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Old 02-13-2012, 01:31 PM   #16
azshtr
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Part 2 is 6 months later? How many years will this story take?

I love riding and flyfishing... just pick up the pace
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:45 PM   #17
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ya life gets in the way. hope to finish it the next couple days.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:02 PM   #18
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So yall, remember that vicodin I took the night before? Yeah... bad plan.....

I wake up at the crack of dawn extremely nauseous, like the worst I have ever been. The gentle rocking of the hammock every time a move even slightly feels like a small boat in a lake superior gale storm. I spend the next few ours fighting the urge to barf. I finally decide to get up, break down camp and hope the fresh air will help with the nausea. It takes me about an hour to do a 15 minute job...work a little....then set down til my head clears a bit.



My camp is on the Mason Tract of the south branch. I have to get to the Raplh A MacMullen Center on Higgins Lake. It is about a 20 mile ride, should take less than an hour.

http://g.co/maps/9pkzp

I hop on the bike and roll out on to the sand two track. I make it about 300 yds before I barf in my closed face helmet. I litterally could not pull over fast enough. Sorry, no pictures of the event. So after spewing my guts on the side of the road I walked down to the river and washed my helmet out. It is 10 00 and and I have to be to the confrence center by noon.

I get back on the bike and ride. I got hopelessly lost....more than once. I finally started riding south and west till I hit M-18 and took that to Roscommon. I riding at 30 mph in a 55 cause that is all the faster I can go and keep it between the lines.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:16 PM   #19
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So I finally make it to the confrence center. I check in and go shower then lay down for a while. I wake up at about 3pm. My wife had called around to see what medical facilities are open and see about a different pain medication. Grayling General is the only thing open. So i hop back on the KLR and head north.

After about 2 hours and much convicing the the attending Dr. finally beleives I am in fact a wayward yooper attending a fish camp and not some pill head tryin to score a fix. He writes me a prescription for Tramadol. He says this stuff is pretty potent and to go easy on it. It takes about an hour of phone tag with the insurance comp carrier to get the medication and then I am back on the road to Roscommon.

I meet the students, we have a group dinner. I go to bed early. I take one pill, wait an hour...nothin. Take another....nothin. Call the Dr. He returns my call and says Tramadol does not work for some people...looks like I am shit outta luck..... Fortunately I am tired enough that I sleep some what okay.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:21 PM   #20
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Day 3- Monday

I wake up at 10am. Turns out my room mate, another instructor. Tried to wake me up at 7am but between the drool puddle on my pillow and the fact punching me in the shoulder had no effect he figured I was a lost cause.

Todays class consisted of fly casting, some fly tying and general first day of camp stuff.

After a family style dinner we load up on a school bus and head for the Grayling Fish Hatchery. But we're not going to look at fish...we are gonna catch them.

For a small fee and an agreement that we buy what we kill the hatchery will let the students fish in the hatchery race ways with barbless hooks. Its like shooting fishin a barrel....but with a 5 weight. I spent a solid 3 hours on my belly tailing and releasing fish in the race way. Turns out the mullberry imitations I tied years ago closely imitate the compressed food pellets the trout are fed. Each kid caught at least 5 fish, most more than ten. And these were big fish. They managed to kill a few which we did buy.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:30 PM   #21
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We ended up bringing 6 fish back. None of the other instructors were really to keen on leading a fish cleaning session so I volunteered. Most of the guys and even some of the girls got involed with it.

They were some sizeable fish.

The kid in the white shirt is Max, Ben and Issac are in the background.





Keep in mind the confrence center is fairly ritzy. They host a lot of business and state government meetings where people want to get away to the woods of northern michigan.....and we're gutting fish in the bathroom...



Boys will be boys.






Another round of Tramadol tonight before bed...and it doesn't do anything to help....
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:45 PM   #22
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Day 4-Tuesday

I wake up at 9am today. No drool puddle but my room mate figure he might as well not bother me in the morning. I am still feeling nauseous in the mornings but not as bad as the time I puked in my helmet.

