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

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hellbender

When I checked the creek the day before it was much lower than it is here.
 A Hellbender is a giant salamander that lives in creeks and rivers of the eastern part of North America. I have always wanted to see one, for this adventure Steve and I were going to be one. I have had the "Hellbender Route" in my head for a long time and even thought of a cool name for it. I could not find anyone willing to do it, or the timing sucked until last night. I also have never fully explained it to anyone including Steve. I simply told him to bring a Fat-Bike, life jacket, canyoneering boots,bug spray, and a headlamp, and swimming fins if he felt like it.


I let my bike drift downstream in some spots.

One of several bridge culvert thingys

Plug for Fat-Bike.com 
 The pics can explain most of it, but the idea was to travel down a creek and ride as much of it as possible, and walk or swim the rest. The crux of the adventure was the crossing of the Minnesota River. If you don't know the river, it's big, dirty, deep and potentially dangerous to swim in. I have lived and played around this river my entire life and have never swam in it before, mostly because it's looks nasty. 
One of these bridge underpasses had so many spiders I had to clear the passage with a stick.

Log Jam

There is a dead animal hanging in the water just over his right shoulder, keep your mouth closed !


 We spent a little over an hour navigating the creek. We had lots of fun trying to keep from falling over in the many rapids and hidden boulders. When we got to the Minnesota, I was first in, the water was nice and warm, and had very little current. I swam out to the middle and then waited for Steve so I could get some pics of him. I was also really enjoying the whole experience and wanted to swim a little longer.

This was a peaceful spot I could have spent more time at, but the swim was next.
I walked out another thirty feet before it dropped off

Nothin' like swimin' with the Pug.
 Once back on land, we rode the river bottoms trail to our second river crossing at 35W and Lynndale so we could complete the loop and ride back to our vehicles. This crossing was not as cool as the first. The water was full of small bits of trash and looked nasty. On the other side of the river, where we exited, was a man fishing. I don't know what he was thinking, but he sure gave us a strange look when we climbed out of the thick, knee deep muck on the shoreline. From there we took roads back to the vans and headed home. In all, we covered about ten miles and spent less than three hours, perfect for a weeknight adventure in our own backyard.
The river trail was in great shape, thanks trail workers.

Read the sign!

Boat launch at 35W

I'm about midway across when Steve exits near the fisherman.

The fun is over, time to ride back to the van.

2 comments:

  1. A full-on classic!!! You crack me up :)
    Hugs,
    Charlie

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  2. i will be getting a fat bike this winter....and then let the games begin...

    ReplyDelete