Clicky

Tales from the Log of the Ruptured Duck

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,537
96
82
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
END OF A BUBBLE THAT NEVER LAUNCHED

After more closely reviewing the flight envelope of my brand new ultralight plane, I’ve decided to sell it. I’m disappointed more in myself than the plane. It’s a machine with specific engineering details. I’m a human with elastic engineering details, plus some emotion. Like the kid who thought he could eat a 16 ounce steak, and then down a whole chocolate cake, I realize that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.

My plans included cross country trips camping along the way. Facts are different than dreams. Facts are that the flight envelope of this bird includes flying in calm air, or nearly calm air. By 10:00 o’clock in most mornings, the air has enough thermal turbulence in it, that flying is not very enjoyable. By 11:00 o’clock, it’s getting to be foolhardy. It isn’t good flying again until somewhere between 5:00 and 6:00.in the evening.

Those conditions are very well fitted for short jaunts around the pea patch; going out maybe 30-40 miles from home, and then hurrying back. I should have recognized that, but didn’t. Poor judgement on my part, I guess. So, I’m selling it.

As Professor Higgins lamented in “My Fair Lady” - Damn! damn! DAMN!!
 
Last edited:

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,537
96
82
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
I think that what’s next is simply continuation of pedaling and paddling. I don’t have to get up at 05:00 to do them', and I can go see the sights here in the Great Lakes areas, and pretty much anywhere else too.

sigh
 

oldbuffpilot

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2014
342
9
77
Central Kansas and Central Texas
END OF A BUBBLE THAT NEVER LAUNCHED

After more closely reviewing the flight envelope of my brand new ultralight plane, I’ve decided to sell it. I’m disappointed more in myself than the plane. It’s a machine with specific engineering details. I’m a human with elastic engineering details, plus some emotion. Like the kid who thought he could eat a 16 ounce steak, and then down a whole chocolate cake, I realize that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.

My plans included cross country trips camping along the way. Facts are different than dreams. Facts are that the flight envelope of this bird includes flying in calm air, or nearly calm air. By 10:00 o’clock in most mornings, the air has enough thermal turbulence in it, that flying is not very enjoyable. By 11:00 o’clock, it’s getting to be foolhardy. It isn’t good flying again until somewhere between 5:00 and 6:00.in the evening.

Those conditions are very well fitted for short jaunts around the pea patch; going out maybe 30-40 miles from home, and then hurrying back. I should have recognized that, but didn’t. Poor judgement on my part, I guess. So, I’m selling it.

As Professor Higgins lamented in “My Fair Lady” - Damn! damn! DAMN!!
Jack, my sincere co ndoleces. I know you were looking forward to keeping flying in your life. Hard to let it go, things and people we love remain in our hearts after their gone :)
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,537
96
82
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
You're right, Andy. I’ve got some good memories. Now, the traveling on bike riding, and paddling my canoe will do just fine,

This canoe is one I built from plans about 16-17 years ago. It’s named the Katybug, after my Granddaughter, Kayla. It’s a good, little boat.

Tally ho!
 

texastom

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2013
161
4
Dallas
Sorry to hear that, but sounds like good logic. Have you looked into gyro-planes? I still need to get a demo ride, but they are supposed to be very smooth in turbulence.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,537
96
82
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Thanks for the thought, Tom. I think that it may be best for me to not try to fly anymore. Some very good memories. I’m glad that I undertook it and got it. I started at 70, when many are quitting.

That square is now filled. I’m going back to pedaling and paddling. I live in Michigan - the Water Wonderland. Lakes and rivers abound. So do bike trails - over 11,000 miles of them. We have no salt,, no tide, no sharks, darned few snakes, four seasons, lots of wooded expanses.

Tally ho!
 
Last edited:

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,537
96
82
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
IN A SECURE HANGAR

When the plane was first delivered, hangar space at Mason Jewett TEW was at a premium. The only space I could find was a dirt floor, open bay shed. I was on a couple of waiting lists. Then, yesterday morning at our weekly pilots’ breakfast, an old friend walked in. I’d rented from Lloyd before, and had him and his family over to join in on the “hangar warming” party.

