The following is a true story, only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

November 2017..... Random

New spot for a campfire
 November turned out to be a pretty good month...started cold and then warmed a bit. I was able to get out a couple times for a camp fire and one sub-24 camp-out with my youngest son Big D, my brother and ArcFlash. The four days off during Thanks Giving was a blast...The family and I got some free snowboarding and skiing in at Lutsen for their #OptOutside campaign that REI started a few years ago...we saved about 360 bucks...heck yeah. I was also able to do a little solo exploring on a north shore river, the .22 I carried was mostly just because I could. I've seen lots of grouse this year and if one happened  to cross my path I would try and make it my dinner....I was successful.   
that's my Bro 

Big D ready to camp with the big boys 




There were  a butt load of eagles flying around us here....like 80

After snowboarding/skiing we went to Grand Marias for some sort of parade, and  ended up riding  in the parade on loaned bikes from Fire Weed Bike Shop 

There were also fireworks that night 

x-ploring....I'm going swimming here next summer 

gone shootin'



strange kids

D Rider.......................out

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bike, Raft, Tent


every camp-out starts like this...in a messy baesment
 For several years ArcFlash has been talking about an abandoned power plant  he's been wanting check out with some camping and paddling thrown in to the mix.

Lanesboro

Found this little spot to launch


underway

spooky
 Things finally came together when Thor was pushing for a packraft, bike-pack adventure. I ran it by AF, got a kitchen pass for the weekend and the three of us were headed out.  Friday night, after a 10-12 mile ride, a couple miles of rafting we were just below the large concrete structure. In the dark we ascended the steep bank to take our place in the power plant and set camp



breakfast time



  Camping inside proved a little troublesome with the damp floor, vegetation, and open holes but was well worth the inconvenience. The next morning we paddled onward to town for breakfast a few miles downstream. From there, we spent most of the day paddling, and dodging the rain under overhanging trees. By a pure stroke of luck, it started down pouring immediately following tent set-up. It only lasted about 30 minutes, just enough time to take a nap and recharge for the rest of the evening.





dodging rain under the forest canopy 
 Dinner time was closing, the sun was shinning as if it had not rained in days, so we hopped on the bikes beelined it to the closest road and pedaled into town. Night time was typical for camping, large fire, bullshiting and adventure stories late into evening. Our final day consisted of a 25ish mile ride back to the vehicles interrupted by breakfast in Lanesboro. I'm not sure how the other guys felt, but the weekend was perfect and as I look back, I wish I was there now!

moments before rain

it's sunny aagain

there is a reason the bridge is closed

the end


D Rider........................out       

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Osier Figure 8

This has become a bit of a back woods icon for me 
 Just before fall started settling in, Labor day weekend specifically, I put together a sub-24 bike-packing route on the north shore. I had hoped for a small group to join in, but apparently most people like to hang out with their families, grill food or get things ready for school the following week.

Typical northshore gravel... serene 

Also typical MMR...lots of puddles to keep things interesting and the the tires clean 

 ArcFlash , being my best adventuring friend, would be my companion for the outing. The ride was typical northern Minnesota,consisting of seldom visited gravel and minimum maintenance roads. The section I was most intrigued by when scouting weeks before was the railroad grade, this is also where we camped.
Early morning...don't like to get up at this time but I had to piss 
not your average campsite

Being surrounded mostly by swamp and trapped by ditches on each side full of deep water, finding fire wood was tough. water was questionable too...the non-moving water had an iridescent sheen on it's surface. Not as much a concern, it was dark as coffee due to tannin....it tasted fine and we didn't get sick 
   I called it the Osier 8 because of the route's likeness to a figure 8, made possible by the rail section. The ride went without a hitch, AF and I settled into a moderate pace and chatted the miles away, stopping for scenery, food, and piss breaks. Our route finished with 80 miles, 15 of which were pavement that could have been eliminated had we called our wives for a shuttle.
smoooooth 

back on the roads

 This was a little hefty for a loaded Moon Lander and stock Krampus but made it a bit more of an accomplishment and didn't burden our wives. I'd like to expand on the route some and utilize more of the tracks but will plan for a different weekend next time.
scouting in July...much more comfortable on a full sus fat-bike

 D Rider ....................................out