Month: November 2017

Trapping Tuesday – 1987 Trappers, Trucks, Totals

Headed back 30 years for this one as we revisit 1987 on the trapline. Lots of thoughts, as always, when I look back at the outdoor photo albums and records. As I noted earlier this year, I had hopes of an over the top trapping blog project spanning the season but just too many other priorities to get it done. However, I couldn’t help but do some writing and reminiscing so you get the abridged version instead. Mixed in are plenty of hints as to what is to come when I do get around to my epic trapline blowout.

But for now…

We’ll start with the trappers.

The 17-year old kid in the flannel shirt is my brother, Brent, a senior at Galesburg High School at the time of this outing. I assume that this trip was on a weekend, but being exceptionally bright, I don’t figure a day of hooky would have hurt him much anyway.

The guy in the middle is our Dad, who along with his brother taught us pretty much everything we know about trapping. Much of what we learned was useful but there was certainly a degree of leg pulling that was also thrown in on more than a few occasions.

I’m the guy on the right in the purple of the Knox College Siwash where I was trudging through what was kind of my first of two junior years. Strange to think, but that 20-year old fellow is now seven years older than Dad was back in 1987.

Trucks have also been an integral part of the adventures and Dad’s Ford Ranger and Uncle Dick’s Chevy S10 were around for more than a few seasons. Both predate the appearance of four wheel drive vehicles on the trapline which made for some interesting situations along with the need for a little manpower assistance when things got slippery.

A little fuzzy on the scan but that’s 85 coons, 101 muskrats and 6 beaver for $2,002.75 during the 1987-88 season with Top Coon at $30

A final bit of flashback fun involves a look at some stats from this 1987-88 trapping season. Dad has data on catches and total dollars earned dating all the way back to 1971 with yearly totals for nearly every season from 1979-80 to just a few years ago. Quite interesting to look back at the numbers and see the ups and downs of the fur market over time. While the rest of the numbers will be reserved for that big future trapping project, I will say that fur prices looked to be pretty solid for the haul noted above.

That’s all for another Trapping Tuesday but plenty more to come with a weekly posting through the end of January. Lots of other outdoor stuff mixed in around those flashbacks as well, so hope you’ll stop by. Talk to you later. Troy

Black Friday Outdoors – Quincy, IL

So, Black Friday found our family in Quincy, IL visiting with Julie’s mom. Never one for shopping on a regular day, let alone the biggest shopping day of the year, I was game for Julie’s suggestion that we get some fresh air along the mighty Mississippi River. Besides with lunchtime temperatures in the mid-70s, who in their right mind would want to be cooped up in a mall? An outstanding bit of nature, The River did not disappoint during the few hours we spent roaming and exploring.

First stop was a stretch of river walk just north of the Route 24 bridge between a couple dining establishments called The Pier and The Dock. This area featured several docks and a boat ramp. Along the way we skipped rocks, threw logs and found a pumpkin floating in the river. After fishing the pumpkin out of the water we had a great fun rolling it down the boat ramp back to its watery home.

Next up was Quinsippi Island which was accessible via a one lane bridge and featured a log cabin village, playground area and “secret trail” through the timber to the river’s edge. My boys called the river bank under the towering railroad bridge, “The Beach” and we enjoyed writing in the sand and discovering interesting animal tracks (some real and others imagined).

The road to Quinsippi Island

Toss in imagination…and some hot lava, or snake pit, or alligators…

And how about these raptor and T-Rex prints Zac “found”

Cool view of the “Mighty Mississippi”

Fun to watch the river do it’s thing

Zac points the way to some deer prints on “the beach”

The final bit of sightseeing was the Villa Katherine, a “Castle on the Mississippi” built in 1900. We were just in time to work in a tour of the site which proved to be quite interesting.  Further information on this landmark on the National Register of Historic Places can be found here.

