Thursday, May 31, 2012

2012 Tour de Cure

Team Gitchigumi Gear Mashers are at it again.  We will be in Minneapolis MN this weekend for the Tour de Cure.  It is a charity bicycle ride for diabetes.  Although riding for a good cause in an event like this is in itself reason enough to participate, the company provides an excellent bonus.  We will have the same size group this year, but Janice will not be riding and Brandon's wife Rebekah will be.  The above picture was from a multiple sclerosis we had ridden. Although the MS ride is a lot of fun, and I have personal friends that suffer from it, diabetes has family connection.  My mother suffers from diabetes as well as her six sisters.  During this event, any person that rides and also suffers from diabetes is referred to as a Red Rider.  The girl pictured above in the pink jersey has diabetes.  She is the captain of our team and I am proud to be riding with a Red Rider.

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Headed home

 Sorry for the delay getting this last segment in about the camping trip.  We have spent the last several days at the cabin which translates to no computer connection.  For that matter, very sporadic cell service, 1 or possibly 2 TV stations and that is sporadic also.  It's not necessarily a bad thing, but I do miss not being able to keep up on the blogs and other stuff.  Not the TV though.  The on button was was not pressed even one time in the days we were there.

It's a great place to press the reset button of life.

On the last morning of the bicycle camping trip, I awoke at Wisconsin Pattison Falls State Park with the weather threatening.  As I was packing up the Park Ranger stopped by.  "Where you off to?" he says.   When I told him I was heading to Gordon, his eyes rolled upward.  "In this? We are supposed to get some weather you know," was his reply.  I told him I had rain gear.  "Well, good luck with that," and off he drove.  He had a good demeanor, was fun to talk with and was only letting me know what was on the way.  After all, the weather service was calling for rain and thundershowers.  I didn't take many pictures that day because of the rain, but I had to load one up anyhow.  In the 6 hours it took me to get home, I only had rain a couple times.  I could see the heavy stuff coming, so it was then I suited up.  I would no sooner get suited up and it would quit.  It seemed as though I was on the edge of the showers all the way home.  I really couldn't complain about the amount of rain I experienced on the whole trip.   Couple times, but nothing torrential.  It was a great trip and fun to get out.   Next post will be on some gear.

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bicycle Camping

 Day three was an easy day.  I headed from Amnicon Falls State Park to Pattison Falls State Park.  It was only a 20 mile ride.  It did feature many dump trucks though.  They were blacktopping one of the highways I would eventually end up riding.  I am guessing when I say I encountered near 30 of them. Out of the 30, only one driver didn't give me much room, even though he had room to give.  I don't know why people have to be that way, but some are.  Oh well.

 It is a pretty good climb up out of the Lake Superior basin.  Duluth, MN is the far ridge in the above picture.

 I walked the nature trails and picked up two geocaches while there.  There are two major falls here in Pattison Park.  The above is just what it says...Little Manitou Falls.  These falls are on the Black River.

 The above is a pic of the Big Mantiou Falls.  This is the largest waterfall in the state of Wisconsin.  The weather was great today.  There are more than 50 campsites at this park and there were an unbelievable 2 others campers than myself.    

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

More Bicycle Camping

 I didn't sleep well the first night out.  The thunder was crashing until about midnight, although we didn't get any storms creating damage.  I had listened to the forecast before I went to bed and it said the wind was to be very strong from the direction of travel for the next day.  I awoke at 4AM with the wind howling, the tent making noise and I was waiting the the sun to rise.  I was up at 5:30, had a bite to eat, packed and on the road a little after 6AM hoping to cheat some of the wind.  Didn't work. :-)  lol  Mile 18 today had me sitting in Iron River having breakfast, coffee and chatting with the locals.

 One of the snack spots of the day.  More chatting...this time with trout fishermen.

 If as though the wind was just not quite enough of a test, there were also several steep grades today.  Many of these hills come from the numerous rivers, creeks and small streams making their way to Lake Superior.  

 This abandon house sitting in a field really doesn't look that bad.  the roof is still straight anyhow.

