Always good to see a friend

Sunday, September 17, 2017. Lawrence, KS.

Late afternoon Friday, Ti arrived from New Mexico to visit for a week. Spent yesterday scouting multiple dove hunting sites. Several looked promising. Rain chased us back to the RV just as we were walking out of the last site. If the rain slows down we are also going to try and get some preserve shooting done for pheasants and quail.

Spent the rest of the afternoon watching my beloved Florida Gators. They beat Tennessee on the last play of the game with a 60+ yard touchdown pass. Lots of fun to watch. Also spent time researching sleeping systems, back packs, and trekking poles for next year’s stay in the BWCA. Trip to the Kansas City REI scheduled for today.

Sheryl and I really enjoy full timing in an RV. Deciding what is the ‘perfect’ set up, if there is such a thing, is for us is a frequent discussion. We are considering switching from a motor home to 5th wheel toy hauler. Increased storage and increased living space are the two biggest reasons for the discussion. Still a fair bit of pondering, research and talking to be done. I am also wondering if the Hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida will affect availability. Another big factor is timing, before or after the trip to Germany this fall? Plenty of time to consider everything and no need to rush. Still in the maybe stage.

Old dogs, new tricks

This test post will allow me to determine if by Word Press blog will automatically cross post to my Facebook account. The question of why I don’t use Facebook exclusively may occur to some. My answer to that is "If you’re not paying for it, you’re the product". Facebook has become a necessary evil due to its relentlessly ubiquitous intrusion.

So …. please click the "FOLLOW" button on my Word Press blog.

Victor Edwards

"The cure for anything is saltwater….sweat, tears or the sea." Isak Dinesen

Kansas continues

Located a 9′ pool table locally. Always more enjoyable, to me at least, to play upon a full sized table. Several hours spent yesterday afternoon practicing.

There is a local AAA office here in Lawrence. Today’s ‘to-do’ list includes stopping by and getting an International Driving Permit for the spouse and I. We are going to Germany in November to pitch in and help with the arrival on grandchild #2 (code name: SEQUEL). Being able to legally drive will increase our usefulness.

Word so far from Florida is that all are well and safe. Power outages still not resolved but the outlook is positive.

Today and tomorrow’s top priority is setting up bird hunting and fishing for next week as an adjunct to Ti’s arrival Friday.

Research continues into backpacks and hiking staffs. The prep for next summer in the BWCA continues.

We typically meet fairly nice folks while traveling. Folks in Kansas sure seem friendly on an above average basis. That has been one of the unexpected pleasures of full timing in an RV. Folks seem more relaxed and in better moods. Being better than you would think it would be, if you had thought about it, made it unexpected.

Today’s Victor-ism:

I, for one, like Roman numerals.

Victor

Long overdue update

Arrived in Lawrence, KS Friday afternoon. We are about 35 miles SW of Kansas City and here for 2 weeks. Our most excellent friend Ti is due next weekend for a week long visit. We plan on some dove hunting, some fishing and some good food and good friendship.

Since returning from Europe in early July, we spent 2 weeks in Minneapolis, 2 weeks in Ely, MN followed by 2 weeks on the Gunflint Trail in extreme northern MN. The MN trip was enlightening. Actually seeing the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area) had a greater than expected impact. What kind of impact. Well … we are spending next summer in upper MN. Already have reservations from mid June to 1 NOV (or until the weather chases us south).

More later,

Victor

"The cure for anything is saltwater….sweat, tears or the sea." Isak Dinesen

Summer 2016

Lots of changes occurring. Change is evolution. Either you adapt and survive or you don’t. The dynamic is oblivious to a personal view, it is simply inevitable. Since you can’t always choose what happens to you, I find it most productive to choose how you deal with it. In this case, most of the change is of my own doing and I choose to be delighted and joyous about it.

The house is sold. Encountered a minor bump in the road about the house inspection but that’s worked out and all are happy. We are estimating a closing around the middle of July and that will officially end Bamboo Bend as a residence.