Villa Katherine overlooks the Mississippi and is the current home of Quincy’s Tourist Information Center 

A look at the interior reflecting pool from the second floor balcony

Mississsippi River view from second floor of Villa Katherine

Quincy River Ramble Rating: 5.0 Marshmallows (scale 1-5 Marshmallows with 5 being tops, rating is average of six family member votes)

Location: Along the Mississippi River in Quincy. IL
Attractions: Bonansinga Drive River Walk, Quinsippi Island, Villa Katherine and “the beach” which was actually just a stretch of sandy bank exposed by low pool conditions.
Hiking/Trails: paved riverside trail off Bonansinga Drive, auto/pedestrian bridge to Quinsippi Island and unmarked river access on Quinsippi Island

Family Poll: What did you like most about Quincy’s Mississippi River stops?
Helena: “Walking on the dock, the pumpkin roll and Grammy showing me how to skip rocks.”
Carly: “The random pumpkin floating in the river and the log cabins.”
Zac: “The beach where we wrote our names and saw raptor and T-Rex prints.”
Mom: “The Quinsippi Island cabins, wish they were open for a better look.”
Dad: “The various river views and watching the kids simply enjoy some fresh air via a combination of random objects and imagination.”
Jayce: “I liked the beach and hated the part when we had to leave.”

Definitely a worthwhile bit of outdoor activity on an unseasonably warm Thanksgiving Friday. Much different than what thousands of others were up to as evidenced by encountering maybe ten people along the way. It was rewarding to hear my boy, Jayce, ask if we could come back after being told it was time to hike back to the vehicle from “the beach.” I told him that we have one of these, meaning a river, back home. Same mighty one, in fact. Talk to you later. Troy

Thank You Bass #2,000

While my days on the water are likely done for 2017, that doesn’t mean that I can’t tell a few fish stories. What follows are some excerpts from Thanksgiving 2006 and my quest for a milestone. Looking for Bass #2,000 of what I called the “Computer Age.” And here’s the Thanksgiving fish story.

Spoiler Alert – Bass #2,000

“Bass number one of ‘the computer age’ made its way into the database on March 21, 1997 at 5:04 pm. It fell to a blue glimmer spinnerbait on Duck/Deer Lake at Little John and measured eleven inches in length. By November 22, 2006, I had spent over 900 hours chasing bass and stood five fish shy of 2000. Fortunately, me and my girls were headed for Buckheart south of Canton, IL to celebrate Thanksgiving, the weather forecast was favorable and I had permission to fish.

On the morning of November 23rd I spent a fair amount of time wandering around a good-sized strip pit before settling on an area that featured a lengthy stretch of bank containing numerous beaver lodges, probably my favorite piece of structure. After losing a small northern pike on a dew worm hung from a bobber, bass number 1,996 inhaled my jig and pig as I hopped it around some debris on the bottom. I was unable to fool any others on the lake and also was blanked on a smaller pond nearby. While fishing, I crossed paths with my brother-in-law, David Breuer, who was goose hunting and he suggested that I try a spot where we had success earlier this fall.

His advice produced three bass in less than fifteen minutes. All of the fish hit my Rattlin Jig (black/blue) with a #11 pork frog (blue) as I worked a beaver lodge. The second of the three fish joined the record book at a respectable 2-15. Another half hour on the lake failed to produce a bite and I headed for Thanksgiving dinner. I couldn’t help but wonder if fate would be so unkind as to leave me one bass shy of my goal. However, I still held out hope that I could entice one more bite the following day.

Thanksgiving Day 2006 bass at 2-15 on jig & pig (black/blue)

I reached the beaver lodge at 8:12 am on the 24th and quickly retied my jig and pig as I eagerly awaited my first cast. I didn’t have to wait long as only seconds after my jig hit the bottom I felt the familiar tap of a hungry bass. I reared back to hammer the hooks home on number 2,000…and missed. In the seconds that followed I felt the despair of potentially missing my shot, possibly uttered a few uncharacteristic and colorful words and began to reel in my lure for another cast. To my surprise, a bass suddenly appeared out of nowhere and slammed the jig as rode inches below the surface. I’m not sure exactly what happened next but I would have to give the bass credit for hooking itself as I think I kind of went on autopilot before winding up with a firm grip on the lip of number 2,000.

