Saturday, December 31, 2011

Glacier Skiers Go Hiking

A year ago we booked 4 cabins at Afton St. Park for a skication. Instead of skiing we enjoyed hiking and warm weather. My first experience with camper cabins; found them wonderful.

I think the kids are ready for snow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

33 Sets of Skis and Poles in the Subaru

We can't haul our skis on the team bus because it blocks the aisle, so the Forester is the new team ski hauler. What it lacks in sport it makes up for in utility.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Night Out/Gear Testing

Backyard Saturday Night 4" of new snow 25 F. Used the 20 degree bag and slept comfortably on the lower end of its range. Eureka Zeus 3 season tent did well in the fourth, but would leak snow through top vent if the wind blew. Fleece balaclava kept my head snug all night.

Maybe it was the Winter Bike Expo, or cutting our holiday tree, or the lovely snowfall, or another muse that led me to a cozy night out.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Winter Bike Expo.

Jared and I headed to the Greenway Freewheel this morning for the Winter Bike Expo. We each got one of these dandy schwag mugs for test riding Mukluks 3s and 2s, Necromancer Pugsleys and a Moonlander with sparkly paint.
The Moonlander and a Mukluk 2 sitting in front of the store. Note the difference in tire size.

Two views of the Necromancer. I really like the ride and found the 17 degree sweep of the the handlebars perfect.

A row of Mukluks v. the Pugsley line-up. I like that both are different bikes. While the Salsa is super upright and comfortable, my choice for fat tire touring/cruising; the Pugsley made me smile and want to ride hard over cars. The Moonlander with sparkly paint, however, got our phat tire award for being even fatter without feeling like we were giving up anything.
Other highlights of the day included listening to Dave Payman speak about the Arrowhead 135 and the Iditabike along with a great lunch while visiting with B. Rose, in his bunny suit, about skiing, bikes, coffee and guns. I appreciate the casual and approachable attitudes of the Freewheel staff, Surly people and presenters. I'll be back next year.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ride the Divide on Netflix Instant Play

Starting in Banff, Canada, and ending at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Great Divide mountain bike race extends 2,700 miles along the Continental Divide. This scenic documentary follows three determined cyclists attempting the grueling ride.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Flying a Kite for Winter Fun

I've recently acquired a new toy. It's a hq Rush4 350pro trainer kite. Once proficient, I hope to be using it to pull me and my skis along frozen lakes. I've had several practice session and am reading the trainer kite guide. Probally would have been safer to read first, as this is not a toy. On windier days I've been pulled scrambling forward using all my might to control it. It is reportedly suitable for winds from 5-24 mph. Check out the video below to see what stronger winds look like. My kite is the next size up, but so am I.

I'm excited about this because it will make cold windy Minnesota days something to look forward to.

HQ Power Kites Big Jump | Rush 3 Pro Trainer Kite Test from Power Kites on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Getting Myself Hooked Up

I wanted a trailer hitch installed on my truck. Calling around I found that I'd be looking about $350 for the hitch and wiring harness installed. Not too much money, but I'm always looking to save. I discovered that I could order a hitch and harness online from etrailer and have my local rental store install it. This plan would save me about $100.

Turns out my shop is too busy putting snow plows on to install my hitch for the next couple weeks. So, last Saturday, I decided to DYI it. Found some online tutorial videos where I learned to disconnect and lower the rear exhaust system, expand the mounting holes and to use these nifty wires to thread the mounting bolts through the frame. Suppose to be a 40 minute job.

Three hours later, after buying a torque wrench and making a second trip out for the ball, I'm hauling. It's good to save a couple hundred bucks, but even better to feel like a manly self-sufficient guy in a Subaru Forester.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Two Sides of the Metro.

Today we hiked around the Stone Arch Bridge taking in Mississippi river front ruins and admiring nature, as Shiva, returning concrete and metal to the Earth.

Last weekend we were at Afton State Park strolling along the St. Croix. We noticed the current shore and much higher ancient banks of the river formed when glacial melt water blasted through the valley.

We found Ordovician fossils and enjoyed the late fall colors in both locations. These sites are impressive places to spend time.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Grizzly Bow

Just picked up a new to me Bear Grizzly bow, 50# @28". It's about 5 years old, but doesn't have a scratch on it. The guy said he only shot it about three times. Came with a quiver, stringer and 6 aluminum arrows for $175. Felt sweet as I shot a few rounds in the back yard.

I loved my old Bear bow, but accidentally destroyed it by leaving it strung in my hot car after the Bunker Hill Traditional shoot last year. Apparently a warm bow will de-laminate. Lesson learned.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Gear

New bivy-tent that is less than one kilo. Slept out one night in the back yard, breezy with a temp in the low 30's. It worked well. It's listed as 3 season. Wonder how it will be on a hot summer night or snow camping? Here's some basic info and a 360 view.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Goodbye Camry

So long to a great car. It's amazing how this car has held up and maintained it's value.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Model A

My Dad's 1931 Ford, Model A sitting in front of the house that I lived in from 2 until I was 13.
A couple of shots of the car driving around Woodlawn Park.
Despite being 80 -years-old, the car drove much like a modern car. Electric start, three speed manual transmission and brake where I would expect to find one. However, with no power assist on the controls I found that I needed to plan turns and stops plenty early.

What a fun drive; both my brother and I, full sized men, were able to ride the rumble seat.
The temperature gauge is a thermometer in the radiator cap. Here's a page with more Model A specs than you likely care to read.

Congratulations New Zealand All Blacks World Cup Champions