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

Monday, February 24, 2014

White House

The riding was good for a while, but when the snow plow stopped we had to walk

 It's been too long since I've spent a night in a snow shelter. The past few years here in the north land have been kind of light on the white fluffy stuff, this winter has been a completely different story. So as the winter is coming to close, at least by the calendar, I decided to build a shelter with the plan of an overnight stay. The site I chose is one that I used in the past,nearly fifteen years ago. I'm kind of creature of habit, as you might have noticed throughout these blog pages I tend to revisit places I've been and then add a little twist to keep it interesting. I also like bringing new people along for the ride,because if it was fun once it surely will be again.

   On Friday night, ArcFlash and I headed off into the night with our loaded backpacks upon or trusty fat-bikes. Mother nature had just dumped a good load of new snow the day before and the wind was blowing it around everywhere, the fat-bike was clearly the bike of choice. Although the ride was short, roughly four miles, it was plenty for an after work, late start, adventure. When we finished the riding portion, we had a short hike to the pre-built snow fort that I finished a few days before.
Steaming foot, and the front door

 .The first time down a week before was quite easy, but after the big storm the snow drifts had us struggling in hard pack well above the knee. This was made even more difficult by the big garbage bags full of wood that we were dragging behind us. The day before I had placed the two bags full of wood on my way home from work. I know it's cheating but I wanted to make sure things would go well and I knew finding dry wood in the fresh snow would be a bitch. I was also anticipating a larger group that evening, some of which only show up for the campfire/cookout portions of these micro adventures within the twin-cities.

home for one night
  The wood cache proved to be a good idea, as the snow was very deep, the wind was howling, the temps were around 6-8 deg and it was about 8 pm when we finally reached the snow fort. We quickly got the fire going and cooked our dinner over the raging pieces of hardwood that used to be skids for sheets of steel. We didn't last too long outside as the wind was doing it's best to choke us out with swirling clouds of smoke in our little hollowed out snowdrift wind break.
Bike cache

Winter wonderland
        A little after 9pm the two of us were busy fixing our sleeping gear and preparing for a cozy night in the shelter of the snow house. It was nice and roomy, I originally had planned for 3 but with only the two of us tough enough for a cold windy night we had room for all of our gear inside. Although it was substantially warmer inside I still slept like shit, my sleeping bag and it's exaggerated temperature rating being the culprit. Now that I think about it this was the problem on my last outing...time for a new bag. Fortunately I brought along an extra down jacket that I used as a blanket inside my bag. Morning came slowly, I was checking my watch throughout the night hoping the next time would be around 6-7am.....damn it's only 3am, back to sleep. When  it was finally time to get up we cooked our breakfast in the cave, AF exclaiming "It's not like we're going to burn this thing down". After breakfast It was time to head out, back to the locked up bikes, the ice covered roads and our waiting vehicles.


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