Today was more class room instruction followed by a day at Stephen's Bridge State Launch. The guy in the center of the picture wearing shorts in John. He drove me around today because he was worried about me getting hurt riding the KLR while on pain meds.




We covered how to read the water, fishing dries, nymphs, streamers and spinners. And gennerally goofed around in the water. I waded wet since my waders didn't keep the wet stuff out any more. The cold seemed to do more than the pain meds did.



The guy in the water is Glen Blackwood. Owns Great Lakes Outfitters near Rockford, MI. He is a friend from back in my youth.




We had a fried chicken dinner at the Gates Ausable Lodge and then split up to go fish the north Branch of the Ausable River.

Tonight I was guiding two girls. Teegan and Alex.













Both girls managed to hook up with fish. Not as big as the hatchery rainbows but just as fun. This little brookie slashed at the grass hopper that alex was fishing.






I set them up with large grass hoppers with a small caddis nymph on a dropper. They could see the hopper and it didn't scare fish like a float would.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:56 PM   #23
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Day 5- wednesday

Wednesday was canoeing day. The students went for a canoe trip on the upper south branch of the ausable then we met up at the canoe livery for dinner. The camp leader was worried about me injuring my knee on the canoe trip so i sat it out. I rode my KLR to the livery a little early and fished some.

The students were split into groups with instructors assigned. Alex, Ben and Christian were fishing with myself and another instructor on the Mason Tract.

Ben went with the other instructor. They rigged up with 8x and some goofy small midge pattern. I set Alex and Christian up with a 4lb tippet tied to a size 8 grasshopper with a size 12 san juan worm on a 24" 2lb dropper. Kind of a meat an potatoes approach to matching the hatch.

Both Alex and Christian tied into a few fish. As dusk settled we swapped the hopper and worm for a small Hexigenia Imitation and a sulfer emerger. Hexes were allready done for the year but it was more beleiveable than the hopper. Both kids managed to tie into several large fish on the sulfer emerger pattern.

Saw a hen and ducklings.






Alex casting to a feeding lane.




Christian working his way upstream.






Ben and the other instructor coming back. They got skunked.




Moving into postion to work a fish.




As we are leaving the parking lot of the access that night another instructor noticed my tail light was out on the KLR. Gonna have to look into that tomorrow.

My knee is not improving at all. My wife is going to make some calls tomorrow and see what we can figure out.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:01 PM   #24
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Fish heads on the sink!

Nice personal touches in your ride report. Interesting to see the fishing and your students. Boys will be boys.

Good luck with your knee, and your tail light.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:52 PM   #25
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Great story!

i can identify with the info about crossing the bridge, seems they always have the lanes closed and force the bikes across the metal grated part. No fun on a packed klr, ask me how I know.

I was in Marquette a few weeks ago to pick up some antique snowmobile parts. I really like the Upper Penn. of Mich.

I broke a bone in my foot in June last summer, and hopped around and lost a whole month of riding.

You are tougher than I am.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:25 PM   #26
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Day 5- Thursday

I actually wake up on time today. And feel decent enough to get some break fast. I got a call at about 10am from the Dr. that they have a surgery consult for me on Monday and a surgery slot on Friday. I have to start heading back today.

I start tearing down the KLR to find the tail light problem. After striping just about every piece of plastic and the tank off...I find a broken wire right under the rear fender. I don't have the supplies or tools with me to fix it. It will have to wait until I get home.

The work with the bike caused me to miss them morning river session with the camp. Lots of disappointed kids but handing out the other half of my fly box assortment I had left seemed to help smooth things over.

Here she is all packed up to start heading home. Parked in front of the dormitory.

.


I took old 27 back north and crossed the mackinaw about 2pm. This is the rest area just across the bridge. It feels good to be back on my side.



I rode for a couple hours and started to get drowzy. I pulled over at Cut River Bridge and took a nap.

