Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Photo Contest Award

I am proud to announce that a photo by STREAM SIDE ADVENTURES’ guide Ethan Crisp has been awarded the grand prize in the Federation of Fly Fishers Gulf Coast Fly Fishing Expo 2011 photo contest.
Ethan’s photo is an underwater shot of a beautiful brown trout caught while he was guiding on the Rio Pedragosa near Coyhaique Alto in Patagonia, Chile.

In addition to guiding in Patagonia, Ethan serves as STREAM SIDE ADVENTURES’ logistics manger in Chile and guides in the Missouri Ozarks and Wyoming.

Congratulations Ethan!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A butcher, banker and auto mechanic

My dad was, in retrospect, a very smart man.  Of course as a boy I thought he was very dumb.  Dad tended to communicate via his sayings.  Unfortunately at the time I didn’t have the experiences to translate them into life lessons.  That came with my aging.

One of Dad’s favorites was:  “Get to know a butcher, banker and an automobile mechanic.  Those are the people you will make your life easier.”   I have taken Dad’s advice both at the surface level and at his deeper meaning.  Jeff the butcher picks out the best T-bone for me, Ron the banker makes sure that they don’t put a fraud hold on my debit card while I’m off someplace on an adventure, and Karl the mechanic always makes the time to fix the flat tire from a recently graded Wyoming back road.   The deeper meaning of Dad’s saying was that the world runs on relationships.  Fortunately I have a relationship to help me on my Mongolian trip.

During my previous life, I had the opportunity to do some collaborative research projects with Dr. Len Ferrington while he was at the University of Kansas.   Our scientific and personal interests meshed well and in addition to doing our research we became friends.  In 2004, Len had the opportunity to be part of a joint US – Mongolian scientific expedition funded by the National Science Foundation.  Time to add “and someone who has experience in Mongolia” to Dad’s saying.

An e-mail and a call to Len made all the difference in moving this trip from wishful thinking to possible. The in country logistics of the National Science Foundation expedition had been arranged by Soninkhishig Nergui Ph.D. , Head of Botany Department and Chair of Water Research Center, School of Biology and Biotechnology at National University of Mongolia.  Len was kind enough to send an e-mail of introduction to Dr. Nergui and asked if she would be able to help me with in country arrangements for my trip.   

Since Len’s initial contact with Dr. Nergui, the trip logistics have fallen nicely into place!  Dr. Nergui found a driver, her “uncle in law” Zundui.  Zundui, now retired from driving a gasoline truck, has a small van and will drive for me.   Zundui is from the central mountain area of Arkhangai Province, loves to hunt and has many good friends and family in the region.   In one fell swoop, thanks to relationships, my Mongolian adventure has come together.  I’ll get to fish, enjoy local food and culture and maybe help herd the yaks.    Like so many other things Dad was right.  Ethan, Dan are you listening!