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

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Kayak/Fat-Bike Ride

I found myself with a day off due to a miss communication at work, bummer. Now I will have a five day Thanksgiving weekend. My plan was to kayak and then ride a section of trail back to my van. But first I had to get the house clean for some guests that would be having dinner at our house in the evening. So I went down stairs and worked on Lynn's new snow bike. I got all my stuff packed and headed for Chaska. I locked the bike there and drove to the put-in in Jordan. The sun was shining it was about 40+ deg and I had a nice tail wind, but the water was very cold. The last thing I wanted was to fall in. About an hour in I came to what I now know as Carver rapids.I had heard about it from looking over some maps but never thought about it much until I saw a line of exposed rock stretching nearly across the river. I slowed down took some pics and moved on. The next set presented themselves around a sharp bend and were not as easy. I could see the river drop from a distance and also the white capped waves. I got out and scoped out a route. Back in the boat, I headed for the center of the river where the rock formation was sticking out of the water. When I got out to portage over the rock it was covered in slime and was really slippery,the water was very cold and was rushing through a channel right next to me. I was really nervous at this point, when I dragged the boat over the rock it sort of tipped over and I nearly lost the paddle. I ended up sitting right in the slime and lowered my self in the boat while I tried to keep it next to the rock as the current was trying to pull it down river. I was really glad to be through that, and it took a while to calm my nerves.
I paddled for another hour before I got to my next challenge. It was a Train trestle that had collapsed into the river. I had seen it earlier this fall and knew it would be trouble, but at least I was ready for it. Fortunately a lot of the debris and the logjam had been removed by the heavy equipment still working on the area. There was still a narrow fast moving channel to navigate but lacked the logs, timbers, and concrete that I was expecting. I decided to paddle it rather than lug the boat over a bunch of rocks and logs. The narrow section went fine, its the whirlpools and eddys directly after that move the boat unpredictably which really gets the heart rate up. The rest of the way went nice and smooth but I was running out of time so I had to hustle.
Lots of sand bars along the way prime for fat bikes

First section of carver rapids. All one piece of rock !

This doesn't look that bad. But I'm in the middle of the river, rocks covered in slime, 40 +- deg water, drop off on other side , and I'm by myself.  

This also looks a lot safer from the top

I don't think they use these tracks anymore

Me and my pals for the day
Next was the bike part. I had my trusty Pugsley and a cold Mtn Dew that I would save until I reached the van  as a reward. The trail was in excellent shape, it was well worn and mowed to get it ready for the snowmobile season. I've ridden the trail many times in the winter and also in the summer before the grass is down but this was the best I have seen it. I was making good time and even had time to check some stuff out and take a few pics. The trail took a turn for the worse (more interesting) at a washed out bridge. I ended up stumbling on a different trail, single track heading for who knows where when I started hearing gun shots. I had seen the game wardens out and one hunter on a bike but figured he was hunting ducks. This was not the case, I ran into a hunter on the trail that told me the area was open for deer hunting. They were using slugs, to me that seemed a whole lot worse than possibly getting sprayed with BBs. Also ducks are normally taken in the morning and a great time for deer was around dusk. It was around dusk NOW! I like hunting, I like guns too, I just don't want to be the one hunted or mistaken for something else. I had no blaze orange on, was dressed in black and prayed that my hat-less, brown hair covered head would not be mistaken for the kill zone on a nasty deer. I asked the hunter which way was the fastest way out on that trail. He pointed the way but I decided to try and get back to the real trail and finish my mission. Guess what ? I made it back and also made it home in time for dinner.


  1. Got message, its my sister rebeccas. Shell contact or at next rondayvo.

  2. When is St Croix Troy going to become a blog ?

  3. enjoyed the read. Gregg