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

Monday, August 26, 2019

April 2019


 April turned out to be mostly about kayaking, the kayak has slowly drawn me in to become an equal with the bike. To start, our family did a three day camping trip on the Buffalo National River in Arkansas. This river is truly a gem with towering cliffs, clear blue-green water, and an abundance of gravel bars for camping. From our starting point at Ponca the river was swift, the frequency of rapids and riffles kept us on our toes and the excitement level high. We could be heard cheering each other on as we passed through the tricky sections not knowing if we would simply get a lap full of water or go for a swim.
Getting ready

Pee break?

  Through the three days no one dumped it, but everyone ended up pumping or sponging excess water. Camping along the river is super easy, find a spot that looks suitable and set up. Our first night was about 50 yards from shore in a semi established site used most likely by hikers on the Buffalo River Trail that exists on both sides of the river. Our second night was on a long gravel bar. We hid out there under a tarp, sheltered from light rain as we devoured our dehydrated meals and whatever else we hadn't rationed for the next day. Our final day was the warmest and sunniest, as we pulled into our take out it was kind of a bummer to be done so soon. I will definitely be back.

Needed to warm up mid-day after light rain got us all pretty cold

First time needing/using Cooke Custom Sewing trap...I'm a believer. We all sat and ate dinner under it in a light nice 

Camp second night

I got two decent gravel rides knocked out in April. The could not have been more different in terms of weather. The first being the Lime Grinder, when mother decided to bitch slap us with snow storm the night before. It was 50 plus miles of wet sloppy slush over dirt soup, but the company of the other riders was so good I hardly noticed I should not be having a great time. The second, only a week later was a magnificently sunny, splendid day on the bike in the driftless region of southwest  Wisconsin...The Dairy Roubaix. While I would have loved to ride the 100 mile route I needed to get home unexpectedly sooner than I had wished, and thus settled for the the 100K ish route. I will try and make this happen next year and extend the weekend to include kayaking and MTB (Upper Iowa River and Decorah) riding in the vicinity.     

There are pastries inside 

I think I need some new bearings....all of em'

Start of Dairy Robaix ...I guess it's not a race. I was told people already left at this point

This is the iconic cliff overhang that initially drew me in to want to ride this thing 
 As April rolled on, the kayak made it's way out a couple more times on the Minnesota as well as the Mississippi at flood stage.  Paddling the flooded backwaters can be a little sketchy (dangerous) but, super fun. I was pleased to get my wife out, she hates cold water. I also got sAMMO out for a short jaunt after work one night.
ArcFlash is always up for a good time 

4-5 feet below me is a mountain bike trail

A lot of folks take pictures here...usually with their feet on dry ground 

sAMMO on the mighty Mississip'

Urban exploration beyond?

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

Saturday, May 11, 2019

March 2019

At times you gotta kick your way through this bitch.
                                                                           - Brother Ali

It's been a chronological year since my last post...a lot has happened since then. Most notably the loss of my Dad. I spent roughly 6 months clearing up stuff with his estate with the final act being the sale of his house in November.  The distraction of all the work before me, tempered the intense pain of losing my Dad. That would catch up to me as we entered late fall, outdoor activity drops off and it's dark and cold all the time. The depressing lack of sunlight and constant cold coupled with lots of downtime let the reality sink Dad is really dad was not going to die this soon.....fuck....I miss him.    I still enjoyed most of winter this year, although many times activities felt forced by my own will to push aside the dark curtains that are shading everything. As winter has subsided my attitude has gotten better, the sunlight really helps and now I'm feeling like getting some of my summer back from last year. I'm picking this blog up with march because it was fucking awesome and winter pretty much has it's ass kicked.

warming up with some hiking with ice ax assist 

Fat-biking before headed out to camp later in the afternoon
Second weekend of March was Man Trip, we pushed it a week due to intense cold. We want to enjoy ourselves not spend all our time trying not to freeze our balls off. We had a good crew and my oldest son came along as a right of passage, in truth he could have kicked all our asses. I was glad to have him and hope he enjoyed his time with the big boys.

Giegle and ArcFlash

On our way down river for a camp-out

Team meeting

ledges were common as well as our sleds falling off of them 

We dug out about 4 feet of snow to build a fire 

Good morning

Breaking camp

The rappel is always fun 

Skiing trails at Onion River 

A little night time fat-biking 

 Just a week later I was down in Oklahoma for the Land Run 100 with ArcFlash and O'Neil. Never before have I felt so unprepared and out of place at a race/event. I had maybe 30 miles of riding in, in the previous couple months and seriously wondered if I could even finish 100 miles. I carefully controlled my pace, brought lots of food and water and enjoyed the hell out of the entire day. I finished with nary a twinge of leg cramps and great satisfaction of going from couch to century ride. I even got the super cool Chase the Chaise patch from Salsa Cycles and my picture taken with my old pal Kid Riemer on the chaise.
I don'y have any pics from land run because my SD card is is my proof and prizes for completing the race.....damn it was fun  

I only have a couple pics of NW Arkansas for the same reason as above....missing SD card 
With a week and a half-ish in between travels, I finished up our DIY camper , crafted from a 6X12 enclosed trailer....... I call it the Teardrop XL.  It sleeps 5 and has a little kitchen in back. With the final touches going right to the wire and trimming the cushions to fit, moments after being dropped off by the FedEx guy, we were off to NW Arkansas. We would spend 4 days mountain biking the awesome trails in Bentonville and Bella Vista as well as three day kayak trip down the Buffalo National River. By the time we got to the kayak portion it was April so I'll cover that in a later post.

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