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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Chimney Rock

With lots of time on my hands recently, I've been able to get out mid week for some long as I'm home by the time the kids get off the bus. Although the weather around here has been shit (cold that won't go away) I don't want this free time to go to waste, so I've been getting out anyway. It's been hard to motivate myself to ride or do anything else, so I have been searching out places that are unique, or made to be unique in the way they are completed, and are also within striking distance of my allotted time.

The gravel on this day was perfect, I wished we rode a lot more of it

Chimney Rock...  SNA
  Last week a friend of mine posted a pic of Chimney Rock on facebook and then I remembered a post by This Guy and I knew this would be the target for a nice ride in the country. The directions from Larry's post were right on, but for some reason I thought it was in northern Iowa, so I never really looked into it. It turns out it was not in Iowa, so I put together a route from ArcFlash's place.
Lunch on an outcropping just up the hill from the chimney

Ancient inscriptions ? 

 Best in Schow, AF and myself headed south for a 50+ mile route to see the Chimney. Strangely the rock seemed to just appear out of a nowhere in a primarily flat landscape of farm fields. At the rock we ate lunch and then headed back with a nice tailwind and high temps in the 40's. It was a great ride but.............. I'm still looking forward to 70.   Thanks for the inspiration L.S. and T.S.
Not Chimney Rock

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ropes Course

As the weather has started to warm around here and my lack of a job has afforded me a little free time, I have been venturing out mid week with anyone who will join me. About a week ago I was accompanied by Best in Schow for a fun day dangling form a rope, riding fat-bikes, and also some snowshoeing.

Rap one of a two part descent  
  The route I cooked up served no other purpose but to ride around to different places do a rappel and continue on. I'm not a fan of backtracking.... ever.....If i can, I always like to do a loop. This meant the bikes were along for the rappel as well. It may seem silly to lower the bikes, but keeping with the idea of forward movement meant they came with on a couple of the drops.
Mouth of a cave ?

His leg is supposed to be on the other side of that rope

  We did five raps total, two of which we lowered our bikes down. The first rap was the same one AF and I did last summer on our bike, boat, rope adventure, only now the route is solid ice, which meant we didn't get wet.
I knew this ladder would come in handy when I built it

On the road again

Derailer side up ^

  Two of the raps were a short down and back with our bikes locked up at the top. It was a two part rap in which we dropped down an ice fall, pulled the rope, walked about a hundred feet, dropped into a storm drain and set up for another rap. This one was unique in that we had the feeling of rappelling out of the mouth of a cave. The out and back also created a need for the ladder I built for the Fat-Bike Adventure Ride on our climb back out.
What happened to derailer side up ?

Lunch in the White House

This tree will do
 The third rap was also one AF and I did last summer and the same one Best in Schow and I visited only days before. Why go back to the same place? Because it's fun and if you use your imagination there are different ways to experience the same place.
Easy does it

Slippery Pete
 The last of the drops was done via a short hike on the snowshoes and included a visit to The White House. The last one was also new to me... I have decided to name it Slippery Pete in continuation of Minnesota Canyoneering routes that no one really cares about anyway. After the last rap we hustled back to our bikes and back to our vehicles......I made it home minutes before my kids got off the bus........whew    

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Twin Cities' Icons

Well I'm still unemployed and with the weather changing for the better I'm making the most of my time off. This means playing...riding my bike or doing whatever I can for free. Last weekend while attending a gymnastics meet with my boys I made a list off the top of my head, of what I considered twin cities icons that I would ride to, take a quick pick and move on to the next one. What I found while out riding is there are way too many places to hit in one day. Not all of them are really important or what some might call an icon but it was a fun ride anyway. Here they are....I'm sure the locals can think of many others that are special to them as well.
High Bridge... St Paul

Irvine Park, not much of a park but hidden in a nice setting of old houses

St Paul Municipal Elevator , on the Mississippi River ...not much to look at but I guess it's historic

Rice Park, downtown St Paul.....really cool in the winter with all the lights

Mears Park, has a small man made creek running through it

The State Capital Bulilding

The St Paul Cathedral......this pic does not do it justice, this thing is huge

The Governors Mansion on Summit Ave

The this place especially in the married here too 

The Witches' Hat

The U of M

The Stone Arch Bridge

The IDS Tower, downtown Minneapolis....highest building in the state 792'

The Basilica 

My Alma Mater ... Dunwoody Institute

The Spoon and Cherry....possibly the stupidest fucking thing in all the state, but the first thing that comes up when you google Minneapolis icons.....poor us

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dead Beat

What does an unemployed, freeloading, dead beat do with all of his free time while his kids are at school and wife is at work? .....He plays, and tries to convince others to call in sick, use personal time, or just play hooky so they can join him. In my defense I've kept the house clean,tried to get dinner on the table as many times as I can during the week, and finish some low cost projects around the house. Last week was the first full week I've had off, instead of being completely laid off this winter, it's been more of a furlough. The week before I ended up only working two days and the rest of the week I was home with sick kids, add in the fact that it's been bone chilling cold outside and there was neither time or ambition to go out and do anything. The weather finally broke last week and I was like a dog that just chewed through it's leash. Monday through Thursday I rode my fat-bike, did some snowshoeing, another sewer tour, and played with some ropes (which I'll cover in a different post). I was joined by Best in Schow and Noelski on all or some of these adventures. Pics are in random order as to throw you off the scent, and let you find and discover the locations for yourself.....enjoy
Muskrat Love

going up 

Ice formations still about 200 yards back

Behind the falls

I would not recommend this, but the tracks were packed solid and very fast for a while

Went to visit Mr H and his cave/living quarters.... he wasn't home 

Lunch next to a stream

Lunch next to a stream in a storm sewer 

This is the snowshoeing I told you about

Pay no attention to the woman on the wall

going down ?

Stopped by The Wreck, all is well

Looking for more underground artwork

Thursday's ropes course