Looking at my watch, I recorded the time at 8:13 am. I proceeded to measure the length of the bass and it was documented at 13 inches. Having met my 12-inch minimum criteria for a weight measurement I reached for my scale despite already knowing the result before making it official. I’ve seen a few bass in my day and can usually give a reasonable, fairly unbiased estimate. In this instance, I was right on the money.

The fish weighed in at 13 ounces.

You see if I had to pick a favorite number, it would be 13, which I would admit to inheriting from Dad. It’s on my license plate ’13Troy’, similar to his “13 Dad”. He sported the number on various athletic jerseys over the years, as did I when it was available. Therefore, it seemed fitting that my quest would end upon landing a 13-inch, 13-ounce bass at 13 minutes after eight o’clock in the morning.

As thankful for this “lucky” bite as much as any bass I’ve ever fooled, dig the beaver lodge in the background, classic piece of bass fishing structure and my favorite

After snapping a couple photos of what would coincidentally be (believe it or not) my 113th 13-inch bass, I decided to work the area for a few more minutes. I managed to get one more bite but busted off on the hookset despite retying after number 2,000. Following a few more half-hearted casts I decided to head back to the guesthouse. I’d spent fifteen minutes on the lake and left satisfied upon having reached my goal. The 2006 season had been good to me and I didn’t care if I had to wait until 2007 to begin the pursuit of my 3,000th bass.”

Happy Thanksgiving to all, let me know if you find any of your own bass during this extended turkey weekend. Talk to you later. Troy

Trapping Tuesday – 2012 Tailgates & Training

Over the years, the photo album has amassed quite a collection of pictures that fit the description of today’s title. This posting comes from 2012 and features one of several versions of “The Jackson Five” that trekked the trapline through the years.

What follows are excerpts from a pair of postings featured on a previous blogging gig.

From “Guest Trappers 2012”, originally posted on November 16, 2012:

“As I noted in my trapping post (“Ready, Set, Trap”) earlier this week, Dad and Brent have been joined by a handful of guest trappers this season. Well, here are a couple more of them who tagged along on November 7. My son Jayce (age 3) and my brother’s boy, Brady (age 4), got an opportunity to partake in their second year of trapping and had a good time. I got to tag along as photographer, videographer and documentarian and will now share a portion of what our fearless group of trappers found upon running their sets.

All told, the trappers caught 15 coons to go with the 20 from Opening Day. A solid start to another season not to mention more pictures, outdoor adventures and stories to tell.”

Brent, Jayce, Brady and Terry Jackson (aka Dad and Papa)

Continuing on with “More Than Trapping” from November 19, 2012:

“There’s definitely something cool about landing that four pound bass, catching a 60 pound beaver or accidentally hooking a muskie. I’ve got more than a few photos, log entries and blog postings of all that stuff that constitutes a fair portion of my memory book. However, the peripheral adventures with family and friends leave just as much of a mark whether you catch anything or not. A recent trapping outing for Dad, Brent and me with a couple little guys (my boy, Jayce, and Brent’s son, Brady) only reinforced this point and gave me a little glimpse into the future. I envision more than a few conversations as those boys get older that will start with something like ‘Do you remember that one time with Papa and your dad…?’

I certainly will and I hope that some of the words and photos that wind up accompanying those adventures will someday bring a smile or get the stories rolling.

For today, I’ll pass along a batch of those memories from November 7. I suppose the whole trip lasted maybe four hours but those boys more than got their money’s worth as did the ‘grownups.’

Not just about the fur as hedgeballs also provide an opportunity to goof around.

Another part of the “class” involves finding and identifying “sign”

Big trapper educating little trappers, just as he learned more than a few years ago

Our day started with the usual silliness on the road to Burger King in Monmouth where the boys chowed down and enjoyed further silliness that comes with being a kid (and not having your mom around, just kidding). The boys were pretty fired up about getting some stylish Super Mario BK crowns. As I wrote this, Jayce informed me that he was Mario and Brady was Luigi (or Weegie as Jayce puts it) for I hadn’t filed those particular details away. I do believe that at least one of the big people actually wore a crown for a bit as well but there was no camera present to verify. Anyway, after fueling up it was off to see what we’d caught.

