Monday, January 20, 2014

Fatpacking the Minnesota River Valley.

Jared and I decided to escape for an overnight bikepacking trip.  The picture below is of my bike pre-assembled on my porch prior to leaving.  I'm trying some tweaks on proven gear systems.  I have my bivy and zero degree F. sleeping bag mounted to a second stem under my handlebars.  I'm using a single Thermarest Ridge Rest pad attached to my seat post rack for the first time.

 Below is my bike ready to leave Jared's just after 9pm. 31 F. made for a warm ride to our camping spot.

Jared's Moonlander with orange and yellow and my Pugsley with blue and green during a break.  The trails were soft and took some work to ride.  Better after we both lowered tire pressure; plodding might describe our progress.  Not out for speed; we enjoyed a warm night.
I took a picture of Big Foot behind Jared.  Too bad the photo is grainy: you can just make out his outline.  Warm weather must have lured him out.  I rode for some time without hat or gloves.  Not bad for a mid-January night.
 We camped in a sheltered spot surrounded by brush and small trees.  In the Minnesota River Valley.
 Pictures, above and below, show the location of my bivy for the night.  Billowy snow, still soft after being stepped down, helped me sleep well.  The single pad, bivy and sleeping bag all worked wonderfully.
 We woke up to temps.were in the high teens around 8:30 am.  These small trees sheltered us from a stout wind.  Jared's Moonlander unloaded with his camp set up behind him added color and contrast to a white and gray landscape.

Here's Jared's view of my campsite
 We decided to eat a handful of nuts instead of heating water for our oatmeal and coffee, packed camp and were riding by 9am..  Soft snow, a big climb out of the valley and a headwind had us questioning our meager breakfast choice an hour later.

 Oh well, we were back at Jared's a few minutes before 11am.  Our trip finished with a drive to Wampach's Restaurant for onion rings and the Monday meatloaf special.   Loads of fun and a little adventure packed into a 24 hours.

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