”Jack, do you still need a hangar? Though you’re not first on the list, you’re a good customer, so you get first shot. Do you want it?” “You bet!” I replied. So after coffee, breakfast, and friendly palaver amongst the group, we drove to the hangar and did business.

Now, the plane is under lock and key. I feel better.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,537
96
82
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
A FALL COLOR TRIP IN THE HEART OF THE GREAT LAKES TERRITORY

It‘s going to be a baked potato. I’d figured for two of them - along with a couple of frozen steaks. Charlie has a neat, little folding charcoal grill, and it does a bang-up job with beefsteak. So, Monday night supper will be steak and baked potatoes. Tuesday and Wednesday suppers will be tortillas with refried beans.

For those who want to follow our line of travel on, say, Google Maps, here are points.
1. Monday, 21 Sep 20, we will put into the Au Sable River at Grayling Mi. Penrod’s Canoe Livery is always our port of choice. Our first night‘s camp will be only about 8 miles downstream, Au Sable River Canoe Camp. Being close is an advantage, as it lets us have generous time to unload gear, pack the boats, and do a vehicle shuttle.
2. Night two will be at White Pine Campground. This is a nice, flat bench of land with roomy areas to pitch a tent or hang a hammock. My late wife and I nicknamed it “Spaghetti Camp”. We’d pulled in late, and were really hungry. I cooked up a large batch of Italian spaghetti, larger than needed as it turned out. The leftovers wouldn’t keep unless cooled down, and we didn’t have enough ice remaining to do that job. So, we buried a whole lot of good Italian spaghetti there. sigh
3. Night three will be at Parmalee Bridge, near the small town of Red Oak. This is another of the fine string of camps along the way. It is easily accessible by road, so we may have company here. Up thst road about half a mile, is a grocery store - with ice cream. ;-)
4. On Thursday, we’ll take out at Camp 10 Bridge. This is a place where the river becomes a lake. The reservoir behind the Mio Dam - Mio Pond - is a boring paddle, so we opted to cut it short.

I’ll post an after-trip report upon return.
 
Last edited:

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,537
96
82
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
You guys have me pretty well figured out. ;-). Guilty on just about all counts.

I got home about 6:30 last night. After a lonnnggg shower, I relaxed. Today has been spent doing laundry, and unpacking. I’ll write up an after action report this weekend. Bald eagles will be part of it. And, chocolate ice cream too.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,537
96
82
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
FOUR DAYS OF AU SABLE RIVER HEAVEN

DAY 1
It was familiar, an old friend; and, it was a new and strange place. I’ve camped at the Au Sable River Canoe Camp 25 or 30 times. I’ve been here alone, and I’ve been here during a candle lit ceremony when a young man was proposing to his intended. (She said, “Yes!” I wonder if she still does?)

The county here made good use of the time this year when our (expletive deleted, but clearly remembered) governor closed our parks. Six to eight large, old trees have been cut down. The old, wooden, pit toilets have been replaced with a roomy, masonry structure. These are methodically being installed across the state, and probably other states too. We’ve dubbed them as the “Taj Mahal of Potties”.

We‘d arrived about 4:00. Most of our day had been spent driving, unloading boats and gear, carrying boats and gear, loading gear into boats, talking with my old friend Jim at Penrod’s, and talking, playing with Charlie’s dog Dewey, and maybe some more chatting.

The river is peaceful, but not while still this close to town. Shortly after launching in Grayling, the eastward paddle crosses under the bridge for I-75. The roar insults your ears, reminding you of both the blessing - and the curses - of technological progress. Here, in Canoe Camp, sounds of the highway are still a dim background noise. (NOISE, is an unwanted sound, like weeds in a garden are unwanted plants.). And yet, it is good to be here again. I can still see the Boy Scouts, my late wife, my Granddaughter, other geezers - all fellow travelers with whom I’ve shared this place. It solaces and cheers me.

