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

Thursday, January 11, 2018

December 2017.........Random


Global Fat-Bike Day
 Looking back, December was kind of a strange month as far as the weather goes. It started somewhat warm , with Global Fat-Bike day. A couple of guys from the Penn Cycle Team (Vandy and Best in Schow) and myself led a river bottoms ride with some free food provided by Pat (owner) at the mid-way point.
off route....most people know where this is 

Way off route....what fat-bikes are made for 

Of course there was at least 1 camp-fire cook-out

Cannon River first weekend in December with Thor and my Bro 
  The next day was even warmer, a few of us did a short kayak ride down the Cannon and had the usual half-way lunch stop with a fire. The warmth of the day combined with the low angle of the sun felt odd...like it should be cold and snowy.
cliffs in the prairie of southern mn 


obligatory camp-fire lunch stop  


 1870....interesting 

many rides in the dark in Dec since the light fades by 4:30 pm

The Mayor crossing treacherous waters on our way to a cook-out 

Best in Schow....sandbar 


Swamp rides are good too when there is a lack of snow 



best creek ride ever...based on riding conditions...north shore rivers have better scenery but not as consistently ride-able 
   The snow never really came, but the bitter cold did. In the winter months I prefer to ride fat-bikes on hard packed snow and do some x-c skiing, but I've had too settle for some ice riding. Riding ice with a very small amount of snow is magical, one such day turned out to be the best creek ride I've ever had. Three of us ended up with about 16 miles on the creek but could have done 3 to 4 times that if we had an earlier start and a more ambitious plan. I'll be headed back to this one soon if conditions hold out.
ArcFlash

Thor



Fire was really nice on this cold day 





bye bye 
 I'm not going to mention the name of the creek but if you do a little digging and some exploring you should be able to find it or possibly better. Exploring is the best part, I don't want to ruin that for you.

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

Monday, December 18, 2017

X4




The beginning of a perfect day
 This past spring I found myself with an unplanned mid-week day off due to lack of work. Most of the time I welcome these days and scramble to find someone to join me in some type of outdoor endeavor. With notice going out the night before I couldn't find anyone in a similar situation so I planned for a peaceful kayak ride down the Le Sueur River solo.
looks fun right ?

  As I loaded my kayak gear I threw in a couple pack-rafts and a dry suit just in case. On my way south I stopped at a little park, the detour nothing more than slowing down and taking a right hand turn. The creek I had checked out on my way home a couple weeks prior was now flowing strong and from what I had seen looked to be a fun ride. The Le Sueur would have to wait just a little, maybe an hour and a half. From the parking lot, the pack-raft now loaded on my back,  I hiked up river on the well worn trails that honeycombed the park with a watchful eye dead falls and strainers in the creek. Less than a mile upriver, as the rapids looked like they were petering out and the vegetation was beginning to make the paddle more trouble than it's worth, I dropped in.
There are  twelve of these at the end of the run..looked to be recently built....going back with kids next spring so they can have fun too


Rush River
 .On my way down, I hit bottom a few times and ducked and weaved through dead falls, but damn was I having fun. With the water being way up from recent rain, I didn't take long for my true plan to materialize,  something I was waiting for but wanted a couple other paddlers to join in as a challenging day.....kayak or raft three of the "fun" rivers in the vicinity. I say fun because they all have long stretches of class I and II white water, with one rapid pushing a III at really high levels.  The creek I was on would just be an unforeseen bonus, upping my challenge to 4 creeks in a day, unfortunately the challenge would be mine alone.The Le Sueur was definitely going to wait, I had a mission and with a late start I would have to hustle.

Start point on High Island Creek
  The first creek was 7 Mile Creek just north of Mankato, from there I headed 10-12 miles north to Rush River. Rush was flowing well and was lots of fun, it's wider than all the others and strainers or trees completely blocking the river were non existent. After a quick shuttle with the mountain bike and a snack in the van on the way to High Island Creek, I was back in my boat in about an hour and a half. High Island is a favorite of mine, since finding it a couple years ago I've been down about a half dozen times. Feeling comfortable running this creek solo, I decided to give the now discontinued Alpacka CuriYak a run. I bought a couple of them for my kids when they were closing them out, and I wanted to see how they would behave in some light white water.

Lots of this 
 As the description stated....the CuriYak didn't do so well in anything but flat water. At about 200 pounds, when I went through the rapids the stern would drop in and fill the boat with water. My kids weigh much less, and in the summer months I'd have no problem letting them run this river and maybe get a little wet. If not for the dry suit this would have been a miserable run, by the end of it I was a little chilled despite staying dry. Last but not least, came Sand Creek, this run is fantastic and has the biggest water. I was a little nervous since it looked way higher than when I ran it last, it also usually has some strainers in the worst possible places, usually in fast water and in the spots where the river pulls you in. By now I had three creeks done and had plenty of time to run this one ,so I went for it, but was cautious. The run went without a hitch, but did contain  two sketchy areas with trees all the way across the river. I still haven't paddled the Le Sueur River....maybe next spring.
The take out.....1/2 mile hike to the shuttle bike or several more miles of paddling fast moving but flat, water

Back in the Yukon Yak on Sand Creek.....all photos basically look the same cuz no one else was with me to take pictures of
   x 4
1)  7 Mile Creek... approx 1 mile                         
2)   Rush River...... 6 miles
3) High Island Creek.......5+ miles
4) Sand Creek...........5+ miles
 Bike shuttle..........approx 20 miles
I'm up for it again next spring and may add in one more..... Cobb River?


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

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