As part of the full time RV life style, Sheryl and I purchased a trailer to tow behind the RV. One of us will drive the RV and the other the car. Since we usually make jumps of only about 150 miles this will be no big deal. The trailer will allow us to take the Honda VTX 1800 motorcycle with us on our travels and have a few more ‘nice to have’ items with us. As part of this I also purchased a second motorcycle. I purchased a new 2015 Kawasaki KLR 650 dual purpose (highway and off road) in lime green. It is a LOT of fun to ride. For anyone envisioning me getting air with that bike while racing around off road I will tell you this. I am an old fart ‘putt-putter" off road and if that bike gets ‘any’ air, even a few inches, then the plan has gone badly wrong. Putting along down a dirt road just seems like a wonderful way to spend the day and scratches that ‘where does that go’ itch I’ve seemed to have my entire life.

A somewhat unexpected delight has been the amount of fun it is to order parts to upgrade and modify the bike. The current major internal debates are what type of windshield upgrade to get and what type of panniers (luggage) to put on it. Researching options and learning about the experience of other people is way more interesting when it means you get to do some wrenching on your own bike.

I’ve attached a photo of the new bike.

So the next time you are at an intersection, before you pull out, I’d appreciate it if you would take the extra split second to look twice carefully.The motorcycle rider’s life you save might be mine.

Writings

Over the years I have, on occasion, written a variety of pieces on a variety of topics. The following is one such example.

When Angels Sing

Only something beautiful, with perfect expression of shape, drawing deeply upon what is eternal and unique within the human spirit can elevate the soul. A violin by Stradivarius and a bamboo fly rod by Al Medved are such things of beauty. In the hands of a master, they transcend the ordinary and let mortals hear the angels sing.

All well made bamboo fly rods are highly prized but a Medved is a treasure. A treasure created by more than 100 hours of meticulous, precise effort that transform a mere twelve strips of Arundinaria Amabilis into the distinctive hexagonal shape of a finished rod. A rod that stimulates the senses in ways sublime. Just the rod’s finish, clear and silky smooth, tingles the fingertips and soothes the eyes with its subtle highlighting of the bamboo’s natural blond color and deep grain.
The custom made cork grip, sanded to a solid texture, fills the hand with a sense of wonder as even the most subtle flex or twitch of the tip is instantly transmitted along the rod’s entire length.
In the light of a bright fall day the rod appears to shine with a luster from an inner glow. Like a beautiful woman taken out of the shadows, the rod reveals more of its allure in the sunlight. The finish is warmer to the touch, the grain of the bamboo seems more alive, and the minute details of the rod builder’s genius reveal themselves.
Guides are hand polished and mounted on the rod with wraps of thread burnished to a uniform sheen. Sitting flush against the bamboo, the guide feet, have been hand shaped to create a smooth, imperceptible transition of thread wraps from metal to wood with no unsightly ridges so typical of lesser rods. Six coats of lacquer, so smooth and clear they appear to be made of air, cover the threads.
The ferrules join the rod halves. These interlocking metal sleeves of polished nickel-silver, are aligned exactly, making the distinctive soft ‘pock’ sound of perfection when pulled apart. When joined together they slide into each other with sensual certainty.
Slowly at first the caster begins to move the rod back and forth in an imitation of a steam locomotive’s ‘push-pull’ motion, making the rod arc repetitively in a cast. Each bamboo rod has a subtle and unique rhythm of its own. Discovery of this particular rod’s unique rhythm is a revelation of rightness forever imprinted on the heart.
Moving the rod more forcefully extends causes more line to extend from the tip. The rod seems incapable of handling forty feet of fly line. But class is grace under pressure and this rod is a class act. As the casting stroke’s force increases, the rod responds with civility and style. Tracking true and straight, with no sudden flexes, no loss of power, no sudden snaps, the rod reveals its secrets by establishing an almost mystical link between the fly, forty feet away, and the caster’s inner being. The mind doesn’t analyze when using a rod like this. No plebeian “Just a little to the right” thoughts sully this process. Instead, a mental image, where the fly should land, forms in the caster’s mind and this rod, precisely and delicately, places it there, exactly there. Thought, action, thought, action, that the two are joined as one is the genius of this rod.
Unlike an ordinary rod, which interacts with only a caster’s hand, the power of this rod starts to fill the caster’s arm as more and more line is played out. With seventy feet of fly line in the air the connection of mind and fly, soul and rod, remains precise with every subtle nuance felt by the caster. The rod seems not to notice the extra distance now being cast. There is no unexpected collapse on the back cast, no variation in the rod’s path. A path tracked so unerringly as to feel pre-ordained. Swishing back and forth, back and forth, Al Medved’s creation sings to the caster a song of smooth and effortless power and precision. The harmony of beauty, power, and control are the rod’s song. A song only heard by mortals when angels sing.