When work crews had dropped the trees, they left behind lots of dry, dead branches. Lots of them. We sat in the evening dusk, feeding the fire and our souls, until it was nearly the time of turning into pumpkins.

DAY 2
My favorite way to get up and go in the morning, is to do just that - get up and go. I like to eat my breakfast, a granola bar of my own making, as I paddle along. I like to be on the water by eight thirty, or a quarter to nine. Rolling along, easy in the saddle, watching scenery as it rolls by, watching ducks n geese n king fishers n hawks n eagles n mink n musk rats n such. But Charlie enjoys a slower morning in camp, so departure was somewhere around 9:30. One day 11:00. It doesn’t make a lot of difference. Leisure is already built into the route. Each day is a only a 4-5 hour paddle, easy on the way.

Bald eagles - a symbol of our America - are sprinkled along our route. Flying regally, landing skillfully - they are in command. Blue herons, keepers of the river, rise into the air as we approach. Flying downstream a few minutes, they rise again, and again, and again - until finally they’ve had enough, and take off to return upstream. BUT, twice in a row, two of them did not retreat! Two, separate, proud, herons stood in place, rising high to top height, and gazed imperiously at us as we slid by. Now, that was a beautiful sight. A few remaining kingfishers scooted around. A few bluejays too - damn them! A member of the magpie family, they have the standard characteristics of being loudmouthed, rude thieves.

About 4:30 or so, we pulled into Whitepine Campground. There are three landing sites here. The first one is the official one. Years ago, my granddaughter played out in front of it. The level, gravel-based bottom is a very nice river feature. Site 3 has steel rods protruding up from the bottom! I landed at the middle site, and hung my hammock there.

Charlie’s dog, Dewey, was our adult supervisor. He was also our entertainment coordinator. He has a flexible frisbee that he plays with. Most of the time he catches it in mid air. If it hits the ground before he can get to it, he catches it on the first bounce, or on the roll. Beats TV!

Menard’s sells little packets of stuff that, when tossed into a campfire, makes some iridescent technicolor flames. Mesmerizing, guys, mesmerizing. Try it out.

DAY 3
Eagles are a highlight again today. And a paddler at Wakely Landing added depth too. Though the original weather forecast for today had sprinkles, but - it is sunny and balmy. GREAT!

Fall colors have punctuated the countryside all along. Every mile or two will hold a cluster of deep, bright reds. Maple trees come out to dance in the fall weather. Their leaves are an electric red that shimmers and dances in the sun-loaded breeze. Some are an arrogant orange. An orange that color-shifts when the leaves wiggle. Every fall, I thank God that I could see it all again.

Our lunch break at Wakely landing found us sharing the site with a fellow and his dog, awaiting his wife’s return from the vehicle shuttle. A few hours later, they waved and called out as they paddled past our campsite at Parmalee Bridge. Charlie had walked the mile from our site to the Red Oak store, and brought back chocolate ice cream. We gobbled that stuff down like it was going out of style. God! It’s good to be a 10 year old boy!

That night, my hammock was between two pine trees, under a large white oak tree. The oak was calving acorns. Three to seven per minute were bouncing off my rainfly.. They sounded like cast iron chestnuts. When some would hit the picnic table next to my hammock, they sounded more like cast iron golf balls!

DAY 4
Further along, the river flattens out. The current gets drowned in the impending reservoir. We’re paddling in a lake now. Reservoir waters cover the flatlands that border the original riverbed. One hundred and fifty year old pine stumps are spread far and wide. The fish like them for hiding places. Only their tenacity has my regard. Otherwise, they’re a pain in the gazARium for paddlers such as us.

We stopped to rest at a commando camp site, and found a red, plastic pail some slob had used for a toilet - and left behind. Some folks just don’t deserve to breathe the free air and drink the water.

We ended the paddling trip at the state park on the north side of Mio pond. It was a DANDY of a trip! Thank you, Charlie, thank you.
 
Last edited: