« April 2007 | Main | June 2007 »

May 24, 2007

Travlin' Man's Bass Boat

     You can go to the web-site www.tininthewind.com and see pictures of my former very powerful bass boats and read all about the guy who chased those illusive Bass from every corner of the U.S.  In the late 80's I won my first Ranger Bass boat in Clarendon, Texas.  In 1992 I won my second Ranger Bass boat in Muskogee, Oklahoma and those memories are as vivid as any memory could be.  That first Ranger boat was 16' and was powered by a 110 HP Yamaha Engine.  The second one was 18.9' and was powered by a 175 HP Evinrude.  In between and after those years I was on the Ranger Bass Boat team and had several boats furnished to me that I used from year to year.  All had fuel tanks that today would take close to $100.00 to fill and yes during some weeks, either getting ready for a tournament or competing in one, it was nothing to go through several tanks a day.  In spite of the costs those boats were a huge part of my life and I loved every minute.  I may have given up the competition angle of Bass fishing but it would be hard for me to give up fishing altogether, and there in lies the need for the "Travlin' Man's Bass Boat".



getting it together



     If one lives in a motor home and basement space is at a premium then one's boat needs to be pretty compact.  The inflatable Sea Eagle 375 is just the ticket.  In the above picture I am shown blowing up the pontoons.  The whole process of assembling the boat and being ready to fish takes approximately 30 minutes and is very easy to accomplish but needs to be done at the water's edge as there is no way to trailer it. 



ready to go















     The boat, when assembled, is a beautiful work of art.  I have chosen to power it with a 55 lb thrust reversible Minn Kota trolling motor.  A good quality marine rechargeable battery gives about 4 hours of run time.  As you can see from the picture there are two swivel seats and I am looking forward to having a partner out there with me in the future.  As of this date I have taken it out several times alone and am gradually getting used to a hand control trolling motor.  My previous boats always had foot control electric motors.  There are rod holders, and I have managed to find room for a small tackle box.  There are no live wells on this boat so those fish caught and kept will have to go in the frying pan.  In fact several have met that fate already and boy were they good!




look out fish















     This boat really cruises along at a pretty good clip.  In fact right after this picture was taken I headed out of the protected bay and proceeded about a mile up river.  Just before I got to the spot I wanted to fish I noticed that I was being observed from a short distance away and that darn blue light on the bow was a dead giveaway for Wardens.  You guessed it.  I was about to get checked out.  After commenting how neat my little boat was it was on to business.  Could they see my registration please?  Well the long and short of it was I didn't have it registered.  I did manage to get away with a warning and the encouragement to get it registered.  After finding out it would only cost me $16.50 to register it I filled out the paper work and sent it off.  Now at least if I get checked again while still in Wisconsin for the months of June and July I can show the little paper that says license applied for.  I will be officially registering it along with the scooter when we do finally get to South Dakota.


     I am amazed by how little room this boat and its accessories take up in the basement of the motor home.  I have a picture in my mind of how I may be able to trailer this little boat for short distances so don't be surprised if you see pictures and a new blog entry at some time in the near future.  I am impressed with how stable this little boat really is.  I would not be so foolish as to take it out on a windy day but give me the perfect day for fishing and you can bet I will be out there giving it everything I have left in my tank.  Speaking of "tank", it doesn't have one and at today's prices that makes for a very reasonable cost for a day of fishing.

Honda Ruckus Scooter














     The Honda Ruckus is just what I was looking for.  I wanted a scooter that was relatively light (187 lbs).  It is extremely quiet.  110 miles to the gallon. Maximum speed is about 40 mph.  Street legal and I will be licensing it as soon as we can get to our Domicile of South Dakota.  Loads easily on its carrier behind the Jeep.  Has wide tires which I feel will be essential for riding the long stretches of beach in Mexico and the many trails and back roads of the Pacific Northwest forests.  I believe that the potential for its use will present itself as we travel throughout this wonderful continent.

     I have put my fish pole across the handle bars and bank fished a two mile stretch and caught some darn nice fish.  I could not have covered that stretch without the scooter.  I have climbed on and taken a slow ride through the various RV parks we have frequented and thoroughly enjoyed the rides.  I can't wait to take pictures from some of the locations that this scooter will allow me to access.  I now have about 60 miles on it and have enjoyed every one of them. 

A lot to catch up on !

     Wow!  The last entry I made to the blog was on April 20th.  Shame on me.  Now I have a lot of catching up to do.

     We got back from our Indiana/Michigan Warranty trip and settled in to what would be the last two phases required for Kathleens battle with "the enemy" as she likes to call it.  She has completed chemo with the last gig of that on April 5th.  Surgery was scheduled for and completed on April 30th.  The report is very good!!!  Ninety five percent of the tumor had been destroyed by the chemo, the area of the tumor was explored, and the remaining five percent removed.  The best news of all came when they let us know that after sampling all the lymph nodes in the immediate areano additional "C" cells were detected.  The early part of May to the present have been spent recovering from the surgery.  With recovery having gone so well the final phase, radiation treatments, have begun on May 23rd.  We will now count them down, 33 treatments to be done every working day that the clinic is open.  Discounting week-ends and holidays we expect to be completed July 12th.  The Dr's would like us to stick around the area for a couple of weeks following her completion of radiation and after a final exam we will be free to "hit the road".

     During the early part of May to present the recovery from surgery period did not require many visits to the Dr's so we moved around some, from Goose Island Camp Ground to Black Hawk Park Camp Ground and now back to Goose Island.  With the radiation treatments now taking all of June and some of July we have booked a solid month in to Goose Island so as to be guaranteed a spot and will once again bounce around between parks after our month here.

     It is so great to have the flexibility to just up and move our "tininthewind". It is also great to be self sufficient from a electrical, water, etc. because of our on board systems.  It is that flexibility and freedom from connections that allow us to take our house with us when we go on an extended visit.  This Memorial Day Week-end we will be spending it "boondocked" in my brother-in-laws driveway out in the country from Waukon Iowa.  Jim and Alyce's boys, their wives, and babies will all be present and a more enjoyable time will be hard to find.

     Early in May I started thinking about how nice it would be to have a street legal scooter.  I wanted it to be street legal but in reality have no desire to take it out on the highway.  Street legal means that one can ride it around a campground.  I wanted it to be quiet, efficient, stable, and most of all light enough to be man handled alone.  I am going to do a separate blog comment about it with pictures so will save any further comment for later but just let me say---I love it!

     Another separate blog entry I would like to do is to tell you a little about my inflatable bass boat.  You remember the picture of it from our web-site when I posted it last winter.  The boat was a Christmas present from Kathleen.  We were at Blackhawk park, parked next to the water, a couple weeks ago and I got ambitious.  Spent the afternoon putting the boat together, took it out for its maiden voyage and got busted by the DNR wardens for operating an unregistered craft.  I will save the rest of the story for its own blog entry with pictures and all. Watch for it.  Coming soon.

     We have thoroughly enjoyed our motor homing life style and wouldn't trade it for anything.  At least not in the foreseeable future.  We continue to make plans for future travels and look forward to those we already have scheduled.

     We finally had enough of a break in our Medical Appointment schedules to allow us to fly out to Seattle and visit with our Son's and their families.  We did that between May 11th and 17th.  This trip and getting reacquainted with our grand kids was long overdo.  The trip was fantastic and it too deserves its own blog entry with pictures.  Again, stay tuned, more to follow.

     There you see!  I told you I got a little behind.  I will get the entries I mentioned above completed soon and then do a better job of posting on a more regular basis.


Hosting by Yahoo!