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

Monday, December 18, 2017


The beginning of a perfect day
 This past spring I found myself with an unplanned mid-week day off due to lack of work. Most of the time I welcome these days and scramble to find someone to join me in some type of outdoor endeavor. With notice going out the night before I couldn't find anyone in a similar situation so I planned for a peaceful kayak ride down the Le Sueur River solo.
looks fun right ?

  As I loaded my kayak gear I threw in a couple pack-rafts and a dry suit just in case. On my way south I stopped at a little park, the detour nothing more than slowing down and taking a right hand turn. The creek I had checked out on my way home a couple weeks prior was now flowing strong and from what I had seen looked to be a fun ride. The Le Sueur would have to wait just a little, maybe an hour and a half. From the parking lot, the pack-raft now loaded on my back,  I hiked up river on the well worn trails that honeycombed the park with a watchful eye dead falls and strainers in the creek. Less than a mile upriver, as the rapids looked like they were petering out and the vegetation was beginning to make the paddle more trouble than it's worth, I dropped in.
There are  twelve of these at the end of the run..looked to be recently built....going back with kids next spring so they can have fun too

Rush River
 .On my way down, I hit bottom a few times and ducked and weaved through dead falls, but damn was I having fun. With the water being way up from recent rain, I didn't take long for my true plan to materialize,  something I was waiting for but wanted a couple other paddlers to join in as a challenging day.....kayak or raft three of the "fun" rivers in the vicinity. I say fun because they all have long stretches of class I and II white water, with one rapid pushing a III at really high levels.  The creek I was on would just be an unforeseen bonus, upping my challenge to 4 creeks in a day, unfortunately the challenge would be mine alone.The Le Sueur was definitely going to wait, I had a mission and with a late start I would have to hustle.

Start point on High Island Creek
  The first creek was 7 Mile Creek just north of Mankato, from there I headed 10-12 miles north to Rush River. Rush was flowing well and was lots of fun, it's wider than all the others and strainers or trees completely blocking the river were non existent. After a quick shuttle with the mountain bike and a snack in the van on the way to High Island Creek, I was back in my boat in about an hour and a half. High Island is a favorite of mine, since finding it a couple years ago I've been down about a half dozen times. Feeling comfortable running this creek solo, I decided to give the now discontinued Alpacka CuriYak a run. I bought a couple of them for my kids when they were closing them out, and I wanted to see how they would behave in some light white water.

Lots of this 
 As the description stated....the CuriYak didn't do so well in anything but flat water. At about 200 pounds, when I went through the rapids the stern would drop in and fill the boat with water. My kids weigh much less, and in the summer months I'd have no problem letting them run this river and maybe get a little wet. If not for the dry suit this would have been a miserable run, by the end of it I was a little chilled despite staying dry. Last but not least, came Sand Creek, this run is fantastic and has the biggest water. I was a little nervous since it looked way higher than when I ran it last, it also usually has some strainers in the worst possible places, usually in fast water and in the spots where the river pulls you in. By now I had three creeks done and had plenty of time to run this one ,so I went for it, but was cautious. The run went without a hitch, but did contain  two sketchy areas with trees all the way across the river. I still haven't paddled the Le Sueur River....maybe next spring.
The take out.....1/2 mile hike to the shuttle bike or several more miles of paddling fast moving but flat, water

Back in the Yukon Yak on Sand Creek.....all photos basically look the same cuz no one else was with me to take pictures of
   x 4
1)  7 Mile Creek... approx 1 mile                         
2)   Rush River...... 6 miles
3) High Island Creek.......5+ miles
4) Sand Creek...........5+ miles
 Bike shuttle..........approx 20 miles
I'm up for it again next spring and may add in one more..... Cobb River?

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

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

November 2017..... Random

New spot for a campfire
 November turned out to be a pretty good month...started cold and then warmed a bit. I was able to get out a couple times for a camp fire and one sub-24 camp-out with my youngest son Big D, my brother and ArcFlash. The four days off during Thanks Giving was a blast...The family and I got some free snowboarding and skiing in at Lutsen for their #OptOutside campaign that REI started a few years ago...we saved about 360 bucks...heck yeah. I was also able to do a little solo exploring on a north shore river, the .22 I carried was mostly just because I could. I've seen lots of grouse this year and if one happened  to cross my path I would try and make it my dinner....I was successful.   
that's my Bro 

Big D ready to camp with the big boys 

There were  a butt load of eagles flying around us 80

After snowboarding/skiing we went to Grand Marias for some sort of parade, and  ended up riding  in the parade on loaned bikes from Fire Weed Bike Shop 

There were also fireworks that night 

x-ploring....I'm going swimming here next summer 

gone shootin'

strange kids

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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bike, Raft, Tent

every camp-out starts like a messy baesment
 For several years ArcFlash has been talking about an abandoned power plant  he's been wanting check out with some camping and paddling thrown in to the mix.


Found this little spot to launch


 Things finally came together when Thor was pushing for a packraft, bike-pack adventure. I ran it by AF, got a kitchen pass for the weekend and the three of us were headed out.  Friday night, after a 10-12 mile ride, a couple miles of rafting we were just below the large concrete structure. In the dark we ascended the steep bank to take our place in the power plant and set camp

breakfast time

  Camping inside proved a little troublesome with the damp floor, vegetation, and open holes but was well worth the inconvenience. The next morning we paddled onward to town for breakfast a few miles downstream. From there, we spent most of the day paddling, and dodging the rain under overhanging trees. By a pure stroke of luck, it started down pouring immediately following tent set-up. It only lasted about 30 minutes, just enough time to take a nap and recharge for the rest of the evening.

dodging rain under the forest canopy 
 Dinner time was closing, the sun was shinning as if it had not rained in days, so we hopped on the bikes beelined it to the closest road and pedaled into town. Night time was typical for camping, large fire, bullshiting and adventure stories late into evening. Our final day consisted of a 25ish mile ride back to the vehicles interrupted by breakfast in Lanesboro. I'm not sure how the other guys felt, but the weekend was perfect and as I look back, I wish I was there now!

moments before rain

it's sunny aagain

there is a reason the bridge is closed

the end

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