Clicky

Tales from the Log of the Ruptured Duck

beekeeper

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2009
1,704
43
Biking may be like paddling. I would travel farther if I knew I had assistance getting back.
Don't forget to pedal some, or you won't be able to claim you are biking for the exercise.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,893
153
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Thanks. I ended up dropping thoughts of that conversion kit. They originally started with a $400 neighborhood price. Then announced out of stock, but you could sign up for a unit at 50% discount when stock arrived. 50% is a very large discount, and it started a little bell of suspicion in the back of my head.

Next message had prices ranging from about $800 down to about $600 according to how long you would delay delivery. Bait and switch tactics. I pulled the plug. Back to standard pedals. Probably better for me anyway?

sigh
 
Last edited:

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,324
100
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
If it sounds to good to be true , chances are it isn't. From what you said there is a Rat in the wood pile. I was thinking of making my mountain bike into a electric and decide against it. Figured the best thing to do was to get one that was designed , made and equipped for electric. Cost more but I can't take it ( $$$ ) with me ( when I croak ) and the wife would only spend it so why can't I enjoy it now.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,893
153
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
PRETTY LAKES STATE PARK
In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (locally referred to as the U P, pronounced as “you pea”) are miles and miles, of miles and miles. Historically, it was mining country. Copper and iron.. Snowmobiling hunting, logging, drinking, and making babies are now big activities up there.

About 25 miles NW’ly of Newberry is the Pretty Lakes State Park. (It’s also about 8 miles NW’ly of Pine Stump Junction. Really! And about 30 miles W’ly of where the Edmund Fitzgerald went down.). The area is aptly named. When you launch a canoe, the first thought that occurs is, “Wow! THIS is a really pretty little lake.”

There are at least 7 little lakes in the park, ranging in size from only a few acres to a couple or three hundred acres. Portages are all easy. The trails are well marked, flat, and covered with pine needles. Daytrippers just drag their Tupperware kayaks along behind them. Charlie and I humped our gear, and then dragged the boats.

There are very nice campsites, plenty of trash barrels, outhouses, pitcher pumps, and signposts with local area mapes with distances from point to point and little “You are here” arrows.

After a couple of portages, the idiots are behind you. Day trippers were out paddling to sight-see and fish. Lots of people were landing fish.
One older couple went by, the hubby was paddling a canoe, towing his wife who was snorkeling along behind him. They paused just offshore from our camp, and we chatted a bit. She reported seeing a lot of fish, some good sized. I asked the fellow if he was fishing. With a sly twinkle in his eye, he said, “Not really. But, I am trolling for muskys.” (Muskelunge is a BIG fish 4’-8’ long.)

Our timing was good, going up there. Mosquitoes, black flies, and horseflies plague the early and midsummer in the UP. Locals (called Yoopers) put duct tape on pant cuffs and shirtsleeve cuffs, and wear a headnet to keep them out. Charlie and I had bugshirts along, and I routinely tucked my pantlegs into my socks. But we had only a few mosquitoes, and a bit of repellant took care of them.

We ate simply; no cooking. Just boil water on my Littlebug twig stove or in a JetBoil. Most foods were just eaten out of hand. Time was spent walking, sitting, paddling, conversing, napping, and smoking cigars. I tell only true stories anyway.
 
  • Like
Reactions: grandpa paddler

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,893
153
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Thanks, guys. We had a good trip.

I’d forgotten to mention that every morning, we had sandhill cranes gargling their weird calls about a half a mile away. And at any time, day or night, loons were out there diving for fish, flying with wingbeats underwater.

When they surface, they send out a “locator” call to their partner, basically saying,”Here I am. Where are you?” A call of the wild. When diving for fish, they usually resurface 80-90 yards away from where they dove. They often regroup and swim around some, then dive again.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,893
153
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
When I label a loon’s yodel as a “call of the wild”, it echoes inside my head. It usually brings a smile to my face. They are a lovely bird.

Another call of the wild affected me differently. A couple of times in the Sierra Nevadas, a wolf would cut loose. In those granite mountains, the howl would bounce, several times. I not only couldn’t tell from which direction it was coming - I couldn’t tell how far away it was. The howl wraps all around you, and comes from everywhere, all at the same time. I couldn’t keep the back of my neck still. Hair bristled, then chills radiated out. It’s deep in our genes, guys.

