Friday, August 30, 2013


Well we are nearly done with our 2 and a half week vacation. We have been spending most of that time fishing.
We finally got a taste of summer. As you know in our posts here and on facebook it has been a very cool summer. But since we have been in KY it has been hot and humid. It hasn't hit 90 degrees yet but not being used to the weather it came on as a surprise.  It may of helped spur on summer colds on several of us, including me. Summer colds suck!
Mami and I had a lovely time scouting out a lake in Berea for fishing. At one point, on one trail, I realized we were surrounded by poison ivy so I had Mami hike her skirt up and carefully try not to let her clothes or legs touch it.  We were fortunate the woods were free of hikers. Oh, during all that I get a business call so as we waded around the poison ivy and rocks, and stumps, etc I was talking business with a client 2000 miles away.
We have a had a few opportunity to visit with CC and Miles. Miles showed the little ones around his dorm and they got to play ping pong, and pool, as well as see interesting places on campus.

Today we went fishing in Richmond, MO and caught for the first time a Warmouth, kind of a cross between a bass and a blue gill. We also caught a sunfish, and Olivia caught two blue gills.

Monday is Olvia's B-day and she already got one of her presents. She got a pink rod and reel....that's what she caught the blue gill with.

We are staying at our regular RV park here in Berea an that means lots of pool time for the kids. The swimming pool kind.  I even went to the pool but only waded for a bit then promptly went to sleep in a chair by the pool. The kids laughed because apparently I snored. Dang cold.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Holy Toledo

After our big adventure in Flint, MI with the  whole $1.2K trailer suspension rebuild we finally made it to Toledo, or more correctly, Slyvania, a "burb" of Toledo.  My cousins put us up and put up with us. They are pretty awesome people.  Their kids were in the tour albeit at separate times. We arrived one day late (axle problems) so my original schedule was messed up so I threw it out the window and we stayed an extra day on top of the two we originally planned, just not the original days we planned....if that makes sense.  We stayed Sunday (today) because Mami wanted us all to get some church time.  Great idea. Good message, strong bible based church. Westgate Chapel.
We were able to get some fishing in while here and fished on the Maumee River yesterday and today.  Caught mostly blue gill, pumpkin fish, and the like yesterday. Though we also caught a few small mouth bass and a bullhead that had to go back due to their size.
Today we caught two blue gill, and two very small mouth bass that were keepers.  Oh, an Victor Jr caught a giant frog.  Perfect for frogs legs.  We put him in a cup to take back but sadly Amelia, wanting to take a peek, opened the container he was in and he made a break for it. So no frogs legs.  But I think she learned a lesson about, asking and not touching others' things.

Monday (tomorrow) we move to southern Ohio, around Cincinnati and fish on the Ohio river and some of its inlets.  My fishing license's last day for Ohio is tomorrow.  Next Kentucky.
I want to publicly thank Dan Finn for house sitting our house. I hear he is doing a great job.
Yesterday we visited a place made famous by the TV show MASH.  On one episode Klinger craved hot dogs from his favorite dog joint in Toledo Tony Packos. So the MASH crew works it out to get a bunch of hotdogs sent to them.  We drove to Tony Packos and even brought our vid cam to get a vid blog post made up.  The place was downtown and had a huge sign and was surrounded by other fun restaurants. When we got inside a guy noticed I was taping and said I really should be trying the original joint. It was on the other side of town...but it only took a few minutes.  We passed a "Pride" event that was badly attended and.....opinion deleted. We crossed over a big bridge and there on the corner of Front Street was a very un assuming nice looking old cafe. 1932 was it's birth year.   The store manager, seeing the camera, was happy to tell me the whole story and give us a tour. Turns out Klinger, Jamie Farr, is actually from Toledo and lived across the bridge in what I was told was a rough part of town.  He actually did go there as a kid.   The TV show made Tony Packos famous and celebrities from all over have been there.  If they are famous enough they get to sign a hot dog bun that is encased in plastic and hung on the wall.
I had the Bunker Blaster dog that comes in at over 3lbs when all spruced up on the plate.    I had to bring half of it home.
 The first one we went to.......(above).  The original.......(below)

More to come later this are some random pictures:
 Creepy statue at the KOA camp near Flint.  But the park was nice.
 The remainders of the axle and brake work....
 Cookie and Amelia asleep while driving from someplace to someplace
Welcome to Ohio....again.

