross things off our lengthy to-do list as long as the weather holds.

Other projects recently completed included putting out the winter issues of PA Trout and PowWow. The latter came fresh on the heels of a POWA board meeting at the gorgeous Nature Inn within Bald Eagle State Park. Though I didn’t get to explore the park much while I was there, I’d definitely like to make a return trip to do some camping and fishing in the area.

Looking up at Cathedral Rock from the trailhead.
Looking up at Cathedral Rock from the trailhead.

Speaking of trips, a six-day excursion to Phoenix for the College golf teams’ annual spring break was a welcome respite from the cold. Aside from the weather, the biggest highlight was spending a day in Sedona hiking at Cathedral Rock in the morning and golfing the afternoon. Though we only got to see a fraction of what the area offers, its beauty left an indelible mark and a definitive desire to return someday. Just a day after returning from Arizona it was off to Camp F-Troop for the 27th annual Motorcyle Pete Retreat – a yearly trip designed to put a crack in the doldrums of winter and insufferable cabin fever.

The view from Cathedral Rock.
The view from Cathedral Rock.

Trout season opens locally in 10 days and I’ll be heading back to F-Troop for the festivities. The weekend also marks the 10th anniversary of my first trip to F-Troop. Along with extensive deep-woods hikes in search of wild trout, and perhaps even some elbow-to-elbow jockeying with locals over a pool of stockers, we have a major work project to take care of. Three new windows have been ordered and will be installed.

Regardless, it will be refreshing to spend some time on-stream for the first time in 2014. (I don’t see fishing a delayed harvest area before then). Maybe it’s been the oppressive weather, but my lack of fishing so far has been a drain mentally. It hasn’t helped that I’ve seen a growing number of trout pictures and articles coming through my news feeds each day.

Opening weekend should get me back on track with my 40 for 40 quest. That reminds me, I still need to write about the seven creeks I’ve already put in the books. Look for a quick recap of those soon.

April arrives, and so does spring
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