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Old 02-14-2012, 07:33 PM   #27
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I am loving this thread - I grew up casting to trout on the streams of southern Ontario, but nothing worth my while up around Kingston where I am living now. This summer I plan to take the 640 with my pack rod down through Penn state and see what surfaces.


Good on you for sticking with the pain and bother to help kids get into such a cool sport.

Now just get them thinking about making their own bamboo rods... that's what I was doing when I was your age.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:35 PM   #28
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I snoozed for a couple hours there on the lawn and woke up to the sound of screaming kids right before getting dinged by a frizbee. Oh well. Back on the bike.

I rolled over 17000 some where down the road on US 2.



Looks like as good a place as any for such an event.



I rode for a couple more hours and stopped in Munising for gas. Decided to check out the scenic overlook on the west side of town. I have been driving past it for 7 years or so and have never stopped.

A pretty neat view. Those are the Pictured Rocks in the distance.



I hop back on the bike and make it to Marquette just before sun down. I decided to stay at Tourist Park instead of riding the last 120 miles in the dark. This place is not very rural at all. All night i can hear the peaker station down the road spool up and spin down as demand changes.



So far I really like hammock camping, other than the occasional sea sickness issues.

It's off to Jimmy Johns for dinner. I swear this stuff is like crack cocaine on a bun. I've been known to make the 200 miles round trip from Houghton to Marquette just for a damn sandwich. Picture was taken the next day.

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Old 02-14-2012, 07:50 PM   #29
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Day 6- Homeward bound

I actually woke up at 6am feeling totally fine other than the midget with a hammer inside my knee. Didn't take any Tramadol the night before.

I start breaking camp and packing the bike.

Finally got a picture of the broken tail light wire. It is still sitting in my basement unfixed 7 months later. Gotta get on that some day....



Working on fine tuning my packing technique. Think I finally figure out how to get the load out on the tail away from my back.




Yup, that is a coffee pot hanging off the back end.





Now things get funny...stoopid funny.

On the way home I stop at the Huron Mountain Bread Company for donuts and heading west on M-28 is this round about.



It used to be the Yooper 7 Way Intersection of Doom but they ripped that out and put a round about it. I was feeling good and decided to do a few laps. So here I am going round and round, the honest citizens of Marquette come and go on there merry way. Suddenly about the 8th time around cars stop entering the round about. I look behind me a city cop is chasing me around in circles with his lights and siren on. I exit the round about and shut the bike off. He walks up and starts ranting at me about riding drunk at 7am. I calmly explain that I am completely sober and just felt like doing a few laps. He shakes his head and says "get the hell outta here". I ask for a picture with him and his car and he says "get the hell outta here before I change my mind". Momma didn't raise no fule so a gettin' I a goes.

There was a road bicycle tour going on along M-28. They seemed to get upset when I would slow down and pull behind to draft a pack of them. Oh well.


Made it to the Tioga Creek rest stop in decent time. This was actually an alternate location for my wedding. We decided on the gorge because it was closer to where we were staying at.



There was an older couple there with a flat tire and they couldn't get cell service. I changed the flat and kneeling definitely did my knee no good but the job got done. It seems they stuffed some gas money in my riding jacket while I wasn't looking cause I left the rest area $40 heavier than when I arrived.

Tioga Creek




That is the last picture I have of the trip. I made it home safely.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:54 PM   #30
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The Dr. consult when good but surgery got bumped back. Ended up having arthroscopic done the last friday of July. It improved things but I still deal with knee pain on a daily basis. Still haven't found a pain med I can take and not get sick.

This was the first long distance camping trip I have ever done. It definitely won't be my last. Even with pain and sickness issues I would have made this trip again in a heart beat. This trip was literally the only thing I did all summer, the rest of the time was spent on the couch with an ice pack. Fixing the bike on the road helped me to accept that fact things will break and I have the tools/skills to handle just about anything. I tend to worry about every little clunk or rattle I might think I hear while riding.

I can't wait to go back next year.
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