I was very impressed with the boys as it was not what one would call balmy with low 40’s and a stiff wind. Not a single complaint though about being cold and both were eager to get out of the truck at each stop in order to goof around (and check a trap or two). I also could not believe that neither one of them fell asleep on the way home. One other trapper did, but hey, I need to find some rest whenever I can as naps have been slim pickings for like the last eight years or so.

And, speaking of naps, this classic shot features my boy, Jayce, relaxing on his “coon cot”

An enjoyable day on the trapline culminated with the customary back of the truck photo of the haul and lunch with Gamaw. What more could a guy, large or small, ask for?”

Plenty more “Trapping Tuesday” posts to come, along with whatever else I can muster. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 11/4 – Part II

The Top 5 goes a little more “classic” than yesterday’s favorites with some pretty heavy hitters, all-time greats in fact.

5. “Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy” – Sammy Hagar (1982) – Between Montrose and trying to replace David Lee Roth, “The Red Rocker” was successfully jamming solo with a batch of hits. For my money, this is the best of that bunch.

4. “Shattered” – The Rolling Stones (1978) – Always kind of lukewarm on The Stones but Mick and the boys doing their thing on this one is a treat. A rambling, seedy, dirty, nasty bit of a musical trek through the big city. “Pride and joy and greed and…” well, you know, along with rats, bedbugs, maggots and a battered brain. Cool when a song such as this gets me wandering back through the catalog for another listen, so many songs are cooler the older you (and they) get. Oh yeah, it also says “Shadoobie” a lot of times.

3. “Surrender” – Cheap Trick (1978) – What a cool song from the band hailing from Rockford, Illinois. Not only a great hook but also a warning about what was called “VD” back in the day. Also included is a quick shout out to KISS amidst a rough visual of walking in on the folks. Last but not least, it brings back memories of the 80s classic “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” with Damone pitching Cheap Trick concert tickets. How’s all that for a tune?

2. “Over the Hills and Far Away” – Led Zeppelin (1973) – Another great intro, interesting finish and keeps chugging along in between. In addition, I’ve long had a thing for tunes that never use the title in the lyrics, kind of a fun trick to pull out every once in a while I suppose.

1. “Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd (1975) – Speaking of intros, here’s another to add to the list. The title track from the how do you follow up “Dark Side of the Moon” album. A wistful lament on a lost relationship with a lost soul and what a wonderful title to sum it up. Sonically hits the spot and one of those cuts that always amazes with the depth of emotion conveyed while needing only a sparse lyrical accompaniment.

Hey, it’s been fun, but this will wrap up the musical portion of my “outdoor” blog for 2017. What was kind of a whim with the first Top 10 batch wound up being a fun rundown of sixty tunes. I guess that would work out to $1.20 worth of my two cents from a half dozen drives with a lifelong companion known as the radio. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes – 11/4 Part I

I’ve had a good time finding an excuse to delve into some music via my Top 10 Trip Tunes series that debuted back on September 5 and has reappeared several more times. Well, as we near the end of 2017, as a rockstar might holler from the stage, “One more time!”

As always, first half today, second half tomorrow.

10. “Shut Up and Dance” – Walk the Moon (2014) – Every once in a great while, something my kids are listening to strikes a chord with me and this one fits the bill. The 80s feel is a winner for a guy who became a teenager in 1980, rode the MTV wave and finds it fun when a new song reminds him of an old song.

9. “Stand” – REM (1989) – Never much of an R.E.M. fan, too college or something, but this goofy, orienteering ditty hit the spot. Sometimes it’s the time period as much as the cut and I will always associate this one as part of the soundtrack of several “wasted” days watching NCAA March Madness with a group of friends. Time well spent though as the “wasted” reference pertains to a bit of imbibing.

8. “Cherry Pie” – Warrant (1990) –You just can’t help what catches your ear and although some may be loath to admit it, I’m not. While this rock n’ roll love songs lyrics seem rather inane on the surface, there’s actually some solid advice such as “think about baseball” and “lock the door.” Say what you will, but gotta give some props to a hair hit that still shows up on the airwaves nearly 30 years later and finds me cranking it up, belting it out and thinking about “dessert.”

