I’m a map guy. I love to study maps. Paper maps mostly, but the digital versions can be just as intriguing. There was an older BMW ad that I loved, even though I don’t own that brand of motorcycle it read: “My favorite author? Rand McNally.” That about says it right there.
Some time ago, I noticed on a paper map an airport that I had never seen. There it was on the map, and I have been past that location many times, but have never seen it. It even shows up on my Gaia GPS. The San Mar Gale Airport.
Of course, the airport is closed now, and this is what it looks like from Waynesville Road nearest the end of what was the airstrip. The strip is just over the back end of my V-Strom.
I had to do a little searching to find out that the airport was closed in the 1990s. It was probably a grass strip, which made it easy to convert to agriculture. It had an official airport designation, but I could not find a record of that.
There are a couple of other private, abandoned airfields in Warren County, and they most likely were on farms, much like this one. It is exploration like this, and detailed maps like the DeLorme Gazeteers and Gaia GPS that reveal opportunities for a motorcycle adventure.
We have had an incredible warm up. The temps reached 65+ and I have been lusting for a motorcycle ride. So, I aired up the tires, checked the chain, and fired up the V-Strom for a ride around the block. Okay, it was a long block, but much needed.
And of course, I found a church for a photo in Goshen.
Meteorology is a science, but also a guessing game. Put together all the forecasting models to get a picture of what is to come, and you prepare for that. But, every now and then, Mother Nature has a different plan as she did last night. Accumulated snow was two to three times more than predicted. We were expecting one to three inches. We got six+.
It didn’t take that long to move the snow, our sidewalks and drive are not that big.
The snow may be a bit of inconvenience, but it also produces a bit of art, like our lower level windows.
More snow and ice is forecast for tonight and into tomorrow.
I have seen images, and even news stories, but I never imagined that I would participate in such an event. It was an honor I will not soon forget.
I was at the VA, moving from one appointment to another when a voice came over the loud speaker. “There will be a Walk of Honor on the second floor.” It was to begin in just a few seconds. In fact, I was on the second floor and rounding the corner of the hallway when I see nurses and doctors emerging to the hallway from behind closed doors. They lined the hall. I asked if I could participate, and they said, “Yes.”
I decided to grab a quick photo. More nurses and doctors emerged, and the hall seemed full of healthcare workers. Then from around the corner came a gurney, covered in white with a folded American flag on top. The hallway was completely silent.
The gurney was pushed by an attendant, and four VA police officers escorted the honored Veteran, two in front, two in back. They silently proceeded down the hallway and disappeared. The hallway cleared almost as quickly as it formed.
I chose not to take a second photo, one of the gurney and the escorts. It did not seem right.
It was an honor to participate in this seemly simple event, but was so profound. These healthcare workers of our VA Medical Center taking the time to honor a Veteran who has passed was a very moving experience. And, these dedicated healthcare workers of our VA system do this not out of duty, but out of compassion for the Veterans in their care. Even for one last time in a hallway with strangers in their midst.
It’s January—cold with a mix of rain and snow. Coronavirus has required us to stay inside. So, what’s a fella to do?
Planning. Getting ready for a fishing season along with a little motorcycling. That’s what a fella is to do!
Over the years, I have built fly rods and bought rods that would make it easier to carry them on a motorcycle. Then, I discovered Tenkara in 2013, and that changed my motorcycle/fishing world completely. However, I still like to use a conventional fly rod from time to time. It all depends upon the water to be fished. The minimalist approach to Tenkara just makes perfect sense with the motorcycle. So, for 2021, here is my list of gear for fly fishing with the motorcycle as transportation.
Any one of these will fit into the bags on my motorcycle. From top to bottom:
Tiny Tenkara. 8.5” collapsed, 54” extended
Tiny Tenkara 2. It is 14.5” in rod tube, 8’ extended
Tenkara USA Hane’. 17” in rod tube, 10’10” extended
7-piece, 9’ 5wt travel fly rod. 18” in rod sock
5-piece, 7.5’ 4wt fly rod. 20” in rod sock
Of course, there are a lot of other manufacturers and options out there. Find one you like, and get to fishing.
I do not use a fishing vest preferring a pack instead. I have three in different sizes. They can carry an assortment of fly boxes. It just depends upon how much you want to carry, or more importantly, how much room on the motorcycle is available. L to R above:
Simms small sling pack. Plenty of room for fly boxes and gear, including space for a water bottle on the bottom.
Fishpond small waist pack. Less room, but will hold one fly reel as well as fly boxes.
Fishpond small chest pack. Minimal gear. One small fly box.
With the minimalist approach of Tenkara, the small Fishpond chest pack is perfect, and it takes up less room in the motorcycle bags.
I think a net is a luxury for motorcycle fly fishing, especially if you are also hauling camping gear. But I recently discovered a net manufacturer who has been in business since 1955, and I think his net will be just the ticket for saving space.
The top net is one I built. It is 21” long, and will fit in a bag if you tilt it a little. It’s a nice net, and there have been plenty of fish in it. The little one is an expandable net from Handy Pak Net Company in Pennsylvania. It has a spring steel rim, folds up to fit in that pouch, AND it is a bigger net than my homebuilt. The Handy Pak Net is going with me on the motorcycle.
What about waders? Waders take up too much space, and if you’re going motorcycle camping, they are left behind. You either wet wade or fish from shore. If you’re just going fishing near where you live, there is probably room for waders. I prefer waist sock-foot waders with a separate boot. The waist waders fold up into a smaller package for transportation. Plan on some kind of plastic bag for carrying wet waders and boots home.
That’s all folks!
I am so ready to get on the motorcycle and go fishing.
See you on the highway (or maybe on the water … or both).