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

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Midnight Rider

Towing the boats down to hiding spot

Pile of boats hidden in the tall grass under camo tarps before setting out

Cathy, Chris, Kim, Dale, Dave, Death Rider

Six of us came out for the full moon paddle in the swamp. The PLAN, bring boats to secret predetermined hiding spot in daylight, meet at my house for BBQ and trip plan, leave house at 10 pm, park at gas station, ride to hidden boats, paddle said boats in swamp and observe full moon in unique suroundings, paddle back to bikes, hide boats,ride back, asleep by 2 am. I was very suprised that five others would agree to this sceme of mud, stinky water and posible theft of kayak and gear.

The water was very low so the route I had in mind would not be possible. We had fun anyway, we got into a large body of water and explored it, and the perimiter. The skies were somewhat cloudy but completely opened up for a short period of time. The experience was awesome, we all sat quitely and still, tring to take it all in. I have plans for another full moon stealth kayak ride that will be much longer and not be dependent on river levels.

Minnehaha Creek

Flooded= More Fun

Dale near the only section of whitewater. We played here for about 15 min.

I dumped my boat here a few days later and smashed the hell out of my

foot and shin on a boulder

Lynn and Ray, Lyndale Ave

It's safe to say I've burned myself out on Minnehaha Creek for the year. In a period of eight days I paddled it four times. I did 2 solo trips, one trip with Dale, and one trip with Lynn and Ray covering about 35 miles total. I/we used our bikes as a shuttle to get the vehicles with every trip ending near Minnehaha Falls and the farthest trip sarting near Methodist Hospital in St Loius Park. The river was very high and made for some very tight squeezes under the many bridges along the route. I don't know shit about whitewater paddling but the river was moving quite quickly and made for a very exciting ride.

Rocket Launch

LOC, Caliber ISP with Aerotech G-76 Redline motor

It's been a couple of years since I attended a rocket launch so the kids and myself headed to North Branch for the once a month TRIPOLI launch. It's fun to watch especialy when things go wrong and the rockets either explode or come crashing to the ground. It's also very expensive, I sent up two medium sized rockets one time each and it still cost me 50$. During the couse of the day we wathced about 60-70 launches from the small stuff to a large (12"dia X 9' long) rocket that exploded about 20 feet off the pad. YES I AM A NERD.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Swamp Thing

In the past couple weeks I've traded bike time for some kayak time. Specificly to check out the flooded backwaters of the %$^%$$&^%# river. The first trip was a solo ride deep into the swamps. I'm not much of a wildlife guy in that I search it out but when the animals are all around you it's really cool. I saw a gigantic snapping turtle that looked more like an alligator. Also were lots of birds including eagles, lots of turtles, beavers, and muskrats.

A few days later my friend Tom was in town from Utah and had some time for adventure. Since I don't have a bike in his size, my wife's sea kayak would be the perfect fit. We ended up pushing farther into the swamp then I did last time. I was looking for a route that I could paddle during the upcomming full moon so I could hide my gear safely in the daylight and return by bike after dark. I found the route and will be hoping for a clear night on the next full moon.

The third trip was with Dale. The river was up even higher this time. As a result the road was closed to the put in so we ran the route in the reverse direction from the previous two outings. The higher water enabled us to check out some other areas previously inaccesable. After revealing my afterhours plan, Dale has been put on the roster for the full moon tour. We are also planning a steak BBQ at his house before our moonlit stealth ride in the swamp. I am also looking for other attendees for this trip, all that is required is a short kayak, related gear and a bike.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Levis-Trow Mound

"Y" negotiating a long skinny

Big D on same skinny

Lynn riding the Sidewinder Trail

G-man showing how it's done

A portion of Memorial weekend 2011 was spent at the Levis-Trow mound trailhead. We got to tryout our new pop-up camper and ride some sweet trails. This was our second trip to the trails. we arrived Friday night and set up just before it started raining. It rained all night. By Minnesota MTB trail standards that would mean no rides for us. That was not the case however, Levis has alot of sand and dries out very quickly. We met up with D and S along with D's daughter N Saturday morning after Lynn and I took our crew out for about an hour ride on the easier flat trails. Having young kids and two adults trying to get time to sneek rides in when ever possible means taking turns watching them. We decided Lynn,D ,and S would ride first,I would take all four kids and then ride by myself in a few hours. No problem, since mom was gone we raided the junk food bin and set off on a hike to Porky Point. We found lots of porcupine poop and a very nice lookout at the top. We then headed back, ate more junk food at camp,I relaxed and the kids made lots of mud from a hose faucet at the trail center. After Lynn,D and S got back I headed out. My goal was to ride all the trails,and go as hard as I could, since I had no one to ride with what else would I do, besides that I'm a racer this is training. I did ride nearly everthing in about 2hours 40 min. I tried to ride with some groups but they stopped too much.

Later that night after the kids went to bed and D,S,and N headed for their hotel Lynn and I hung out by a fire with the campers next to us. They were a great group of guys, everyone got along well and it seemed as if we allready knew each other for years.

The next morning D, S and N came back for some more riding before we all went home. This time I would get to ride with my lovely wife.(something that has not been possible for years). We went to Sidewinder and Toad Road,which has a really cool boardwalk between a crack in a rock outcropping. The pace was good and it was fun to ride with someone else for a change.

By 2pm we were packed and ready to head out. On the way home we made the customary fast food stop and a detour to Target for some BEYBLADES battle tops for the kids.