Monday, June 25, 2012

we do not take a trip; a trip takes us

"Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us."  

― John SteinbeckTravels with Charley: In Search of America
We drove from Minneapolis to Camp Bennett on Monday planing to ride the Maah Daah Hey the next few days.  However, rain and mud changed our plans.  The Maah Daah Hey is impassible on bike when muddy.
Dad and Jared on a hill overlooking our camp.

Prepping for a ride that wouldn't happen.

A bison chilling and munching along the side of the road.

A petrified tree stump I found while exploring on bike.  Several of these sat on the same strata half way up the valley.  Fossils always interest me.  This is the results of a volcanic eruption millions of years ago.
Hanging in camp + raingear
One highlight off the Maah Daah Hey is the ice caves.  We were able with considerable effort to find them using a combination for driving and hiking.  We met the ranchers on both ends of the caves.  The Storms to the North and the O'Brians to the South.  The picture below is of Dad overcoming his claustrophobia to enter the caves.
The following two pictures are of cannon ball concretions in an area of the North Unit, alien enviroment.

We decided to salvage a ride and headed up road going west from the North Unit.  The route was closed to vehicles because of landslides, but we had a great ride full of spectacular views.  Dad rode 4 miles up hill into the wind.  Quite impressive for a man in his 70's.

We ended up leaving Teddy Roosevelt a couple of days early and headed back East.  We did find some time to ride the North Country Trail in North Central Minnesota on the way home.  

Our ride on the Maah Daah Hey took a course we didn't indent, but we had a wonderful trip anyway.  The badlands of western North Dakota are incredible and I look forward to returning to ride.  I also appreciate the opportunity to have spend such quality time with my brother and father.

When My Family Is Out Of Town Bikes Move Indoors

From left to right Pugsely, Diamondback XR4, Trek 950, Miyata 618, Surly LHT

Sunday, June 17, 2012

People 60, Foam Animals 0, Poison Ivy Points Not in Yet.

Another wonderful Father's Day spent shooting life sized targets at the  Rapids Archery Club in Andover, MN.  Above a leopard take a quiver full.  Note the broken arrows on the ground.  The log offered some protection to the big cat.

This is what some of the shots look like.  A good shot is well placed and misses branches.

A raccoon on the Minnesota target loop.

Caribou on the western animal target set.

Jared and the Warthog

Steve showing his elk skills.  

Wait, that looks like .....

Glad this wasn't a real bison.  My high, green arrow would have just made him charge.

Left and Right

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Getting Excited for the Maah Daah Hey Trail

Jared and I loaded up our bikes and did a 10 mile trial run with gear last night.  The bikes are ready.  I'm using a small frame bag and two panniers held tight by an extra bungee cord strapped horizontally around each.  Note the solar panel on top of the rear rack.  Not sure if this will make the cut for the trip, but it worked well last night. (except for the charging part, because it was dark...)

Jared's amazing Moonlander with frame bag.  I was very impressed with the bike's/Jared's, ability to climb a couple of very steep slippery hills.  That bike sure puts some rubber down.

Below is a working copy of my gear.  I'll likely make a few changes before we go, but find it helpful to make a list.  Our father is driving the support vehicle on the trip.  He'll be meeting us at camping spots each night.  All but the on bike list will stay in the truck.  

Maah Daah Hey Trail Gear List June 18, 2012

Personal Effects and Electronics
Swiss army
Solar charger and batteries
Head lamp/extra batteries
bug dope
power inverter

LaSportiva, Nike, Crocs and Swim shoes
Grey shorts
Bike shorts
Socks 6
Underwear 6
t-shirts 3
long-sleeved shirt
button ups 3
headwinds pants
blue micro fleece top
nike hat/Waltz Hat

Coleman Stove/Gas
Water Bag
Dish soap
pots pans utensils knives

Tent two person and bivy
Sleeping pad
Sleeping bags moonstone and fleece

On the Bike Kit
Fire starter
Camel back
Emergency blanket
Rain jacket
Bike repair kit
Food 3000 calories
Sun glasses Oakley and amber
Water spare bottle
Bug dope

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Went Shooting Today

Feel good about my first time shooting a 9mm pistol that I have in my possession.  A friend and I went to an indoor gun range in Burnsville this morning.  What a blast, I look forward to going back.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Images from Taiwan

 Claire and Harris with Grandpa at the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial in Taipei
 Riding the bus.
 Lotus blossoms at the botanical gardens
Two of my favorite things.  Bamboo shoots and wax apples.  
They taste much better than they sound in English.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Traditional Archery 3-D Target Shoot this Weekend

 Plaid and Blue
My brave little lion hunters will be in Taiwan, so I'll be shooting sans family

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekend at the lake

With the family in Taiwan, I headed to the lake.  Snorkeling, a fawn on a hike, jet skiing, fast car, and more fun.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lebanon Hills Ride

Jared and I did a fat bike ride at Lebanon Hills tonight.  The Pugsley felt great.  The extra rubber gave me confidence in the twisty flowing downhill sections.  Also spent some time riding the Moonlander which felt amazingly nimble and connected to the trail.  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Today's Rides

I've been getting to know Jared's Pugsley, and have been making some minor adjustments to its fit.  I did two laps of Salem Hills Park.  My lower back hurt on the first lap.  I moved the seat forward about 1/2" and rotated the Ergo grips down about 10 degrees.  This made a huge difference.  My second lap was more comfortable and slightly faster despite being tired.

 Later I went for a road bike ride.  Felt good, and broke my record by about a minute.  Seems small, but I needed to stand up and work hard on the hills.
I feel like I'm getting in better riding shape.  Being able to spend time everyday has been wonderful.  I appreciate my family's willingness to pick up my slack around the house.