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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

November Rides

Despite the often rainy weather we experienced in November I managed to get out quite a few times for some fantastic rides. I always enjoy hitting the tails and road routes I'm familiar with, but riding new single track, seeing a new area, or rolling with people out of my normal group is what really makes me happy. I'll let the pics do the talking.....along with some captions.
Rarely do I get to ride with my wife and kids on a weeknight. It was super warm early in the month and the 4 of us hit the river bottoms for a night ride. (missing G-Man...Gymnastics Practice)

During a rare event in which a dam is lowered .....the fat-biking is prime!

ONeil.....on smooooooth sand 

Vandy


Not everything was smooth....fields of boulders were common 

Away from the river.... we find a smaller river crossing 

G$

Lots of sand .......no problem for the fatties

Mid-way through November I found myself passing through St Peter on a weekend errand. I brought my bike along and rode the trails near the Minnesota River...They were fantastic and I look forward to visiting again 



V, Craigslist, and Stomper

Of course there was a Sewer Tour just before Thanksgiving 


always something new to see down here 


Boney and Stomper



Immediately following Thanksgiving the family and I were up on the North shore.   

After being dropped off by wife and kids I did a little exploring on a route back to the fun house. I encountered this very un-frozen swamp/lake thing after fully committing to the route....had to bushwhack around on the left.  

Big D 

Got to ride with Big D and Super Y....G-Man unfortunately siting this out with an injury 


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Ice Water


Looks warm right ? 

 So I got this message on the Imperial Venture Corps FB page   Canoeing minnehaha creek today. Dam release is at 300 it is going to be a bit spicy with a couple bridges. And cold. Still in the planning phase but likely starting at noon at Minnetonka Mills and going for a couple hours.    I replied back..... needing a little more info, but basically... IN.
The water is cold and very clear. I used to seeing it a lot murkier 




 At the time of this writing the creek is way up , at 300cfs at Gray's Bay dam, and not normal for the end of November. The chart below is from the Canoe Minnehaha Creek website. 
DISCHARGE (Cubic feet per second [cfs])CREEK CONDITION
Less than 75 cfsPoor
75 cfs - 150 cfsGood
Greater than 150 cfsDangerous
small-ish rapids typical  


going under 169

prepare to ram 
  Five of us met at the above mentioned location around 12:30 pm, air temp around 26-27 F, and were in the water shortly after. I was the (in a singing voice) "one of these kids is doin' his own thing"  as the lone kayaker. The other four gentlemen (Oneil and three others that do not have code names yet) were riding high in two canoes. I say riding high because my low-riding kayak had me sitting in a seat full of water within 10 minutes after the second set of small rapids. Despite having somewhat of a spray skirt on my recreational kayak with an enormous cockpit, the water splashed in from the side.  Fortunately my thick layers of clothing absorbed the water and my legs got to enjoy the cold as well as my ass, all the while my neatly kept drysuit remained on the floor of my van. Note; if you have a dry suit and it would make sense to use it don't leave it in your vehicle. 
Ice breaker "Clifford" 

Take out at the dam in Edina 
 
  The rest of the day went smoothly, and not that much different than paddling in the summer, except for the attempts to turn our boats into mini ice breakers on the sections of flat water. Nearing the take out, several hours after starting, the sun began to fade the wind picked up. I was getting a bit of a chill going and my thoughts wandered to that of a hot tub ,and me in it.  We had covered about nine miles, which seemed about perfect to me. There were no complaints from the others so I would assume they all had a good time and were ready to finish up as well. This day-trip has sparked some interest for me to try and paddle at least once a month through the winter, I'm ready for more as long as there is some open water.

PS... not sure why the writing and font is all F-ed up ....I'll try to fix it later

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Extended Season


 The fall weather around here has been fantastic and has carried on for quite a while, aside from it being dark at 5pm it feels more like late September. .


  Last weekend I was on a kick to spend couple nights outside with friends, and my kids, on two separate over-nighters. The first camp-out was Friday night with ArcFlash and Best in Schow down at a little spot we've nicknamed #$@^&*. ArcFlash and myself re-coned this spot a couple years ago and were excited to finally camp on this location.

had the roof all to myself 

  It was a warm night sitting by the fire cooking dinner and telling stories. Since all the bugs are dead and it wasn't going to rain I slept without a tent or bivy....on the roof, under the stars. The next morning we got going right away and were all off to other commitments and adventures.
AF's digs


New stove....chained and locked to the bell housing...that ought to slow them down a little
 As soon as I got home I was preparing gear for the boys and I to at The Wreck. They helped me build it two years ago and have not spent much time in it another than a couple lunch breaks. The Thursday before, Big D and I headed out to give it a check up and resupply some fire wood. To our disgust and anger, some fucking asshole stole the wood stove. Friday, an hour and a half before leaving work, I quickly assembled a new and improved one, and installed it Saturday morning before we would need it that evening. I also did a little painting of the interior and added some more expanding foam to tighten up the air gaps
Dinty Moore beef stew...it's what's for dinner

can I get a .....hells yeah 

  The boys and I made our way to the Wreck after dark loaded down with dinner,treats, pop, and breakfast. I stayed inside most of the night cooking their dinner and getting things settled, they stayed outside and built forts. They finally came in around 10pm and got ready for bed. Due to the small area inside I slept outside again, sans tent or bivy. It was little creepy leaving the warm safety of the steel walls to sleep out in the open. However, I fell asleep right away and didn't wake until the sky started to brighten in the early morning hours.

With the angle of the car...they all ended up toward the dash board ....still no room for me

I may add a new piece of fabric for the door
       In the morning there wasn't much to do but eat a little snack and pack up, we were rolling out by about 9am. We all had a great time both nights, it's always good to get out, even if it's not some far away exotic location, the effect is still the same.

D Rider .....out