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

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Caves
















This summer the family made it out on several caving trips. In Sept we took some friends with to the Hodag hunt (group pic) at Crystal Cave in Wi. Our group had 4 adults and 6 kids. The kids loved it but it was hard to keep track of all of them. In Oct Gunnar and I went to Kreuger cave. This was the first real challenge I've experienced. The cave was very small and had two very tight spots that required exhaling just to get myself through. The reward was well worth it,the Calypso room opens to standing height and is filled with features and a pit that drops 30 feet to a pool. Recently I toured Mystery with a group of 6. We went through the Straddle galeries to the jump off, a 60 foot pit that requires some different techniques to safely pass over. It wasn't difficult but the penalty would be severe in the event of a fall. We also did the culverts. These were a bitch to go through. It's hard to describe but I was dripping sweat after only a few minutes. Can't Wait to get back underground

Tree House

The tree house is finally in use. After spending the better part of the summer working on our getaway the boys and I have already had some movie nights in our palace. I just attempted to spend my first night out in it. Not a good idea, the temps fell to 4 deg last night, it has no insulation and the heat comes from a small milk house heater. I made it untill about 5:00 am when I had to piss and figured I would salvage what hours I could for actual sleeping in the house.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Solo North Shore trip
















Mid July I had a free weekend from the Family . The only problem would be finding someone to go up north with. No Luck. I went any way and had a pretty good time. The first night I slept on the beach at Minnesota Point. This sucked as the mosquitoes nearly drained me of all my blood. I moved closer to the beach and was awakend by people walking by in the middle of the night. Note to self ; no more bivy -sacks. The next day I headed further north,not sure of what to do. I stopped at Temperence river for some cliff jumping, fun, but hit bottom and bruised side of foot. I had my sea kayak but decided to stay off the lake for fear of large waves . From there I headed north again. I planned on canyoneering the Devil Track river but would scope out the Kadunce river first. The Kadunce was alot of fun. I was surprised to see families walking the river as I was,some as young as 4. After scaling the first water fall I would see no one until I returned to my vehicle. The canyon is amazing, the water is warm and clean, moss and ferns cling to the sheer walls as it gets narrower with each step. At one piont you can look up 50 -60 feet and touch both walls with out streched arms. Once through this narrow section a series of water falls will test my footing. Mid way up a slimmy rock water fall I am beyond the point of no return. The water is rushing past a narrow section that I must pass right through. I go for it and make it. I now realize the the Devil track will not be mine. Were not talking Everest here but that river will require ropes, and I don't want to get myself into something I can't get out of. I finish with a few more waterfalls and head for the van. I reward myself with a fish dinner in Grand Marias. MMMMM After my little snack there is time for more. I head to Grand Portage and check out the fur post just before it closes. I got some beta on the kayaking in the area and decide I will go see the Susie Islands and see If I can find the witch tree tomorrow. Around 7:00 I head for my super secret free camping spot down the road. This was an erie spot, it's very remote but there are some odd people here. After sleeping with one eye open all night, the morning brings rain and I decide to get the fuck out of here and head south.








9:00am It's starting to get sunny now, I will do the kayak trip I wanted to do the day before . I drop my bike at Tetegouche and head for the put in at silver bay. It's a little windy at first, since I have not been on the lake in several years it takes a little while to get comfortable. The lake is awesome, it's hot out but has a constant cool breeze. I check out a beach I'm sure no one has been to,only because of the cool rocks I find there. I paddle through a small arch just before I reach Palisade Head. This is a really cool view that I have not seen before. Onward , I meet a couple from Chicago in an open top boat. They have no wet suits and thier life jackets are being used as a cushion. They are among the cliffs now and if they capize and can't get back in their boat they are fucked. Ignorance is bliss but they are nice and happy to be out, I paddle on. I arrive at Tetegouche and lug the boat up a but load of stairs and take a break. On the ride back I decide to check out Palisade from the top. It was neat to see some people paddling by as I watched from the top of the cliff. I thought to myself how cool I was for paddling there myself and how I was a hero and everone wanted to be me, yeah right, any way it looks reallycool from the top. Long story short I ride to van, get boat, and decide I'm feeling sick and should call work cause I can't work when I'm sick right? Besides that I have one more adventure tomorrow.








Monday Today I will ride some gravel. Leaving from Cascade River I head to the Boundry waters . A 20 mile ride gets me to the trail head for Eagle Mountain (highest point in the state). I grab some snacks and my camera and head off . It takes about an hour and a half and I am at the top. The view is amazing here, it makes me feel like paddling some of those lakes down there. The last time i was here was with the wife, before kids, (at least 7 years) it was spring and it started blowing snow so we missed the great views. I head back and walk through a little rain storm. Back at the trail head I meet 2 dads ,2 young kids,and grandpa. They want to know how long it will take to get to the top. Since they are all wearing crocs or flip-flops I suggest they skip the 5-6 mile walk through the boulderfield that is the trail. I share some beef sticks with gamps and talk about wild mushrooms. They drive away and I head back to the van making one stop to eat as many wild raspberries as I can.








