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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bike, Raft, Tent

every camp-out starts like 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.


Found this little spot to launch


 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 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.

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Wind River Range

Texas Pass...Day 3
 It's been a solid fifteen years since I've set foot in the Winds. Although I only did two trips there the first one was truly life changing and set in motion the person I have become today.  I was young, 25, in over my head, naive, but completely swept away by what life was not giving me.....wild and sometimes dangerous adventure.

First night out...quiet, peaceful....except worrying about bears coming into camp (lots of hype at the gear shop in town...I was sold on the bear spray though)  

Camp spot at Texas Lake 

 I grew up pretty much outside all the time, with lots of camping trips and relatively tame outdoor endeavors so it wasn't a complete stretch. Bikes have always been my thing and naturally turned into mountain bike racing, lots of racing. One one such MTB racing trip, my soon to be wife and three other friends met up for a 5 day trip into the Wind River Range to climb Gannett Peak. Two years after that I was back for another 4 day jaunt and ended up at the Cirque of the Towers....been trying to get back there ever since.

Going up Texas Pass 


some August 

Pingora just over G Mans right shoulder ....I want to get to the top of this 
   Not long after that comes three kids and life changes drastically. Since the only real way to enjoy the range is to walk in to the wilderness as far as time will allow, my wife and I have had to wait until the kids were old enough to carry their own stuff. Sure, we could have taken our boys there at a much younger age, carried all their gear in a few miles and let them throw rocks in a creek or lake for several days but I wanted them to do it clean, like a real back-packer, hauling all their own shit on a demanding route.

Best lunch spot to date 

Last night camp spot 
   Alas, the path of the solar eclipse was cutting across Wyoming, why not kill to very special birds with one stone, so the dates were set and we moved on it. Apparently lots of other people had a similar idea, when we arrived at the trail-head it looked more like the parking lot of an amusement park. I'm not exaggerating...there were cars everywhere along the road and in the ditches as well as any open space that would fit a vehicle. This seemed very strange considering the trail-head was quite remote, requiring about 1.5 hours of travel on gravel roads in various degrees of up-keep.  No matter... we still greatly enjoyed a four day trek mostly keeping to ourselves.

The beginning....clean and smelling good  


the little dot in the saddle is me 

did someone fart?

fish watching
                    All of day three was especially incredible with a morning accent of Texas Pass, having lunch at  Lonesome Lake back-set by the Cirque of the Towers, up and over Jack-ass Pass and finally setting camp near the shore of Big Sandy Lake. I'm really looking forward to another trip within a shorter time frame now that were all pretty much set up and capable.

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