Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Road Trip To Michigan - StealthCraft Boats

Late in the summer I determined that my boat was in need of a bit of upgrades and repair. I packed up the car, attached the trailer to the car, and drove north at 0500 on a Thursday. Here are some of the images.

Podcast is available here. 

Yes, there was traffic at 0500 in DC. I drove behind a military convoy for a few hours to draft behind them. Pulling a boat over the mountains on a 13 hour drive can burn some fuel. I passed through Va, Md, and Pa. Ohio was an easy but expensive drive. I paid $28 to drive on the Ohio turnpike. 

 The Cuyahoga River.
 I could have paid for the trip if I had brought all of our recycling.
 Checking out the tying material during a quick stop to stretch my legs.

 I arrived at Stealthcraft Boats around 7pm.
 I stopped at the lodge just down the street to drop off my boat. I was going to sleep in the car as I normally do but Mike offered me a room at the lodge. They have a fly shop there too. I picked up this fly as I had never seen it before. It is a Circus Peanut. I didn't know the name until someone on Instagram informed me.
 I have slept on very few perfectly comfortable beds in my life. The lodge was one of them.
 I have an intruder stuck in my car ceiling. It blew up and out of my sunroof while I was driving.
 I dropped off my boat first thing Friday morning and stuck around town in case I was needed. The lads at Stealthcraft patched some dents on my boat from vandals and updated my trailer to allow ease of putting the boat in. I had some coatings put on the hull.
 I stopped in to Baldwin Bait and Tackle. Did some podcasting, bought some material. Check out these monster 11" bluegill.
 Loads of good tying material and info. Stop in.
 Afterward I checked out the Pere Marquette. I've been reading about this river since I was a kid. Never thought I'd ever see it. It may be the prettiest river I have seen. Crystal clear and cold. It was very narrow with fallen trees everywhere. I would not want to row this with out having gone down it in another boat with an experienced guide. I poked around and found a scud. No fish.

 View from the bridge. All of this by 10am. I had a lot of down time the rest of the day.
 Can you imagine fishing for salmon and steelhead in this tiny river? I would love to be up there when they are running.

 I stopped in the variety store in town for a gift for the kid. Mike had advised me not to go in. It was the strangest store I have experienced. They had loads of VCR tapes. They had a couple dozen of this gem:
 I asked Mike where to get a good burger, he sent me 3 miles up the road. I was not disappointed.
 All homemade burger, bun, fries, etc.
 Back to the lodge. They were going to try to finish my boat on Friday while working on all of their other boats. I was grateful they were able to fit me in. This mayfly was on the lodge door.
 While I waited one of the employees re-welded my trailer hitch to the car.
 Check out this boat skin by Eric Hornung.
 I headed down the street to the Rainbow Lodge. I met up with a Project Healing Waters volunteer at lunch. He was at the lodge with a bunch of vets. I was invited down for dinner. I was able to get a few casts in before we ate. The new pink worm fly got one follow.

 Found my 3rd shovel of the year while fishing.
 We finished one of the best meals I've had around 7pm. I headed up to the boat shop.
 My boat was finished. I had a few minutes to walk around the other boats and check out what they have to offer. They are the next generation of drift boats. If you are in the market you want to make the drive to these guys.
 I drove off at 8pm having arrived just 25 hours earlier.
 The drive back was long and it was hot. I listened to loads of podcasts and talk radio. A road trip is good for the soul. The drive back sucked. I hit traffic an hour away from  home and that added another hour to my drive. So many morons on the road. I need the authority to pull morons over and revoke their license.

Last pic of the trip, these are the trees in Pennsylvania and West Virginia that were decimated by the periodic cicadas. Note all the brown branch tips- that's where the female lays eggs, branch dies, drops, eggs hatch and crawl into ground.


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