One night a cougar’s scream awoke Bill, my trail partner. Then he woke me up. He was clearly shook. But, I was still groggy with sleep. The next morning I thought more about it. “Sumbich! That was a COUGAR”!
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,324
100
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
A panthers scream is something you never forget. When I was a kid ( late 50's ) the folks had about 30 feet between the pool and the south end of the houses living room. It's a nice evening and the windows are open , Quiet and you could hear a pin drop. All of a sudden this loud , piercing , scream comes from the area between the pool and the house. You can imagine what it was like , every hair on your body stands straight up ... what the hell was that. Next day we realized what it was when we asked a neighbor who has been there all his life.
Joe lived about 1/2 mile down the road from us and he had a panther encounter that same night. Seams he was relaxing and heard a cat meowing. He has no love for cats so he went out side to shag it away. As he went out to check he found that cat , A Panther. Joe went inside and the cat departed for parts unknown. ( We know where it went )
The house was located in 5 acres of woods and a small creek ( ditch ) which ran threw the property. It drained into a Lake about 2 miles away. The locals called the creek , Painter Creek , Painter was a local term for Panther.
Back then having a Panther around was more or less normal. You could go for a , local, evening drive looking for wildlife and see one at times. Florida says that is no such critter as a Black Panther but I have seen both , Tan ones and Black ones.
Another scream that will get your attention is that from the Barred Owl. Especially if it's close to your camp or worse , directly overhead.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,893
153
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Though I’ve been close to a mother panther with at least one kitten (fresh pad prints in the sand, and at the same location where my buddy heard the scream) I have never actually heard one scream, nor sighted one. I have no doubt that she sighted me, though. And, probably didn’t like me being there.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,324
100
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
A couple of years ago. I was walking down the old RR ( Part of the Florida Trail today ) Fill by the house just having a good day. As I walked along I have the habit of looking for tracks. In the early morning usually there are a lot of tracks. It gives me a good idea of the animal traffic in the area.
I went down to the river and along part of it. Stopped and had a break then started back towards home which is about a 3 , 1/2 mile distance. When I got to a sandy part just before the river I was looking for tracks. I noticed my foot prints from the way down and got a surprise. Over one of my prints was a print of a Panther. Looking some more there were more cat tracks doing the same thing. Not sure if he was following me or came along after I had passed the area. Probable the latter since the old RR fill makes for easy walking. One thing for sure , it had me looking around a lot more , especially my back trail.
It's nice to know there is some wildlife around here today.
Yesterday I went for a walk and included the paved path by the elementary school. There is a grassy area by the path and the main road. Off to the one side were two yearling deer feeding. I got fairly close and when they started getting nervous I turned around and went back home. It's not unusual to see some deer when I go for my morning walks and it's what can be called a residential area. ( 3 ) subdivisions , ( 1 ) school in what use to be a cow pasture when the wife and I moved out here 43 years ago. Hell , back then I arrested two guys for killing and dismembering a Black Angus cow ( not theirs ) one night , right back of my house , where the school is today.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,893
153
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Often, your first clue that a cougar is in the neighborhood is when you have four teeth sunk into the back of your neck. That cougar might well have been watching you while you were watching its track?

you did better than me. I’ve never had a cougar follow me, to the best of my knowledge. But I’ve had vultures following me. Though, come to think of it, maybe they were following a cougar? Hmm.
 

oldbuffpilot

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2014
476
19
78
Central Kansas and Central Texas
Sounds like pedaling is a lot like paddling.
You have to drive a ways to get away from crowds and larger vehicles. Not always physically easy (up hill/current, headwind etc.). One difference, when I paddle there always seems to be a headwind when returning to the launch. It may have blown from the opposite direction all day but it will change when time to return. Wind speed seems to correlate to how tired you are and how far it is back to the vehicle.
Started to say another difference is paddling takes to the fish. Then I remembered how many miles, as a kid we paddled just to fish a pond or road side canal.
Thanks for reviving memories. I grin as I remember fishing the far corners ofBaudcau.☺
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,324
100
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
you did better than me. I’ve never had a cougar follow me, to the best of my knowledge. But I’ve had vultures following me. Though, come to think of it, maybe they were following a cougar? Hmm.
On a lot of canoe trips those birds were circling overhead all the time. I started calling them Georgia Eagles since most of them were in Georgia.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,893
153
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Something like that, yeah. As a little kid, I was in the woods and fields and streams daily. Even on into high school and through college, I was in the woods at least once a week. Now, when I’m in the woods, it’s a lot like going home again.
On YouTube is a bushcrafter named Dan Wowack. He’s in Pennsylnania, under the title of CoalCracker, and teaches woodsman skills and techniques. Always finishes his videos with a call to “Go out to the woods!”