Throwback Thursday

Funny what digging through old computer files will unearth.

Why We Fish

We fish to feed the spirit,

We fish to soothe the soul,

We fish to escape from the unpleasant,

We fish to experience the pleasant,

We fish to connect with something wild and untamed,

We fish to share a moment with someone held dear

or in esteem,

We fish as a simple celebration of a special place,

We fish as validation of life lived well,

We fish as reward for conserving and protecting the

vanishable,

We fish in the simple solitude of having Creation

keep our company.

– Victor Edwards

January, 1996

Early on a Sunday

Snapping fully awake at 5:45 AM made me grateful for an early bedtime the previous evening. As appealing as the idea of a lazy, sleep in Sunday morning might seem the reality is that some mornings highlight the stark difference between a slow, relaxed start to the day and just laying there, fully awake and already being fully spooled up for the day.

I signed the real estate listing agreement for the house in Grayling last Thursday. Chad Brown is the listing agent. I’ve known Chad a long time and enjoy the peace of mind his professionalism and competence gives me. Hopefully the sale of the house will happen this summer. The remodeling and sprucing up is completed and the house will be ready for photographs next Thursday or Friday.

Lunch yesterday was one of those seemingly unremarkable events that all too often escapes recognition for its deeper value. Wayne Koppa agreed to let me pick his brain about motorcycles and we met for a most enjoyable lunch at Spikes. My current bike is a 2006 Honda VTX 1800 S model and I really like riding this cruising monster. Taking the bike with us while we full time in an RV is something of a logistical challenge. Too long and heavy to realistically fit on the back of the RV, it appears that keeping the VTX means adding a trailer to the current full timing set up. No problem, except that means two separate vehicles since the RV can’t pull the car and the trailer at the same time. For Sheryl and I, riding together while we travel is one of the appeals of a motorhome. Each of us having to drive a separate vehicle every time we relocate does not have much appeal, especially to her. So I asked Wayne for his thoughts about a different bike. Hopefully one that weighs less and could fit on a rack on the back of the motorhome. One that would allow the car to be towed, the wife and I to ride together and driving duties in the RV to be shared. Besides being smart, pragmatic and imaginative, Wayne has been biking for a long time and is highly experienced at the type of biking I like to do. His recommendation is to consider the Kawasaki KLR 650. My other take away from our lunch together is a deep appreciation of knowing someone who’s opinion you value and who is willing to share their time to help you make a good decision. Thank you Wayne.

Since the drift boat is sold, the motorcycle is the only remaining issue without a clear answer. No bike is also an option but I’d much rather find a work around.

Still alive

Full timing in the RV since last November has been educational. Some of the highlights:

1. No matter how big what you are driving, some people will still try and kill you by driving as if they are brain dead from the neck up.
2. Changing the view out of you living room window is fun.
3. "We still have firewood left" is a perfectly good reason to stay somewhere another couple of days.
4. "I feel like it" is a perfectly good reason to change travel plans, pull over, re-route, change camp grounds, turn left, drive past your exit, leave early, turn around, stay late, or just sit and watch the sunset.

We are in Grayling, MI until after the 4th of July and then we are off to the UP for a couple of months.

More later.

Victor Edwards

"The cure for anything is saltwater….sweat, tears or the sea." Isak Dinesen