Secret Stash

I came across a new local spot to fly fish, and get this, its bordering and within the Beltway, just a few minutes from DC. This will be my secret stash–when I need to get away, have just about two or three hours to wet a line, and don’t want to fight traffic. The best thing about this spot, its hard to get to, even for people who live right on it. Its about 145 vertical feet down in a ravine on an obscure trail that meanders through obscure neighborhoods of DC. All that keeps the riff-raff away though I’m sure the creek’s got its poachers. But this ain’t Rock Creek.

For its surprisingly close proximity to DC, its trash free, and clearly subject to some runoff. And while it has long stretches of nondescript sandy bottom in the headwaters and where it empties into the X river, there’s a good quarter mile of boulder-strewn pocket water in my area, filled with pleasant pools with gravel bottom and ledge. It is  stocked with trout, but there are plenty of sunfish and sizable bass, and plenty of other wildlife including turkey, deer and the usual small mammals, including snapping turtle (see below). Like a typical Maryland stream out west, and because its so far down, its got great bouldering if you’re into that sort of thing. For me, this little tributary is going in the back pocket for moments when I need to feel the tug and feel the breeze on my face.

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She’s Here

So my darling Yunah Anne Johnson was born last week on an early Monday morning bringing joy and happiness into this sometimes jaded man’s life. She’s a perfect (aren’t they all?) melange of my wife and my features, though she’s got big feet and and a toe larger than her big toe (thanks Mom). She’s blessed us now with the experience of parenthood and though we’re rank amateurs, we’re making improvements day by day. I can put a diaper on under 30 seconds half-asleep and can recognizer her “gas face.” And this is just the beginning. The other night my one year old nephew Yemi Joel Johnson (yep he’s my namesake) came by with his parents and he was walking everywhere, getting into everything, and blubbing up half-eaten words, all smiles, and eager to show off his dance skills. It was astonishing to imagine what will happen over the course of the next year of our lives! But for now, I’m glad she’s just plain here. And that everyday I get to wake up, several times a day in fact, to her  bright eyes, cooing and crying.  Let the adventures begin!

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5 Reasons DC Brau is Bro’s Best

While I’ve yet to get to a DC United match, I do imbibe plenty of DC Brau, DC’s best craft beer in my opinion. First, I love the fact that its local. Second, love that its available on tap in just about all my favorite locals, including DC Reynolds, which is no longer my local because I moved, but I return often for their killer patio and happy hour. Third, I love that its canned not bottled.

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Their award-winning sick graphic art and branding is super-crisp, and a can keeps the beer fresher and the hand cooler during the dog days of summer. Fourth, my favorite people like DC Brau and I’m a sucka from an endorsement from the Bourdain. It was his trip to Istanbul that inspired my wife and I to honeymoon in Turkey three years ago, and to unabashedly enjoy pork.

Fifth, the recipes DC Brau have got going are freaking dynamite. They are cleverly curated and balance experimentation with popular taste so they are very drinkable. You don’t have to be shy when trying El Hefe Speaks, a german-style wheat beer of the quite quaffable IPA, The Corruption. SO, if a six hits your deli case, I encourage you to GET U SUM!

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Transitions

I haven’t posted in nearly a month to deadbait because my life has been taken over by some pretty serious nesting. My wife and I moved (for the 3rd time in 3 years!) to Silver Spring, MD just outside DC to a 1950s rambler that has lots of space and a gorgeous yard. And all our thoughts and attention are getting the place ready for a little bundle of joy we’re expecting in just about two weeks!

As I sit here writing this post, I’m looking out onto a sun-dappled backyard where the pink, purple and red azaleas are in bloom.  Black and grey squirrels and rabbits are scavenging and flitting around the back yard. Somewhere in the background I can hear my cat Ninja meowing for a treat. My wife sleeps long and deep these days in anticipation of many restless nights ahead. And I feel thankful, content and a deep overwhelming sense of accomplishment, that the many long years of work, risk, adventures have lead up to a moment where I get to fulfill perhaps our greatest achievements in bringing another being into this world and raising her well. I look forward to the next chapter of life, this transition, with trepidation, in awe…

So when I’m neck-deep in baby poop and can’t get the baby to stop crying in a few weeks, remind me of this moment will you?