Driving home I feel satisfied with all the stuff I did but not quite . I stop off at Split rock State park to paddle out and see the light house from below. The water was calm and peaceful. It only takes 10 to 15 min to get where I want to be. I admire it for a while and paddle back. Now I am satisfied and it's time to get home.
















Dirtbike-packing


I've had this idea for a dirtbike-packing ride for some time now. The plan. Start near the town of Danbury Wi.,ride the Gandy Dancer to the Sooline trail where it becomes the Saunders Grade. Then navigate through Superior Wi. undetected by the Po-Po until I reach the Tri county Corridor.day 1 The first night I fueled my self and the bike at a Holiday in Superior after about a 90 mile ride. After stuffing my pizza and MtDew in the backback I headed for Wisconsin point. I hid the bike in the woods while no one was looking and headed for the beach. I love this place I usually try to camp out here at least once a year. It's not permitted but WTF I'm not hurting any one by staying there. I built myself a fire and watched the sunset as I was falling asleep The next day would be the fun day. I got up early and took a short swim mostly to clean off a bit. From here I rode a quick 45 miles into Iron River where the good trails start. They were very sandy a took a while to get used to but I manged to tear it up anyway. From Iron river I rode to Port Wing for some gas and then on to Valhala. Valhala has a sweet hill climb and a fire tower near by. You can't go in it but the hill that it is on provides an excellent look out for the surrounding area. Now I was on my way to Ashland to meet the family and play the rest of the weekend. The gear I brought was minimal. On the Bike Bivy sack,sleeping mat,and fleece blanket. In My backpack 1 tube,2 tire levers,adjustable wrench,2-stroke oil,t-shirt,shorts,sandles,wallet,maps,fleece top,camera, and 1 carmel roll from Tobies.(to be eaten for breakfast).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Spring Invitational (caves)





This is our newest hobby,something I've always had an intrest in, Caves. We joined the Minnesota Spelogical Survey (MSS) this past winter and went on our first outing this spring. It was really fun, especially since the kids could participate as well. The 5 of us got a tour of the Spring Valley Cavern 1 (SVC 1) for about an hour, which was about all we could handle together. When we got out another group was just heading back in for a more advanced trip. Gunnar and I were ready for more. We spent the next 2 hours slithering, crawling and climbing through the 1+ miles of passages with our group. Returning to the surface above was nice, as we were met with a hot lunch and a comfy camper to relax in for the rest of the day. I can't remember ever seeing Gunnar that tired. We made some new friends whether they liked it or not. We were the only family w/young kids and the boys are very friendly. We hung out at the group campfire Saturday night and amused everyone w/our XXL marshmallows and general family antics. The next day was pretty laid back w/Lynn and I doing separate trips into SVC 3 and SVC 4 respectively. We are looking forward to our next trip.

Rag 105 2010



This was a tough weekend. Mark and I (mostly I )thought it would be cool to ride down to Redwing w/loaded bikes camp out and do the race the next day. Since we are both signed up to do the Trans Wisconsin we wanted to see how our gear would travel and work. Well it worked us over, the bike was heavy as fuck and we had a horrible head wind the whole way down. To add to the misery we arrived in Redwing after dark hungry and looking for a place to stealth camp. Dinner was at the grocery store and camping was at Barn Bluff. It was the most horse shit night of sleep I've had in a while. I could have sworn some one was breaking sticks half the night and smashing rocks the other half. Oh well The next morning was nice and sunny, we headed for the start and dropped all of our gear w/Pramann. There was no way in hell I would be carrying all that crap for 100 miles. The race went as expected, I was tired from the day before and was riding a heavy bike. Thats allright I enjoy a hard effort and a new experience. I would not have changed a thing.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Man Trip day 2




























I'll start day two with something that happened the night before. While Mark and I were enjoying the last of our dinners by the fire, recounting, the days fun we were interupted by a shotgun blast. Yes a shotgun being shot off at ten p.m. It took a second for it to register what actually happened. I've been camping at this site for many years now but never really knew if we were tresspassing or not. Be both jumped to our feet and headed for the truck. After some scouting of the area we found the camp site to be within the Superior Hiking trail. The neighbor must have just been cleaning his gun or shooting at someone else



Awhile later Troy and Lonny showed up. We traded Lonny for (cupcake) because he had other stuff to do this year. bummer They set up camp and we all went to sleep, except Lonny who froze his balls off all night. Apparently he thought we would be stoking the fire all night. Not the case, although he could have done it himself, he kept getting up to put more of his clothes on.






