My 02’ Ranger

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I miss this truck….. had many mods and did real well off-road. It was just too small for the family. These pics were from a video a friend of mine took when we were out running power line roads in SW Washington.

John Day River near Rufus Oregon

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Just back from the John Day River in Oregon for some bass fishing. Good time, good food, good friends.

My son Dylan’s jeep

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Larch Mt in SW Washington

Dutch Oven Recipes?


Anyone have any simple Dutch oven recipes? I’ll get it started with a desert my family likes that is super simple.


2-cans peach halves (in syrup)
1-box yellow cake mix
1-stick of butter
1-powdered cinnamon

Oil or grease your Dutch oven.

Pour the contents of two cans of peaches into the pot syrup and all.

Sprinkle the cake mix as even as possible over the top. Do not mix.

Slice the butter into 1/4 to 1/2” pads and place evenly over the cake mix

Sprinkle with cinnamon powder

Put lid on oven and place 20 coals on top and 10 coals on the bottom.

Should take about 45 minutes.

My tow and adventure rig is road worthy again.

truck snow2Lost the engine in my 06′ Ram 4 X 4 (181,000 miles) and decided the best option was to replace it. The total spent to date for the engine replacement, front differential repair, and now exhaust and front suspension components is close to $11,000. A new truck is about $55,000.  I just couldn’t pull the trigger on that as we already bought my wife a new car last year and have four more years of payments to endure.

I hope it was a good decision but I’m feeling the weight of the new debt on a truck I paid off years ago.

Bottom line is that I need a truck and I like this one. We’ve been on many adventures together pulling the boat to Central Oregon fishing with the truck-camper and exploring ALL of the high-Cascade lakes to the Mountains of NW Oregon and SW Washington State. We’ve adventured off across the desert roads to find a spot to camp away from everybody. We’ve hauled building materials and tools to build and maintain our place on Lake Merwin, Wa.

Now we have a 19′ travel trailer (so my wife will go too) with a bucket list of exploring places like Yellowstone National Park, Banff AB, the ghost town of Bodie, California and a few others we are researching.

Seems like stuff doesn’t hold up as well as it used to and I’m likely not done. As great as it would be to have something ‘new’, I’m pretty attached to this one as it has pretty reliably carried me many miles away from the grind of city life and work. The truck deserved the repairs after what I have put it through.  We’ll role-the-dice and keep on truckin.

Grandson stalking a doe



Be very quiet…..


Bannock is one of those simple yet delicious recipes one needs in the trail craft pocket.

It is not  high-rise yeast bread, yet it is very tasty in a variety of ways.

I’m sure there are many recipes online about this bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose  flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. baking powder aka 2 large heaping tablespoons worth, maybe a half one if unsure
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ¼ cup shortening (lard, bacon grease, melted butter, canola oil)
  • 2 cups water (approximately)

I add water just so its a bit on the watery side than too dry. I generously oil my cast iron skillet and place on a low heat side of fire or grill etc.

  1. Mix dry ingredients well in large bowl or zipper close plastic bag.
  2. Add shortening; work it into dry ingredients until you get an even meal consistency.
  3. Add about half of the water and start to stir and mix with a fork/spoon etc.
  4. Keep adding water and mixing until you get a good kneadable dough consistency.  make sure its not a thin batter.
  5. I pour into skillet and level out with spoon etc
  6. Cook until a deep golden brown on both sides, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or until sides pull away from skillet

You can also add in berries, fruits etc that you gather while outdoors as well to the mix

It will only be limited by your imagination


Fire ban? Propane fire rings can save the weekend camping experience.

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Made it to Lake Merwin, Wa. about 8pm last night. My son, Alex, and grandson Brantleigh are here.  We were looking forward to sitting by the fire.  Fortunately, a fire ban in our area still allows “propane appliances” and includes propane fire rings.

Winter Camping

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My son testing out all his Christmas presents the day after about 6years ago

that year he got the tent, his -20* mummy bag, an axe, wool mittens with leather outers and I cant remember now what else, Santa was too good to him


I told him to stay off the ice, did he listen LOL



I never did get my coffee pot I lent him back LOL

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Summer end near….. Mostly work with little play…..

Well…..  It’s already getting darker earlier and earlier.  Warm days are being mixed in with the brisk mornings here in Washington state.  Don’t feel like I got as many weekend trips in as last year.  Did a bunch of work at my place on Lake Merwin.  Got the big stuff finished like fixing dry-rot in the old trailer, re-roofing the a-frame building that protects the old 1977 Ideal 35 footer.  Installed new flooring and a new shower (that leaked and caused the dry-rot issue).  But it came at a price other than just monetary.  It meant fewer Kokanee trips on the lake.  Usually by this time of year I have a freezer full and start canning. Read More