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

Sunday, November 10, 2019

May 2019

May is typically my annual Utah trip, this year was no exception. Things didn't go exactly the way I hoped but with a couple modifications it turned out pretty damn good. Day 1 was a full day of canyoneering , knocking out two slots with a 3-4 hour round trips. They started from the same general area so in between descents we were able to grab a quick lunch and head back out.

 ArcFlash and I were on par for the course having been through this scenario on the last half dozen trips. Eoj on the other hand was struggling a bit, possibly caught off guard by the vigor AF and I attacked the first adventure as if we were dogs that had just broken free of our leashes. By the time we all returned some 8 hours later from canyon #2 it was clear the plan for tomorrow's considerably harder three day trek would not be happening.

 The canyon hike would be more strenuous, the raps longer, and we would need carry camping gear, another rope and packrafts, as well as a 30plus mile bike shuttle to finish. Instead we paddled and camped for three days,and shuttled back to the vehicle. It was a great compromise and we all had a fantastic time staying within a tolerable amount of physical effort. After wrapping up our multi day portion of the trip we got in some more canyoneering before getting rained out and headed home.

 A couple weeks later I got out for a memorable gravel ride on the north shore. After missing the deadline to sign up for Le Grand Du Nord I decided to ride from Silver Bay to Grand Marais and catch a ride back The Legend, who was smart enough to sign up for the event before the deadline. It was a cold-ish wet and muddy day. I got lost a couple times and finished with an awesome 80+ mile ride and got to hang out with a bunch of friends at the Le Grand finish line.

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

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