After breakfast we headed for the Cascade River to repeat the same ride from the day before. It was just as fun the second day


Adventure #2 was to ski the Devil Track. This is always a great time Troy and I have been doing this one for years. It takes about three hours to complete and in some spots you would swear you were in the mountains, mostly because we don't have cool stuff here. One has to go to Colorado to see things like this. (bullshit) Everyone made the rapell down the waterfall at the end, including Lonny who was a bit nervous. Even the infamous (Dave Pramann) would not attempt this the year before. Ha We all made it back to the trucks to down some Monster in preperation for the next outing.
I decided to ride my bike to the mouth of Kadunce Creek while the guys went and shuttled the vehicles. Troy and Lonny met me,as Mark would head on to keep the seats warm an Sven and Olie's. We rode up the Kadunce and instead of walking most of it as the previous day , we pulled the bikes up the first inpass via a rope. We finished out the river with some wading and rode out on the SHT.
After a large dinner at Sven and Olie's we finished the day with a fire on the lake shore near Hovland.





































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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Man Trip Day 1







The annual Man Trip took place this past weekend March 4-7. The trip is takes place in the wilds of Minnesota's north shore of Lake Superior. This year the tip included Troy, Mark, Lonny,and yours truly. Mark and I started the trip a day sooner than the other guys so we would have more time for adventure. We arrived at our camp around 11:00pm Thursday night and set up my heated wall tent. After getting the tent to around 90 it was time for bed.

The next morning we rode the Cascade River from Hwy 45 down to the larger unrideable waterfalls. This was about 3.5 miles of sweet downhill fat bike heaven. It took a while to ride back up but gave us time to really see the scenery we had just past through.

On to adventure # 2 we headed up to Kadunce Creek. Again we used our fat bikes to ride the narrow passages of this little gem. About 1 mile upstream a small waterfall makes the crampons and ice axes come out. We decide to leave the bikes and continue on foot. The river is awesome, as it gets deeper and more narrow, forming a slot canyon. At one point we can touch both walls while looking up 60' to the top. We finish the hike and head back down the Superior Hiking Trail and retrive our bikes.


For adventure #3 we ride our bikes to the first high falls on the Devil Track River. It is now after noon and the condition of the river is soft, making the first sunny sections tough to ride. We pause for a moment to admire Nightfall (Minnesota's longest ice climb) and ride on. Reaching the falls, I am happy to see the plunge pool is frozen enough for tomorrow's adventure, skiing down the river and rapelling these falls. We are both getting tired now and head back to the truck.

We stoped in Grand Marias for a short tour of the town (via bike) to check out some gift shops and Artist's Point. After that we head for camp to pig out and relax by a big fire.



































































The Last Wednesday Winter Ride

Mark and Greg near creek crossing
Riding across the bridge over nine mile creek

A couple weeks ago the regular wed night ride came to an end with a campfire and hobo dinners. Only three of us showed as our "leader" Dave was on his way to the great north to go for a little 350mile ride. Greg ,who reminded me of the plans for such cookout showed up without anything to cook and eat ,apperently he thought we were going to our usual mexican restaurant. Not to worry, being the hearty eaters that Mark and I are, we had plenty to share. This night marked the end of the best winter riding season I have had. Every week was something different,from the falling snow we rode in days before Christmas,to the sweet urban rides, and the coolest ride of all, the ice covered Minnehaha Creek.
Thanks guys for the perfect winter riding season






































































































Sunday, February 7, 2010

2010 City of Lakes Loppet

3 year old Dylan skiing the Luminary Loppet


6 year old Gunnar in front and 4 Year old Wyatt behind.
Both pause from racing for a quick picture

It doesn't happen much anymore but I made the podium


Lynn going into the Spiral of Death

After spending many hours getting two sets of tires studded up for Lynn (wife) and myself ,the Penn Ice-Cycle Loppet would be a great test for my weary body and the new skins. After finishing the Arrowhead Ultra four days before I was ready for some super intense lung busting racing. (not) The race went well fortunately for me the third place guy flatted and I rode to a third place finish. yeah. Up next was Lynn, I managed to snap off a couple of pics at the start and the first few laps. I admit I chatted with friends for most of her race and missed the three crashes she took due to lack of sidewall studs in her tires. I did manage to see her finish 5th ,not bad for not riding since October.
The day was not over yet, now it was time to cruise back home and pick up the kiddies and bring them back for the Luminary Loppet. Having rented skis for the kids (all 3 of them) a few days before,I was leary as to whether we would make it five feet much less 5K . They did great, we practiced on Friday and by the time we hit the Luminary it was old hat for them. We made it around the lake much sooner than we thought. With that we had time to check out the snow sculptures and see if we could score some free hot chocolate. With the kids donning chocolate moustaches it was now around 10pm and time to head home. Exhausted from the days activities, it was a perfect day.