Friday, April 29, 2011

It Was Nice

Today marks the first day I did not have report for work, and don't think that was an easy decision, so on this first day I thought I would do a little biking...surprised?  Bicycling for me is a good activity to think things out and clear the mind.   

A pic of the St. Croix river.

The Moose River

A swamp on Douglas County Highway M

The Tamarack River as it crosses M

Some cows out enjoying the the grass that is greening up nicely in our area now. 

I decided to venture off on some of the Dairyland township roads.  When I left the blacktop road they didn't look bad but they soon turned soft.

To say the roads had some soft spots would be an understatement.  I don't know if you can see the people standing on the road in the background, but I am quite sure they were questioning my intelligence.  When I passed by their cabin they were standing in the yard.  I stopped to snap this photo and I noticed they were standing on the road.  I am only guessing they wanted to watch me ride through the mud. 

I didn't have to walk any of the roads, but it was close.  I am glad I have this ride geared low now or I would've been walking for sure.

This picture was actually before the mud run.  I ended up with 43 miles.  The temps were around the +70F mark with a stout SSE wind. 

Get outdoors and have some fun ! ! !

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sping testing

Hitting up the back roads on the cross bike with temps around 70.

 Running the triple chain rings and the cassette changed to a much larger version should result in being able to pull the loaded B.O.B trailer up the side of a mountain...should is the key word here.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Namekagon Canoe

Janice and I rode a canoe down the Namekagon River today.  Although the weather didn't match what the weather people said, it was still good.  I had planned on making a stop and cooking soup, but I forgot the gas bottle for the stove at home so that didn't happen.  We did pack a ham and cheese sandwich, so we did have some calories to keep us warm.

It was a nice peaceful float.  The water is a little higher than summer time because of the winter runoff, but most of that spring runoff is gone now.

The beaver had a lot of chewing on that tree. 

We did not see any others on the river today.  I wonder what that says about us.

Get outdoors and have some fun ! ! !

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Good time Wednesday

We started the Wednesday after work fitness rides a week ago, so we have had two rides so far.  We had three riders last week and two tonight...Eric and I.  I was on the fixed gear tonight because that is my ride if the roads are salty, and they were calling for a possibility of snow which meant that would be my bike of choice for those type of conditions.  So at +39F and a couple drops of rain a person can't complain...well you could complain, but what does that do for you.  Or, you could just not go and say those guys are nuts, I'm not riding in that...but whats that do for ya.  Snow didn't happen, wind was strong out of the WSW and Eric was nice enough to take it easy and pull me along.  Thanks man.  It was a good time.

Get outdoors and have some fun ! ! !

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring has Sprung

I have had the cross bike out the last two rides and it was a welcome change, but more work than the road bike, although it does ride much better with the noisy and wide 35mm tires.  This is the bike I am thinking of using for some touring with this summer.  I have hauled the BOB trailer with it but only for about 100 miles.  I think I will change the cassette and tires to make it a little more hill friendly and give it a go.
Just two of my favorite things...Bicycling and Golf.  I did both today.
The temperatures have been nice as of late so most of the snow is gone.  In the 70's the Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, so that has left a very small amount in a extra shady area, but that is about it.

The spring peepers are out in force.  It has made for some very noisy rides around here, but it is a good noise.  I got in 19 miles Monday and another 30 plus today.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring Ride

On Friday with the temperature around the 70F mark, it was much too nice not to get out for a ride. 

The Moose River at the Mail Rd bridge

I think one of the great things about riding this time of the year is that without the foilage you can see far into the woods.  Makes the woods look inviting.  Down side is that you can see just how much people litter.

Another photo of the Moose.  Back in the day we use to canoe this river during the spring run off.  It is a wild ride this time of year between picking which way to go and ducking trees.  I have gotten wet during these crazy excursions.