Pictures from the kids' Facebook pages:

Don't worry it's a sharpee tattoo and was for an art project for a friend.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


What a crazy week. We finished our work at the Upper Peninsula State Fair in Michigan and went to lake Superior to fish. On our way out of Escanaba, MI  I noticed my back driver side tire the outside one of the duely was looking low.  So I searched the gas station for an air hose. While I did that a feeling hit me that I should check the inside tire too. So I looked in and to my surprise it was shredded; empty of air and a mess. The outside tire showed pitting from uneven wear from driving and carrying all that weight. Where along the line from WV to MI did the tire go bad. Didn't feel a thing except I thought the roads felt bad. But in this economy all roads seem bad.

The first tire place we hit seemed to be the most popular in town and I'm not sure why. They weren't the nicest folks. So we drove down the road where we found a little  place called Stropick Oil who had a Firestone sign so we pulled in.  Wow what service.  They got the tires and had them installed and we were on the road to Superior.

The road to Superior at one point was a hwy only used by snow mobiles in the winter. They had speed signs posted just for them.   I would love to see what cop would be out there hiding behind a tree with a radar gun enforcing that law.

Grand Marais, MI has a campsite right on the beach of Superior and it is spectacular.  The town is tiny and you can walk everywhere.   The water was a clear as tap water and you could see clear to the bottom almost everywhere you went.   We tried to catch some fish and searched out some good spots including a pier. But alas no bites.

Our time there was short since we had to get our clwn, Cousin Wes home.  His first day of high school started two days later.  So we drove down to Bay City to fish Lake Huron.....Yikes. The silky sand of Superior was filled with broken shells and lead up to a mucky water edge where you would get you feet stuck in mud suction.  The lake was too shallow to fish from the shore and we found out that the section we were at was state park so anything we caught we would have to throw back.  The park were staying at had a lagoon to catch and release but there was no fun in that.  They did have a pretty board walk around the wetlands and marshes. Lots of frogs...lots of frogs.  But again it was state park so no frog gigging.
 Cookie playing passenger.

Some nice folks at a bait shop told us about a nice spot to fish along the Siginaw River. We went out too early in the day (sun high in the sky) and we didn't even get a nibble. While there a state employee for the DNR gave us a packet that explains what fish were safe to eat from that river and what were not. Apparently DOW and other companies used to use the river as a dump in the 70s and 80s.   Later that night Vic Jr and I went back to the same spot and caught 3 pumpkin fish, one blue gill and three rock bass.  All approved to be eat-able.
 lake Huron
 muck along the lake edge
wetlands around Huron

This is how Mami Fishes...

Just as we arrived in Bay City on Tuesday we had to rush and get Wesley down to the Flint area since he had school the next day and his mom was meeting us there.
Little did I know that the road that had the restaurant that I dropped him off to his mother at we would see again.

Today after a great full day of fishing and playing and resting yesterday four miles from exit 118 on Hwy 75 I got a distress call from Jim and the van over the radio.  He had smoke coming from a tire.  One of the bearings in one of the wheels had burned out and the tired was only holding on by will.   Luckily the tow company came fast and the hitch and trailer repair place was just 4 minutes away.   The trailer just fit on the flatbed; in fact, two of the wheels road on the flatbed railing.  This all drew more attention to the Anti Monkey but decals on the trailer and our other vehicles. We got horn honks, waves, and laughs from truckers.  The tow truck drive even took a picture of the Anti monkey butt box on his truck.

As expected the axle has to be replaced but more surprises were in store. A few years ago we had a bearing burn out. The mechanic who changed the axle told us we should add more grease every 2000 miles ... so for all these years we have been pumping grease in.  When they took the tires off today the entire inside of the electric brake hubs were caked in grease.   All of them had to be cleaned.  We also noticed the second axle had a slight bend in it and that explains why we have been going through tires like water. So  with the parts on hand but not enough time to finish tonight we left the trailer with them and found and RV camp for the night.   Tomorrow we will pick it up and move on.

Just prior to this when we left the park we had plans to visit a restaurant that had a big sign that advertised it sold frogs legs.  That was going to be out lunch....But as we pulled in we saw in smaller letter, "On Fridays". So we had Taco Bell.  Then, since we had a little time to kill we went to Cabella's outdoor store. We picked up some simple fishing jigs and supplies and met a nice older man with some advice. It was nice.

Well, here we are at the camp.

I think back to the UP State Fair. It was a nice place. six days and good sized crowds. The wind was our enemy as it always seemed to blow. Try fire acts in that. On our drive out we picked up Pastys....(pass-tees)....

Some pix from the kids: