Friday, August 28, 2009

Tomato Day

Earlier this year Claire read a story to me called "I'm in Charge of Celebrations." In the story a girl joyously celebrates personal holidays to commemorate special events on a personal level. Today is such a day for me.

We have loads of perfectly vine ripened garden tomatoes and two varieties of fresh basil,one green and one purple. These combined with olive oil, sea salt and fresh black pepper create a flavor memory that stays with me all year.

Next March or April, when I am trying to shake off the winter, I can look back at this picture and look forward to a favorite time of the year.

Something I've thought about many times

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fargo Air Show

In the bowels of a C5 cargo plane.

Inside a blackhawk helicopter.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bike Mobile Completed

Thanks to Q's welder, the bike mobile is complete. I designed and made the front wheel holders, so that four bikes and wheels can all easily mount to the front of the trailer.

50% occupancy.

This picture shows the wheel mounting brackets protruding from the wooden structure. Clicking on the photo enlarges it. Details are then easier to see.

An action photo of me welding the mounts. (I pulled this image off of Q's "queasyfish" blog.)

Snails That Went Fast

I whipped up a batch of snails that we found looking lively in a local Asian store. Claire and Harris loved them. I overheard, "one for me; one for you,' as they divided up the last of the tasty little mollusks.

I boiled them for 10 minutes than tossed them in olive oil, garlic, chillies, wine and fresh basil, something to try again.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Here is my version of Q's bike trailer. Building the additional frame out of treated wood, I'll stain it black later, proved to be fairly simple and ridiculously strong. I have four points where carriage bolts attach it to the metal trailer frame. Using 2x6 lumber allows me to move my fork clamps to multiple positions on the wooden frame to accommodate a variety of bike styles and sizes. The bikes in the picture have 24", 26" and 700C wheels. Notice the offset fork mounts in the bottom photo. I have a simple design in mind to make attachment points for the front wheels.

The bikemobile will make it possible to bring both bikes and camping gear on family outings in the Camry or Civic.

Here's another bike mobile just for fun.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fossil Hunting in Goodhue County

The kids and I took a trip back to the ancient ocean covering Minnesota during the Ordovician Period. We headed South, dropped in elevation and lost 480 million years.
We found cnidarians, brachiopods, bryozoans, gastropods, echinoderms and corals.
Take a look at some of these fossils here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tour with Claire

Claire and I went on our 2nd annual Bike camping trip with the neighbors, John and his daughter. The picture above is Claire behind John's 1984 Trek 520.

After morning soccer games, we loaded up and drove west on 394/12 to the Glacial Lakes Trail head in Willmar,MN. A PDF link can be found here.
We followed the Glacial Lakes Trail for about 11 miles through Spicer to the town of New London. Just before the Highway 23 bridge, we split off the trail on to 9, riding through downtown New London a couple of miles. From 9 we went west on 148 for about 6 miles to Sibley State Park. All roads had wide shoulders and low traffic, so it wasn't stressful riding with the girls on them.

Sibley State Park is one of Minnesota's larger state parks on the shores of Lake Andrew. We camped near the lake in one of the last available campsites in the Lakeview campground. We were very close to the lake, sandy swimming beach and fishing pier. The down side is the campsite lacked any seclusion or character.

Next time, I'll reserve a site in the Oak Ridge Campground, also in the park. I'll trade the 1/4 mile bike ride for a wooded campsite anytime.

All of our bikes did well carrying a fairly heavy load that included fishing gear.

Claire and I both road mid-90's Trek mountain bikes converted to tourers. Her's is a 930 while mine is a 950. The neighbor girl rode a late 80's Schwinn Sprint with a rack and fenders. A nice little bike, but could have used a few more gears in the hills and wind. Notice the plastic bags. We feared rain, but stayed dry.

Claire at the end of the ride. She found the bike key hanging on the back of the car where she left it the day before.

A tree frog we chanced to see along side the trail

John and Claire are having a conversation about a woodtick.

A handful of red gooseberries we picked along the trail.

Great trip. I'd be glad to travel the route again.