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

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Nothing But Ice

 Mother nature dealt us a lousy card as of late and ruined all the good snow. Mid week it was 40deg and hard rain, this past weekend it was about 5 and ice covered everything. It's really not that bad if you have the right tires and attitude. The tires were easy, but my motivation to ride was not there until Sunday when I just had to get out of the house.
Almost there 

Smooth sailin'
 It was cold and windy, I didn't even bother to ask anyone if they wanted to go out and ride. I wasn't so much into the ride, as I was to go explore and revisit some places I haven't been to in a while. I loaded up two bikes as I was not sure which one would work better. One fat-bike with the Dillingers and one skinny bike with the Nokian Hakka 300s.

This is not Minnehaha Falls
 My first stop was the swamp near my house. I have done a few rides and one X-C ski down there so far this year and it's a lot of fun. What is not fun is riding ice so thin it cracks as you ride over it and break through in some spots. I've always had some issues with thin ice down there and today would be no exception. I decided to bag this swamp and move on to next area of exploration.
Under the blu tarp is the "Hearth" and  the living quarters

Nice view
Next I hit two separate creeks that were in great shape. They were both covered in thick overflow. Although they have a relatively short amount of riding they are a lot of fun. From the second creek I headed out into the swamp that it feeds and then to a good sized lake.
The entrance 

This place had the feel of some thing Yoda would live in . It was freakin' awesome
During the day's ride I decided to take a side trip and visit an acquaintance, a very distant acquaintance. I met a homeless guy 5-6 years ago that lives in the woods. From time to time I like to go and see what he has been up to. When I first met him he had constructed a massive retaining wall out of limestone and set up a really nice camp in the woods. Since that first time he has built himself a cave to live in. To see firsthand, what he has created is amazing.  

wood stove for heat
When I approached I called out his name a few times, no answer. It appeared no one had been there at least before the rain we had last week. I slowly pulled back the blanket that covered the entrance of the cave not knowing what I would see but praying to not find his body. Relief, no one home. I didn't fully enter out of respect but managed to snap a few pics. The cave is longer than it had been last time I visited in the spring, and more "decorated".
Library and storage

The Hearth
If you go out in search of this place, please be respectful. He is a real person and a nice guy. He will gladly show you around and will have you sign a register to document your visit. Last time I was there the note book was nearly full. Good Luck

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