7. “Learn to Fly” – Foo Fighters (1999) – Bought the Nirvana stuff when they hit it big but just didn’t last for me, nor did the band in the end. In contrast, the fellow who stepped out from behind their drum kit has made quite an impact with his band and beyond. Personally, I’d take Dave Grohl’s rock contributions, such as this one, over his former front man any day.

6. “Word Up!” – Cameo (1986) – An 80s classic and if it doesn’t brighten your day, well, I don’t know what to tell you. I was a bit beat from the weekday grind but the first cut I heard on this drive immediately turned my surly frown upside down and made for a better day no matter what the fishing results were going to be. And, you know, the mental picture of Larry Blackmon in that darn codpiece brings a grin as well, kinda weird but I know I’m not alone.

Ah yes, memories as much as music, 30 years of Memory Lane in this eclectic first half of the final Top 10 Trip Tunes of 2017. Top 5 headed your way tomorrow. Talk to you later. Troy

Trapping Tuesday – 2002 Opening Day

So, I’ve got a new “winter” project that I’m calling “Trapping Tuesday.” It will consist of a weekly look at a family past time dating back several generations that has only recently been put upon the shelf. Therefore, this series of postings will consist of flashbacks from 5, 10, 15 and up to 45 years ago drawing upon family photo albums, old written reports and tales either witnessed firsthand or passed down over the years. I actually have had a major trapping blog project in the works for several years but still working on getting it just right and need more time to write, research, rehash and reminisce. I guess this is kind of a tease to that future trapping project. Maybe next year for the unabridged version.

In the meantime, we go back in time to November of 2002 with the crew pictured below for a look at the results of Opening Day. The following is an excerpt from an original write up I passed along via email to a group of family and friends.

November 6, 2002 – (Left to right): Richard Jackson (my uncle), Richard Jackson (yep, that’s actually my first name), Brent Jackson (my brother) and Terry Jackson (aka Dad) – many miles and just a few stories with this bunch

“Our grand total was 121 traps set. The vast majority were coon sets (though some may also catch muskrats, mink, and, yes, opossum), three were muskrat sets and four were beaver sets. Here’s a breakdown by location.

Big Timber – 4 coons
Rickett’s – 3 coons
Earl’s House – 1 coon
Moore’s Lane – 1 coon
Pat’s Creek – 1 coon, 1 muskrat, 1 beaver (60 lbs.)
Corner Place – 2 coons
Earl’s Pond – 2 coons
Moore’s-North – 2 coons

Totals – 16 coons, 1 muskrat, 1 beaver (also a few opossums but who’s counting)

A reasonable day, very close to one trapper’s prognostication, while failing to meet several optimistic predictions offered by others over a Burger King breakfast. However, there were quite a few thrown traps (the trap went off but failed to catch anything) and ones that got away. Had we caught even a few of these, some of our predictions would have had a chance. As an added feature, we also picked our “can’t miss” set as a tiebreaker (Brent’s idea). We each selected a single trap on the trapline that we felt would produce a catch. None of these produced an official catch. One guy’s pick caught an opossum and after a very brief discussion, Brent, Dad and I decided this species didn’t qualify. The other trapper, whose name will not be mentioned, did not file a protest. As it turned out, Dad was the winner and didn’t miss the actual catch by very much. Here’s each trapper’s prediction and their “can’t miss” set.

Dad – 15 coons 2 muskrats 1 beaver The Culvert
Brent – 17 coons 3 muskrats 0 beaver The Tile
Troy – 21 coons 3 muskrats 0 beaver The Blue Gate
Uncle Dick – 24 coons 4 muskrats 0 beaver The Big Rock

Glancing back at the results you will notice a variety of place names included in the totals and predictions. A future article during the trapping season will explore the origin of many of the names that have been assigned over the years. A lot of years have been spent prowling many of these areas and, of course, there’s a story behind all of the names. It’s says a lot about the time spent together enjoying the outdoors when one of us says, “We caught one just around the bend from The German Torpedo” or “We lost one at The Dangerous Crossing.” A mental picture pops into your head and you know the exact area where the event occurred. Most of the time, at least, as I get confused on occasion when I get The Deer Stand, Old Faithful or The Rose Bowl in the incorrect order. Well, you get the picture. Some of the names are obvious, while others require a tale.”

