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

Friday, November 25, 2016

Work Vacation

The Lacrosse River Water Trail is a great idea...I liked it 
Work vacation?  Oxymoron, nope.  This past summer I spent a lot of time working out of town. While this may be common for many people, for the last 20+ years in my field it's been uncommon to me.

Lacrosse River....took this most of the way back into town

End of the line Minnesota Point 

It was really hot this day.... jumped in the lake 4 times to enjoy the unusually warm water temps

Below Palisade Head

Headed out to Shovel Point
The company I work for, installing commercial kitchens, is quite large and contracts just about anywhere, most of it is in the states adjoining Minnesota. When I heard there were a couple jobs in Duluth I jumped at the chance to go. Duluth is "the shit" and pretty much a giant playground. Although my wife wasn't to enthusiastic about not having me home to help out around the house there wasn't much that could be pays the bills.
Night time in canal park.....did this a few times

Dry creek bed on the Moon Lander

first time here, it was freakin' awesome

one of the nights spent hiking and exploring

One night spent four wheeling with a co-worker
 I've heard about all the bad shit that comes along with work related travel but I was determined to make the most of it. The goal was to play every night after work. I only missed out on two nights of my 4 weeks in Duluth and a couple nights in Lacrosse WI, due to rain and a resupply night. I really only had one good night in Lacrosse, I never found any good trails to ride and didn't like the feel of the town....Sorry Lacrosse , I don't like you. Hopfully I'm wrong and someone can point me in the right direction some time.
I call this an adventure swim

more adventure swimming...near Split Rock Lighthouse

Kayaking out in the Duluth Harbor

Fridays are always a loss due to driving home but Monday thru Thursday are fair game. For some reason I just wasn't that into riding as much as normal this summer and opted for the pack raft, kayak or just exploratory hikes most of the time. I attribute this to, paddling being less strenuous after a 10-12 hour day at work lifting heavy things. This is  kind of a shame, since Duluth has really freakin' awesome MTB trails, they also have this really freakin awesome lake...Superior.     The lake won most of the time, and I got a lot more comfortable in my tiny inflatable boat,as well as seeing some stuff I've had on my to-do list for a while.
Duluth icon

The back of my work van....don't tell my boss

fishing pier /former loading dock .....never knew it was here until this summer

very large arch on Superior

This photo is pretty much staged but the way the evening worked out was fate.   on my way to go explore this spot I found a lighter on the roadway,,, a few hundred yards down I found a can of bug spray. After finishing paddling the full moon came up and it was such a perfect night I stayed and built a fire with my new found lighter and used the last drops of repellent to fend off the bugs. Rode home around 9:30 pm and went to bed....probably the best night spent on the north shore all summer     
  Since I was working on schools, my last days were just before they opened, sending me home for the summer. My agreement with work is to be home during the school year, but I'm wearily looking forward to next summer in the hopes I may get some jobs in cool locations.

D Rider ...................................out

Sunday, November 20, 2016

MEA Part 1

MEA....Minnesota Educator Academy......=    wife and kids have days off from school. It's a long haul, but with a full week at our disposal, Utah was our chosen destination. This would be a gear intensive trip with everyone outfitted for canyoneering, mountain biking, and backpacking......5 sets of all that gear takes up a lot of space...but that's how we roll.

 On our way out we did the customary stop in Fruita to ride mountain bikes. We chose the stuff at the Loma exit, because it's an easy on/off, and it's super fun. Thinking it would be simple to just get out and ride was my first mistake. Before we even got out of the a parking lot which took over an hour, G Man tore up his shin on the pedals while messing around with his brothers. Out comes the first aid kit and another half hour wasted. The rest of the ride went well and was worth all the hassle.

This was an official Imperial Venture Corps mission.....eating/multi utensil rules in full effect 

 From there we drove to our jump-off point for the Black Hole the next day. Following the Black Hole was an overnight (supposed to be 2 nights) backpack outing. The hiking was strenuous and absolutely beautiful,complaining was at a minimum and we all had a fantastic time. Our camp for the night was near a large dry fall with a deep pool below. Had it been warmer and not frowned upon, it would have been an amazing cliff jumping swimming hole. Worn out from the last couple days, it was difficult to stay up past nightfall, but the brightest of stars were an amazing sight to behold from our view in the canyon. In the morning we headed out for a day hike to the confluence of the canyon we were in to one adjoining about 4 miles down. Reaching our destination, we decided to cut the trip short, we had achieved our goal and staying another night would mean getting to Moab on Thursday afternoon.
Ruins.....didn't see any foot prints. It was so sketchy getting here I will probably never go back.   

Very large pottery sherds.....yes, it's called a sherd, not a shard 

This was the most impressive piece, what remained was the size of a large serving bowl

not sure what this was, but definitely not natural 

finding this was a an added bonus to a solo morning stroll  

 If you've been to Moab you know why this is important, if you haven't, getting a camp site has become a huge problem. Moab is the launch point for the greatest outdoor playground anywhere, and everybody knows it.When we rolled into town Wednesday night I was disappointed to find the only thing available was a pricey site at a private campground in town......the shower was nice and worth the extra money. First thing in the morning we pulled up stakes and searched for a public camp site, landing a spot at King's Bottom. We were set for the next few days.............. be continued 

D Rider...........................out