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

Friday, February 24, 2017

Winter Kayaking

Kayaking should't be reserved just for summer months. The clash between a typically warm weather activity and a season appropriate for snowball fights is surreal.

 I did two day trips down semi local rivers in early winter. The first was on the Straight River near Faribault, with ArcFlash and Thor. The second, on the Cannon right out of Cannon Falls. Unfortunately, by the time we got on the Straight, most of the snow was melted. On the upside the river was up and moving pretty quick, a fact that adds to the excitement and strong urge not to dump your boat.

A hot meal out-doors is the best


The banks of the Cannon however were fully draped in fresh snow and gave us the effect of true winter paddling we were looking for. Fancy would be the only one joining me on the Cannon since everybody else I know was out fat-biking in the new snow, I think it was global fat-bike day too. Both trips down river were a ton of fun and included a mid-way stop for lunch....... and no one dumped their boat.
getting set up for real winter kayaking 

Fancy hitting some chop right out of the gate 

 Soon after these early winter kayak rides, things got cold and shut down any other rivers I might have considered. Things are opening up again as I write...I'll be out soon
hot meal...again

not normally what you see on the end of your paddle

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Prospector Loop

This isn't the way I like to start a ride
 Last fall  GMan and I set out for a dirt bike ride on a newly opened trail system in northern Minnesota...The Prospector Loop.
Water is always fun to ride in 

Bike killed in the deep water

mid-way...time for a snack and a little break 
   I knew not of it's existence until just the week before, while riding the Gravel Conspiracy. With fall coming to an end and all the trails set to close, I knew it would have to happen fast so a last minute weekend trip was in order. The trail, based on what we rode and what is on the map, is primarily forest trails and roads. I'm cool with that since it means I can ride my non street legal dirt bike on a designated OHM trail as well as my kids with an OHM safety certificate.
hang on 

more water....learned how to feather it a bit and keep it running

This is a beaver dam right across the road....saw three spots like this on our route
 The day started with a flat tire on my bike, I changed the tube twice after puncturing the first one and then patching it with a kit from a gas station. this cut into our riding time a bit but we still had fun and manged a little over 50 miles. We're both excited to get back out there in the spring with the rest of our crew...SuperY, BigD and Mom. The boy's just need their OHM safety cert and I'll buy them some bikes.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

MEA Part 2

 Part two of our MEA week was spent in Moab, with so much to do in the area I had grand ideas of tackling a couple adventures each day. Getting a family of five moving in any direction usually counts as one of those adventures, so we were left with one decent event per day.

where's waldo


I like is about to happen

GMan..second one down first rap
  On Thursday morning we headed south of town to Entrajo Canyon, a slot canyon with a couple rappels, it's easy, short, and I knew the route from my very first real canyoneering experience
 4 years ago. This trip didn't go as planned but was fun none the less, the water was really high and super cold. I'll usually suffer through some misery for the greater good of the experience, but this was too much for my family and I to go through without more gear and a bigger commitment. None of us had wet suits and the first impasse in the slot was a pot hole that might have required some work to get all of us through.

Add caption

SuperY  on second rap

Don't fall in water, it's super cold
 Walking away a little defeated, we continued down canyon bypassing the slot section and ended up at the final rappels. This was a welcome surprise and the part I wanted my kids to have some experience with. The raps are short, around 40' and are back to back. I dropped down first, with the kids going down in order of age, oldest to youngest followed by my wife. GMan and Super Y did great, but Big D made me a little nervous when he had to be reminded to never let go of his brake hand. Fortunately he doesn't weigh much, the weight of the rope acted as the brake as well as me standing guard with a fireman belay. On the second rap he did much better. Once back at camp, Super Y and I suited up for a short MTB ride north of town at Klondike Bluffs. While we rode, Lynn and the boys roamed around town checking out all the shops and ran into a couple friends from Mn.
My newest ride...Farley EX