One of the local trout streams

This is a photo the water crossing over County Highway M.  It is not bad this year as this was the only place the water crossed the road in the ten miles I rode on M today.  We have had years where water crosses several places in that 10 miles.  There is only one resident that lives at about the half way point which makes this one of my favorite highways to ride.

A lot of water on this ride.  No spring peepers here yet...soon though.

This is one of the roads I ride often in the summer.  They close it during the wet season to prevent shitting it up.

Obivously the signs do not apply to everyone.  There are some very soft spots further back in on these roads.  Soft enough to get a vehicle good and stuck. 

36 mile ride, stopping and visiting neighbors on the way equalled a very good time.

Get outdoors and have some fun ! ! !

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Fever

On a recent bicycle ride I stopped and ate my lunch here by the river.  I was thinking then that it would be nice to spend some time here in a canoe or kayak again, as I had when I was younger.  Today was the day.  I put the kayak in here on St Croix River near Gordon and paddled up river about 4.5 to 5 miles.

Nice day to spend not working.  The place I work at has cut hours to 32 hours a week due to a downturn in business.  Today is the day I am off this far.  For those that don't know, soon I will be off full time.

I also paddled up the Eau Claire River from the St. Croix as far as I could go and not make too much work of it.  Beyond the downed trees is one of the local swimming holes called Finstads Bridge.  Local kids come here to swim when parents won't take them to one of the many lakes surrounding this area.  I spent some time there in my youth.

This is still the Eau Claire...but I think you can see where it dumps into the St. Corix from here.

We used to duck hunt this area when we youngsters .  Guess what we called this...The Big Rock...creative huh

Stopped here for a little break and a snack.  The river is a little wider here, so that is what made it good for the ducks.  A nice flyway.

An Eagle nest.  We are fortunate to have many Eagles in our area.  I saw some today, but the pictures didn't turn out well because I was too far away...that and I have a cheapo camera.  Good enough for me though. 

It was nice to be out today.  Spring fever one might say.

Get outdoors and have some fun ! ! !

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Soup's On

With my new found freedom close at hand, not only am I hoping to get some bicycle trips in this summer, but also spending some time in the bush.  Multi day kayak trips and such.  One of the ideas we had was to vacuum pack some soup mix to cook up.  I experimented today with how it would work and it is a go.  A bag of Mrs Grass soup will make a half gallon so I decided to divide it to make 2 cup servings.  This brand comes in many different flavors and is mighty tasty. 

This will be year 3 with this stove.  It has gotten a lot of use and works very well for us.  It is not the smallest out there, but I like it because it is very easy to control the heat.  I looked around for a can of pop to give an idea of the size but we didn't have one in the house, so this bottle will have to do. 

It is a MSR DragonFly model.  It weights in at 1.2 lbs and will burn several different types of fuel  We choose to use white gas.  The burn time with this stove running full bore high with the 33oz  fuel tank filled with white gas is 208 minutes.  Running it with kerosene would extend the run time to 253 minutes, but with that comes a loss of the rate at which it heats.  With white gas this stove will boil 1 liter of water in 3.5 minutes, where as kerosene is 3.9 minutes.  Diesel heats at the same rate of white gas, burns longer at 225 minutes for 33oz, but I think the gas is all around cleaner to deal with.

They make 3 different size fuel bottles for the MSR.  The largest is 33 ounces, another at 22oz and yet another at 11oz.  We use the 33 because there are usually two of us.  I may consider getting a smaller one now.

With only two cups of water used to make this soup, it was boiling very quick.

As I said before, it is very easy to control the heat so simmering the soup was easy.  However, I am curious how much fuel this stove burns with it turned down.  I know it is much less, but what I don't know is how much less. 

To me soup taste especially good on cool rainy days, but it never rains when a person spends time in the backwoods...does it?

We took the bag of soup, which we got on sale for $2.49 at a Farm and Fleet store, divided it into 4, wrapped it in a coffee filter and vacuum packed it.
Ready for the pack.