Takes two trappers for this shot with a 60-pound beaver

A book could be written on the trappers, the methods, the quarry, the stomping grounds and so on. But as noted at the outset, this is just a precursor to what I hope to contribute in the future, tip of the iceberg sort of thing. Besides, as the Tuesdays roll on, we’ll have plenty more chances to explore.

And plenty more stuff coming your way in and around the trapping postings so make sure to check in here and the Facebook page. Talk to you later. Troy

Strip Mine Report 11/4

Been a while since a fishing report and likely going to be a whole lot longer until another new one as this November 4 outing is probably the 2017 finale. But what a year it was and perhaps will have to revisit it with a few recap postings as the 2018 kickoff nears. First things first though, as I set out last Saturday afternoon to meet my annual goal, a November bass before putting away the gear.

Last trip of 2017, over 30 years of rowing, many miles, many bass, many tales with this old companion

Date: November 4, 2017
Locations: Little John Conservation Club (2 lakes)
Time: 2:40pm-5:55pm
Weather: Overcast/breezy
Air Temp: 48-51F
Water Temp: no reading
Totals: 3 bass
1/4 oz. Rattling Jig (black/blue) with #11 pork frog (black) – 1 bass
Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 1 bass
Strike King KVD 2.5 Rattling Squarebill crankbait (sexy shad) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 1-12 KVD 2.5 crankbait
Weight (2 bass at 12” or >): 2-10 (1-12,0-14)

3:52pm First Bass 12″ 0-14 Jig & Pig

Notes & Nonsense

Uplifted – A rainy day, a frustrating week of work, the general weight of getting by and the end of my fishing year in sight kind of had me in a surly mood as I readied my gear for an early afternoon departure. In fact, one my boys, Jayce, was really itching to go but conditions were just not favorable prompting me to comment to Julie that he was more enthused than I was. Not entirely true but just the mindset I was in. But as I cranked the truck and turned on my radio, an old 80s cut had me headed towards a better mood. Thanks, Larry Blackmon and Cameo, as “Word Up” kicked off a better mood as did a string of other tunes, a Top 10 list for another day.

So Close – It took me about 45 minutes to get the bite I was seeking. It came on a jig and pig worked around some overhanging bushes and it sure seemed like I had the monkey off my back as I swung the bass into the boat. However, it came unhitched en route and ended up back in the drink before I ever got a hold of it. Not a lunker by any stretch, maybe a pound, but I was sure disappointed and left wondering if I might have just missed my lone shot at the sought after November catch.

4:30pm Last Bass and Top Bass 15″ 1-12 KVD 2.5 Squarebill crankbait

Second Chance – Fortunately, I only had to cast for about twenty more minutes before another bass took a liking to my jig. Once again, no trophy but didn’t matter a bit to me as I had achieved my goal and the rest of the day would be icing on the cake. Two more bass joined the log over the next forty minutes before the day ended with an hour shutout on a second lake where I normally find some late season lipless crankbait success.

Had to shoot a final 2017 fishing farewell pic in the fading daylight

As I noted in the intro, I suspected that this trip would be the 2017 finale and a combination of responsibilities, work and less than ideal weather on the horizon pretty much seal the deal. But what a year it’s been for me with a personal best Top 5 haul that started off back on March 4 with a 6-2 for my very first bass of the year. Not surprisingly, I never found another to exceed that mark but did fool a couple within shouting distance. No complaints here, never are, as it’s always a treat to get on the water and try and figure them out. Hope to have some more fishing stuff and various other postings throughout the “off season” so stop by to fend off some Cabin Fever. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 10/21 – Part II

The October 21st trip’s Top 5 features several heavy hitters that would likely have a place on that lifetime greatest hits sort of thing I think about compiling from time to time. Perhaps another day or another blog.

