Year-end thoughts

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Dennis Clay

This was a fun year, with many enjoyable adventures.

Camping and fishing

Garnet and I pulled our 26-foot Hideout travel trailer to Potholes State Park twice. Site 23 is our favorite spot, which is exactly 23 miles from the driveway at our house. We stayed for as long as a week, but make several trips home during our stay. Our routine is to stay at the campground two nights and then come home to feed our animals, returning to the campsite the same day.

We also traveled to Conconully State Park and stayed a week. Coming home from Conconully during our stay was not an option, so a friend cared for the animals.

The fishing at Conconully Reservoir was fantastic. I rented a row boat from Shady Pines Resort at for $6 an hour or $24 for the day and used an electric motor to troll.

A limit of fat and sassy kokanee and rainbow in the 12- to 14-inch range was caught most every day for five days. Ate a bunch of delicious fish, but cooked and froze a bunch to bring home. Great eating.

We have reservations for two trips to Potholes and two to Conconully in 2018.


Hunted deer and elk this year. The reward was a handsome 4- by 5-point buck. Didnít see an elk in the area I was hunting. Didnít hunt birds this year. Donít know why, just didnít happen.

Interesting events of the year

Magpie provides learning experience

Garnet and I provide peanuts in the shell for a couple of squirrels hanging around our house. They eat some and hide some in our lawn.

Found out magpies like the peanuts, also. A new learning experience, observed for the first time on Dec. 21, was a magpie hiding a peanut in the lawn. The bird placed it a small hole, then pulled grass to cover it.

Broken vehicle radio antenna

Experienced a weird happing to the Death Ram this year during the deer hunting season. Hunting buddy, Rudy Lopez, and I headed to Odessa in order to purchase ice for the cooler.

We stopped at the local grocery store, parking next to the handicapped parking space. The building, which housed the old city hall and is now used for other community functions, was open next door. It is an old building and I had attended an Odessa Chamber of Commerce meeting there some 20 years ago.

Three people could be seen working inside, so we stepped in and introduced ourselves. A great and friendly visit followed, lasting about 10 minutes.

Rudy and I then headed to the grocery store and purchased the ice, put it in the cooler and headed back to camp. I looked to the right side of the Ram during this trip. The antenna was bent into a sharp U with the tip missing.

We had not traveled anywhere where the antenna would encounter a tree or building, so this was an intentional act. The Ram was parked next to the handicap parking slot, not in it. Were we in a favored spot reserved for a local shopper? Donít know, as it wasnít marked.

A new antenna is about $15 or so, but the radio still comes in with great reception.

By the way, friend, Bill Witt, named my favorite vehicle the Death Ram.

ďWhenever we head out hunting or fishing, something is going to die,Ē he said. ďSo, this is the Death Ram.Ē

The only person who doesnít appreciate the name is Garnet, who doesnít want me to mention the name when she is riding in the Ram.

No-spill gas can

Never thought this column would include a segment about a gas can. Never thought a gas can would be so dear to my heart.

I suffered through three years with a gas can which was difficult to handle. The nozzle was stored inside the unit, so getting gas on my hands was unavoidable. Rubber gloves were finally used to prevent gas from contacting skin.

The situation became worse during this deer-hunting season. Apparently, the gasket had become damaged and gas was now dripping a bit with each fill up of the generator.

A mission was announced with the goal of finding a gas can suitable for all my needs. The goal was accomplished with the purchase of a 5-gallon, No-Spill gas can. Yes, the name says no spill, but would it really work.

This is the best and easiest gas can Iíve ever owned. It has a spout with a cap on one end and a button on the other. The spout stays in place after filling the plastic container.

The trigger is pushed after the endcap is removed. This releases any pressure buildup inside. A handle on top and on the back, provides easy handling to get the spout to the refill hole. The trigger is pushed again to fill the tank on any machine needing gas. Not a drop of gas is released until the trigger is pushed. Releasing the trigger stops all flow of gasoline.

Happy New Year

Garnet and I wish all our readers the best year in 2018.

To reach Dennis Clay at the Columbia Basin Herald, e-mail: or call 509-762-5158.

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