Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy B-Day!

Happy Birthday Daniel,

Typically a phone call takes place on this day and I give you a hard time concerning your age. This year, however, there won’t be a phone call, no jokes, no conversation…

How do I celebrate this day? What gift can I possibly offer? I really don’t have an answer. What I do know, Daniel, is that I’ve learned some things from this ordeal and your recovery: don’t take life for granted. Enjoy life. Embrace your loved ones daily. Taste the potential of every breath as one faces the gift of enveloped in every sunrise. Do something memorable worth remembering, however simple the task at hand might be. Yes, this is my gift to you: I will fulfill the promise of each day and sometime in the near future we will sit down with beers in hand and I’ll share these memories with you.

This week, for instance, I decided to get off my ass and hit the Big Thompson River for some fly-fishing. I must admit, I prefer fishing lakes rather than rivers. Fishing rivers like the Big Thompson takes a certain degree of experience and skill to catch anything. Lakes, well, if you are not landing anything with the fly rod one simply drops a hook wrapped in power bait y ya estubo. This time around, I decided to man up and get in the river. Dude, the drive alone took my breath away as I headed up the mountain. Check these picks out, only 40 minutes away from where I live!!!

The day started out good. Spotted some big Brown Trout as soon as I got there. Man, Browns are powerful fighters and if your not careful they will snap your line. Remember, fly line is thin and it’s not about overpowering the fish—which is the opposite of salt-water fishing. It’s all about keeping the right amount of tension on the line to get the fish tired in order to reel it in. Anyhow, I located the fish, placed myself about nine feet behind it, and proceeded to cast my fly upriver to let the current bring the fly to the fish. Sounds simple enough. But two hours later, about 3 to 4 tangles that tested my patience, and the loss of about $20 in flies due to underwater snags y NADA, not one bite! I swear I wanted to break my rod and pick up some rocks to stone the darn fish.

Fortunately for me, there was an old timer that was having some laughs at my expense. He must have been checking me out for a while. The guy, Steve, walked over to me and initiated some small talk. Asked where I was from, my job, and finally inquired about the pinche flies I was using. Steve saw how frustrated I was because he suggested I take a break and drink a beer with him. I agreed. After the chela, Steve revealed he managed a fly shop in Estes Park and use to be a fishing guide when he was younger. Shit, the dude offered to give me some free lessons. My luck was turning homie, como la vez. In one hour, I landed three fish. The first being a 16-inch Brown Trout!!! Not bad for my first fish on the river. Here is the fly I caught it with and the fish.

Check this out, turns out Steve’s son owns the fly shop he manages, Kirks Fly Shop. Yeah, Steve is the owner’s father!!! What are the odds of running into a guy who offers you a beer and lessons. One would think luck was with me that day. Getting free fly-fishing lessons that normally run $300 a day from a veteran guide. But you know what, I don’t think it was luck. This whole experience was made possible because I got off my ass, took advantage of a beautiful day, and opened myself to what ever the day threw at me. Luck, not a chance. I hope to relate similar stories, adventures, and maybe even some mishaps along the way.

As I promised, I’ll try to live up to the potential of each day and continue to wait patiently throughout your recovery.

Happy Birthday Brother,



  1. Daniel loved visting you and your family in Colorado John. I am sure he will enjoy this story...your promise to seize the day is an excellent birthday present.

  2. Escobedo,
    We loved your story. Jorge Jr, aka Gordo thought the part of you wanting to throw stone's at the fish was funny.

    Happy Birthday Daniel, my Dad and Jorge are drinking a beer for you as I am writing this comment. We love you.

    Jorge, Vero, Valerie, Gordo and Tio Luis

    Jorge, Vero, Valerie, Gordo and Tio Luis

  3. Danny,

    Me and my boyz in Colorado decided to welcome the sunrise today on your behalf. As you can tell its been a busy night. We jumped in the commuity pool after hours and started a good old fashion out door fire. You know how we do. Symbolically, I decided on two dots to represent "live life." They are branded on my left hand--yeah burned on.

    Love you bro!!!


  4. Hey John and Elena and kids,
    Real nice story,I am glad u are able to think about each day and appreciate what u have. Love you guys.

  5. Just an amazing story! Happy Birthday Daniel.
    Tairou and Marisha

  6. Escobedo,

    Wow..what a story. I was able to visualize myself at the river fishing-something I've never done. Daniel, happy belated b-day from RCC Norco. You are missed.

    David Payan

  7. Juanillo, This is good stuff. had me laughing bro. El Daniel gonna luv this aventura. nex time cala el hilo en el bote con weenie's! u remember! Adrian G