5. “Ballroom Blitz” – Sweet (1975) – This song has had several lives but I am proud to say that I’ve dug it since back in the day. Now I get to listen to my kids sing it thanks to all of those “Suicide Squad” movie trailers (and let’s not forget the “Wayne’s World” version). Glam rock at its finest and kind of fun what I see and hear in Sweet’s videos and tunes all of these years later; Queen, Kiss, Ramones, Motley Crue…

4. “Sir Duke” – Stevie Wonder (1977) – One bad dude giving us a musical history lesson and tribute to some greats. And how about 1977 for this fifth grade kid; “Rocky” (released December 1976), “Star Wars”, Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours”, Dr. J leading the Sixers to the NBA Finals, Reggie’s three swings in the World Series (best home run trot, period) and the Dallas Cowboys on the way to a Super Bowl title. Best year ever?

3. “Black Water” – The Doobie Brothers (1974) – Gotta like a song that mentions “catfish” and even if you can’t sing, like me, you can’t help but do some singing along to this one. And any song with “pretty mama” in the lyrics is also way cool (also see Boston’s “Let Me Take You Home Tonight”).

2. “Solsbury Hill” – Pater Gabriel (1978) – I dig everything about this well-crafted cut and particularly enjoy the rhyme scheme in each of the three verses. I honestly wanted to include the full lyrics but will leave it to you to search out the rest if you so desire. The final verse simply takes it to another level, utilizing “net”, “pirouette”, “silhouettes” and “etiquette.” Are you kidding me? One of my three wishes if I ever find a genie is to write something like that.

1. “Right Down the Line” – Gerry Rafferty (1978) – Just might be my favorite song of all-time, really tough to pin down though with more than a few years of hanging out with the radio. Paired up with “Dancin’ in the Moonlight” from King Harvest it comprised the dynamic duo of first dance songs for Julie and me at our wedding reception fifteen years ago. Best day and best songs ever.

Thanks for tagging along on another tangent. Got one more of these in the works from what was likely my final fishing trip of 2017. Stay tuned for that fishing report and those Top 10 Tunes. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 10/21 – Part I

A little behind on this one but here’s a Top 10 Trip Tunes from an October 21 outing. I thought about just skipping it, but what fun is that? Besides, none of the tunes are current, so who cares if this post is either?

10. “Lady (You Bring Me Up)” – Commodores (1981) – One of two final smash hits with Lionel Richie aboard (also see “Oh No”) and right on the verge of a whole new direction in music. Takes me back to the late 70s/early 80s prior to the impact of MTV and gets me lost on the internet with some Spinners, Kool & The Gang, Earth, Wind & Fire and Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall.” Oh yeah.

9. “D’yer Mak’er” – Led Zeppelin (1973) – Never knew how to pronounce it and never really got it before search engines but just a different tune from kind of a different album from a one of a kind band.

8. “I’m Not in Love” – 10CC (1975) – A childhood favorite, no concept of the subject matter, just sounded good. Takes me back to a specific place as well, a classic summer cut on heavy rotation while tagging along with my cousin to Galesburg’s Lakelawn pool, those were the days.  And the line “Big boys don’t cry” was featured in the novelty hit “Mr. Jaws” cashing in on the latest blockbuster. Did I mention, those were the days?

7. “Love Is Like a Rock” – Donnie Iris (1981) – Once MTV hit, there was a wild landscape of tunes to enjoy, kind of all over the place in terms of genre, which was pretty cool. If memory serves me right, this one was a frequent flyer in those first several eye opening months of an unforgettable music revolution and yet another love song left a lasting impression.

6. “Somebody’s Baby” – Jackson Browne (1982) – From the “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” soundtrack, a classic (and Phoebe Cates). Long been a fan of this fellow’s tunes (not so much his crusades or habits) and got to see him in concert a few years ago. I was fired up about the opportunity upon winning tickets on the radio but after he forgot the words to a couple songs, I just felt old.

Stop by tomorrow for the Top of this Top 10. Talk to you later. Troy