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

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Purgatory


Nature trail
Have you ever wanted to hike down a small creek among the homes of the filthy stinking rich and then packraft your way back to the start point on the larger body of water that said creek feeds.......... well, Purgatory Creek is just that.

didn't get much deeper than this
 After dropping off and locking my bike in a wooded ditch near my rendezvous point, I drove up stream (in my nearly 20 year old van) past a half dozen gated communities to my start point. Not the kind with tacky names affixed to pillars or piles of rocks on either side of the road, but those with bonafide electrically controlled  security gates, and real, working, gas lanterns.
strange looking rock...with teeth

shitty bridge...why not just walk across?
I can't take complete credit for this outing, a while back ArcFlash and myself seemed to come up with the idea about the same time and wanted to check it out together. Unfortunately It didn't happen that way, I got done with work really early and was looking for something to do close to home that wouldn't take too long. I also didn't have much motivation and figured I would bail out on this if it didn't look too fun when I got there. It turned out to be lots of fun and an interesting endeavor. I started at a park near the creek and hiked down a "nature trail" approximately a mile before getting onto the creek.
this little fawn thinks it's hiding...I felt bad for scaring him/her into laying in the water and tried to get it to move. It didn't budge so i left it alone and moved on quickly 

newest toy....Alpaka raft   Scout
Not a house could be seen from deep within the small creek valley but I knew they were there having reconed the area via google maps. Someone along the timeline of development must have had the fortitude to designate this area a green space. Once in the creek I was amazed to see not a single human footprint for the duration of my outing. Surely there would have been some kids playing in it somewhere right? nope. The creek lacks any waterfalls or cliff faces but is beautiful in a Minnesota, summer jungle, type of way. The water was clean in appearance and was void of large amounts of trash...which is always good.
home free 

169
Near the end, I encountered a fence across the creek and no trespassing signs. There was large hole in the river right, side, so I took it. I had been out for over an hour now and had no intention of backtracking. I was in stealth mode for the remainder of the creek's course. As I neared the Minnesota River the creek got much deeper with a final rock pile marking the point at which the packraft would become necessary. I aired it up within the steep mud banks, concealed from a large house that overlooks the creek, and then quietly slipped away. It wasn't long and I was on the Minnesota, drifting with the fast current. It was about a half mile to my take out at a large bridge and then another half mile overland with a final tromp across a nasty muddy backwater swamp to my bike.

Is this the new place for everyone in the twin cities to take a pic, post to facebook, and think it's unique ?
 As I rode back to my van in my wet and muddy clothing on an inexpensive steel Surly, past homes I would never want to afford........ I could see through the trees and noticed two guys walking down the street like they were headed out to the "links", both wearing white shorts, one with a pink shirt the other light yellow....I surmised they were named Chet or Dirk, maybe Claude and were probably talking about their portfolio's............ It felt good to know I had just been mashing around in the mud and water in their own back yards, so-to-speak,  and with all their money, they were still missing out on something I had just done.        

Monday, May 25, 2015

Straight River


 Spring is a great time for canoeing on Minnesota rivers...the water is usually up and the horse and deer flies have not yet hatched. I received a call from my brother about a day trip he was hoping to do on the Straight River near Faribault. Since my whole family could join in I immediately agreed and the date was set.
To balance things out, Super Y rode with my bro and JB

stop to look at fossils

jack-pot
 Our short 10+ mile jaunt happened on a nice warm sunny day and included my family of five and my brother and his friend. The river was a bit low but made no difference in the amount of fun we had. The Straight is not a very wide river and has lots of turns, small rapids and scenic cliff faces along it's banks.
Lunch time

another fossil ...different location


 With lots of time allowed for the trip, we brought along a grill,  food and snacks, and took a nice long break on a sandbar. Along the way stopped a couple times to check out some fossil beds and interesting cliff faces. Due to proximity and the scenic terrain we'll definitely be back on this river again.
After trolling for most of the day G Man catches a bass...on the season opener no less
   

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sakatah Revisited


 A few years back I took my middle son Super Y,along with his friends and mine,on an overnight bike trip on the Sakatah Trail near Faribault MN. My other two boys wanted "in" on the trip but they would have to wait. Finally it worked out, and the four of us were packed up and rolling toward the campground on a Saturday afternoon.
Got to see someone being airlifted on the ride out to camp 

DIY aluminum trailer built about 15 years ago, used on one trip to Canada, mothballed 15 and half years ago.

The campsite for cyclist at Sakatah State Park 
  Last time, to haul a large amount of gear I took the Burley trailer, this time I used my array of Revelate bags and  my old DIY aluminum single wheeled trailer, coupled to my Surly (1X1) 1X9. Luckily the ride was short,since we got a late start we arrived just before dark with enough time to gather some fire wood and set camp. Dinner was bratwurst, with sugary drinks and treats.


  It rained that night and was done just before we wanted to get up and rolling (9ish). A quick breakfast was had and we were packed and on the trail. Although the ride and camp-out were relaxed and straight forward it's a great to get out and have some fun afield with my boys.
Throwing sticks and logs in the river is a must