I’ve been working with Patagonia Provisions, the new food division of Patagonia, for several years now, but this week was a real milestone. As the first fish producer (the hot smoked salmon is already available) to actively work with fish conservation organizations, Patagonia Provisions convened their first annual Salmon Sourcing Advisory Board meeting in Ventura. The goal was to assess Provisions’ current salmon sourcing and chart the course of future options.
For me, it was a chance to hang out with some of my fish conservation heroes, and learn about the options for truly sustainable salmon products. Salmon harvest is probably the most complicated food sourcing issue in the world, but the experts came with encouraging ideas and a ton of information. It was a fantastic brainstorming session, and I left the meeting with a new optimism.
This is a picture I snapped of, from left to right, Mike Moody (Native Fish Society), Dune Lankard (Eyak Preservation Council), Kurt Beardslee (Wild Fish Conservancy), Bruce Hill (Headwaters Initiative) and Dr. Carol Anne Woody (Fisheries Research Consulting). My hope is that this was the first of many gatherings, and that the business itself will have a positive impact on the salmon industry.
Apologies for the long gap in posts here, but sometimes, when the going gets dark and cold, the dark and cold get going somewhere they can warm up. In this case, we were lucky enough to spend a couple weeks on another island–Kauai–foraging for local sources of mayonnaise, sodium and fat. Pretty much my three favorite food groups, especially when put together Hawaiian style.
This is a picture of an awesome breakfast at Tip Top Motel Restaurant & Bakery in Lihue. While we didn’t stay there, we did frequent the place for morning grub. I highly recommend it. On this morning, I was having a “light” Hawaiian breakfast of mouth-watering fried rice, two eggs and corned beef hash. Yes, that’s hash in the foreground. When you’re going Hawaiian-style with your hash, they don’t just press it flat on the griddle to crisp it. No, that would be too healthy. Instead, they form it into little balls and drop ‘em into the deep fryer for max crispy. Not pictured are the banana pancakes I ordered, which Weston immediately devoured. So good!
In spite of near-constant physical activity–snorkeling, paddleboarding, bodyboarding and surfing with the kids–I still managed to gain 12 pounds in 12 days. Something to remember whenever I think about how great it would be to live there. Great, that is, if I don’t mind weighing 357 pounds. But then I think of our last day at Hanalei, when a nice northwest swell and 20 kt offshore breeze combined for endless hollow, glassy waves and we stayed out until we couldn’t stand up. And then I think of the chili pepper fried chicken plate lunch at the Village Bakery we had afterwards. And the mind-blowing saimin-won ton soup at Hammura’s we had for dinner in Lihue. And I think, 357 pounds wouldn’t be so bad. I’d need a new wardrobe, but it’d only have to be a couple of t-shirts and pair of shorts.
This shot (yeah, that’s me) was taken by Tim Pask, one of the many great photographers featured in the new Patagonia fly fishing “brand book.” (The term “book” is used more and more loosely these days…it’s all digital. And it’s free.) Click HERE and page through the images at the top. I think it’s definitely worth a look, and if you’re like me, it’ll get you dreaming and drooling.
I was honored to contribute a short written piece at the end of the “book,” titled What Is Fly Fishing? Not sure if it really answers the question, but it was fun to write. Hope you like it.
After no snow here last winter, and none to speak of so far this year, we were stoked to wake up to some of the elusive white stuff Sunday morning. I’m always amazed at how much light and good cheer snow brings to our dark, Puget Sound winter. Of course, this was nothing compared to what other parts of the country have received the last few months, and really more of a light dusting than real snow, but it was enough.
Enough to convince the kids that walking to get the paper with Dad might be fun. Enough to scoop up for grape-juice snow cones. And most importantly, enough to slide down the local sled hill–even if it was mostly grass by the time we arrived.
At dusk, in a quest to make the most of the rapidly melting snow, we resorted to bike-powered tow sledding around the house. But after a few runs, Dad’s legs were shot, the driveway was down to bare gravel and our snow day was complete. Here’s hoping we get another shot or two of lowland snow before spring.
It’s easy to by cynical. We can complain about overpaid athletes and worry about brain-trauma issues in football at every level. We can protest public funds being spent on facilities for the private benefit of wealthy team owners. We can look at Paul Allen paying $194 million for the Seahawks to realize a value, today, of $1.08 billion. We can lament all that money and energy not going into schools, road repair, or any of a thousand more worthy causes. And we can think, as I did after the Seahawks’ Superbowl victory on Sunday, What am I so excited about? I didn’t do anything!
But what is the value of the collective uplift our region felt during and after the Seahawks championship run? Of the grocery checker who usually grunts a monosyllabic greeting, gushing about Percy Harvin’s kickoff return? Of strangers waiting in line at the post office (clad in matching blue jerseys) debating the merits of a cover-3 defense? Of five months of exquisite anticipation for Sundays? Of countless high-fives and cheers and celebrations with friends and family?
And what does it mean when 700,000 strangers, filled with civic pride, enthusiasm and happiness, wait for hours in the icy wind, to applaud our football team one more time? I have never seen so many people in one place in my life. The sheer volume of humanity was mind blowing. The inconvenience of getting there, staggering. And yet, of the thousands of people we came face to face with, I did not hear an angry word or witness even a hint of anything other than joy. Yes, unabashed, wide-open, hootin’-and-hollerin’ joy. In Seattle. In wintertime.
How do we measure such things? Is there a monetary figure attached to Weston yelling down from his perch on my shoulders, There’s Marshawn Lynch right there! He’s handing out Skittles! And there’s Pete Carroll with THE TROPHY!
It’s easy to be cynical. But not this time. Go Hawks!