Sunset at Dead Horse Point
 Our final non driving day of vacation was spent at Dead Horse Point State Park. It was  recommended by a friend to check out the sunset here and ride the trails..... I can now recommend this to you as well. The trails, while not as extreme as some of those in Moab, were fantastic. We saw more families and kids riding here than anywhere I have ever been. Despite the initial thought that these trails might be super tame, they were in fact a lot of fun and plenty challenging at speed. The views were absolutely stunning and had us stopping at many points along the trail. After wrapping up the ride we head to the furthest parking lot at Dead Horse Point and cooked up some dinner just before sunset. As the sun was going down a good sized crowd gathered for the show at the west facing overlook, it was impressive and a good way to end our last night in Utah.
Our wonderful van in CO

Our wonderful van after hitting a deer at 70 mph CO, NE border....out of commission and stranded. 

Drove this sucker home the next day after mechanic rigged up the tranny cooler and some blown fuses as well as some work with a sawsall....I duct tapped the headlights in at a Walmart in Grand Island and arrived home at 4:30 am the following day...then went to work

Until next time, D Rider.........................out        

Friday, November 25, 2016

Work Vacation

The Lacrosse River Water Trail is a great idea...I liked it 
Work vacation?  Oxymoron, nope.  This past summer I spent a lot of time working out of town. While this may be common for many people, for the last 20+ years in my field it's been uncommon to me.

Lacrosse River....took this most of the way back into town

End of the line Minnesota Point 

It was really hot this day.... jumped in the lake 4 times to enjoy the unusually warm water temps

Below Palisade Head

Headed out to Shovel Point
The company I work for, installing commercial kitchens, is quite large and contracts just about anywhere, most of it is in the states adjoining Minnesota. When I heard there were a couple jobs in Duluth I jumped at the chance to go. Duluth is "the shit" and pretty much a giant playground. Although my wife wasn't to enthusiastic about not having me home to help out around the house there wasn't much that could be pays the bills.
Night time in canal park.....did this a few times

Dry creek bed on the Moon Lander

first time here, it was freakin' awesome

one of the nights spent hiking and exploring

One night spent four wheeling with a co-worker
 I've heard about all the bad shit that comes along with work related travel but I was determined to make the most of it. The goal was to play every night after work. I only missed out on two nights of my 4 weeks in Duluth and a couple nights in Lacrosse WI, due to rain and a resupply night. I really only had one good night in Lacrosse, I never found any good trails to ride and didn't like the feel of the town....Sorry Lacrosse , I don't like you. Hopfully I'm wrong and someone can point me in the right direction some time.
I call this an adventure swim

more adventure swimming...near Split Rock Lighthouse

Kayaking out in the Duluth Harbor

Fridays are always a loss due to driving home but Monday thru Thursday are fair game. For some reason I just wasn't that into riding as much as normal this summer and opted for the pack raft, kayak or just exploratory hikes most of the time. I attribute this to, paddling being less strenuous after a 10-12 hour day at work lifting heavy things. This is  kind of a shame, since Duluth has really freakin' awesome MTB trails, they also have this really freakin awesome lake...Superior.     The lake won most of the time, and I got a lot more comfortable in my tiny inflatable boat,as well as seeing some stuff I've had on my to-do list for a while.
Duluth icon

The back of my work van....don't tell my boss

fishing pier /former loading dock .....never knew it was here until this summer

very large arch on Superior

This photo is pretty much staged but the way the evening worked out was fate.   on my way to go explore this spot I found a lighter on the roadway,,, a few hundred yards down I found a can of bug spray. After finishing paddling the full moon came up and it was such a perfect night I stayed and built a fire with my new found lighter and used the last drops of repellent to fend off the bugs. Rode home around 9:30 pm and went to bed....probably the best night spent on the north shore all summer     
  Since I was working on schools, my last days were just before they opened, sending me home for the summer. My agreement with work is to be home during the school year, but I'm wearily looking forward to next summer in the hopes I may get some jobs in cool locations.

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