It's been a twisted journey, Jeff, from there to here.
If you recall, I come from kayaks. But when I sold my last one and found myself back on the sere shore, I had to do something. I was a duck out of water!
After reviewing options, and a good bit of hand wringing over moving to a float tube, I finally "pulled the trigger." Part two of this twisted tale starts there.
• I bought a Chehalis pontoon from Cover Bonanza last year - and ended up never using it.
• I was also given a framed inflatable pontoon by a friend - and never used it.
• I ended up with a hybrid canoe, a Mad River 14 - an unforeseen cash windfall made that possible.
I used the canoe the rest of the season and the inflatables languished in the shed.
At this point, the Hand of Fate steps in. It's with great sadness that I must report the demise of my old truck. After over a decade of service and no end of coaxing, it is not likely to be revived. It's like I've lost an old friend, but worse: I now have no means to get my toys to the water. And I live within ten minutes of much good water!
Back to being a dry duck?
Something drastic has to happen.
- I have sold the Chehalis in new condition to a man in Norway.
- I will likely sell the canoe.
- I will keep the pontoon, but in storage for the near future.
- I will get a Cumberland from Cover Bonanza with the proceeds from the Chehalis.
- I will get waders and fins from the sale of the canoe.
Here's the deal: I don't know what vehicle we will next purchase. But I cannot be sure of a truck. Besides, whatever we get, it's earmarked for my wife's use, leaving me the SUV.
The Chehalis is 8' long; it won't fit in the back of the vehicle. The canoe is 14', so it's worse.
"Carry it on top," my younger friend says. Mike is 6'2" and 260 lbs of muscle - he WOULD SAY THAT. Well, I'm almost 60 years old, and I don't intend to lift a 14' canoe up and down to the vehicles roof. With age comes wisdom, after all.
Besides, the thing is longer than my automobile!
But the Cumberland will fit in the back of my SUV, handily. This will make for effortless transport, and I'm all about effortless. Some of the places I can go are very rough, too, and hardly even suitable for trailers. The SUV CAN make it, and the float tube will keep them in play. Likewise it's much easier to manage as a single handed option.
See, a twisted story! I like the solidity and long reach of the canoe. But the tube is so much easier to deal with.
Now, it's here I have to make a confession. I am a toss and go user. There I've said it.
Some guys seem to revel in endless set up and fixing of gear just so - but not me.
I want minimum prep to leave home, and the least "making ready" possible when I arrive. I can inflate the tube at home, and have everything stowed when I arrive.
Waders on, fins strapped, and we're casting within five minutes. Or close to it. That's what I'm talking about!
The float tube, while offering less mobility, makes this possible. It's a trade I'm going to make. Look out water moccasins, here I come!
PS Cover Bonanza is selling the Cumberland for $187.99 with free shipping. If you know of a better deal, Id sure be surprised to hear about it.