 This part of the highway features some very nice farm land and views across Lake Superior.  Today, it also provided room for the wind to gain speed and with it bring the coolness of the big lake.  It was a struggle to maintain any speed, as the wind was doing the talking today.  I could hear it! :-)

Speaking of wind, I stopped here at the Davidson Windmill with 50 miles in and only 5 more to go for the day.  This windmill has been refurbished and maintained by some of the locals.  It was built in 1905 by Finnish immigrant Jacob Davidson.

 The last 3 miles should have been easy with the wind helping, but after over 50 miles of fighting the wind, I really couldn't take advantage of it for some reason.  Have I mentioned how windy it was today?  This was my stop for the day.

 This was my campsite at Amnicon.  The person that checked me in was very helpful.  She suggested this site because it had a tent spot, some grass and as a bonus, it had a lot of firewood.  

 To the great park employee I am thankful, because I needed that firewood by the late afternoon.  The  coolness of Lake Superior was easily reaching this far out.

 There are a lot of picture opportunities at Amnicon Falls State Park.  I can't even begin to think how many images are taken from this park.  I chose these next two because this little falls is missed by many.  It is called Now and Then Falls.  The river is probably over 50 feet wide here where this little ribbon of water breaks off...when the water is plentiful.  The name is chosen because it isn't present all of the time.  Only now and then.

 That little ribbon of water leads to this...The Now and Then Falls.

 I sat many places to take in the view.

IMO, Amnicon Falls is a gem that it is often overlooked...especially by the locals.  And...the park personnel are very knowledgeable and fun to chat with.  I will post up another when I get some time.

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bicycle Camp

 Last week I headed out for a 4 or 5 day bicycle camping trip.  I really didn't know how long I would stay out and decided to play it by ear.  I waited until the sun got up higher in the sky before I left home, as I knew I was heading east.  I am not fond of riding into the rising or setting of the sun.  It can be dangerous.

 I headed east out of Gordon, WI on Douglas County highway Y towards the Barnes area. I was surprised by the lack of traffic on this road. I had expected it to be busier than it was.  One elderly gentleman that was driving towards me waved me down.  He was excited that he had just seen a newly born Whitetail Deer fawn.  He thought traveling by bicycle was an easy way to spot them. 

 I pulled into Mooney Dam for a midday snack .  Great place to sit and relax.  It is a county park with a few campsites and a boat landing to the Eau Claire lakes chain.

 When I crossed over a channel between two lakes I noticed fish below the bridge.  They appeared to be Large Mouth Bass.  Lots of them!!

 I entered into the Chequamegon National Forest while riding on Bayfield County highway N.  There are some great mountain bike trails in this forest...great road riding too for that matter.

 Highway N

 I had stopped at Drummond and picked up snacks and then headed north on the Delta Drummond road.  Even though it was early in the afternoon, I decided to stay at Perch Lake campground.  It is a National Forest campground that today was in need of some maintenance.  The bear had been in and strewn garbage out through the woods.  The garbage container stunk something fierce.  It's no wonder they were attracted to it. 

I cooked up some dinner, some coffee and headed down to the shore with the journal and a book.  Whether kayaking, walking the bush or whatever, I have found these little lightweight tripod chairs are great to bring along. 
 In the evening I watched a pair of loons while we got some rain showers.

All in all...a great day all the way around.  I will post more later.

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


 It has been a while since I posted up...for a variety of reasons.  I have been riding putting on some miles preparing for some touring this summer.  I am hoping to begin a quick 4 or 5 day trip this coming Monday.  The above shows some of what I will be bringing.  It looks like a lot, but in reality it isn't.  It packs down small. In fact, the BOB trailer has space left. I will try to post up a ride report after the mini trip.

As of late, I have been riding the bike I plan on touring with.  I have made some small trips with it in the past, and it is probably not ideal, but it will do.  I have made some changes to it and it is working well so far.

 With our first grandchild here, I have made a couple rides up to visit.  It is close to 19 miles one way from the house and makes for a great ride.  It is mostly quiet country roads...with a new bridge over the Moose River!

 The bridge is newer than the bike.  Sad, as this is the third bridge put here in my memory.  I guess I should have taken a pic of the complete bridge...maybe next time.

The Moose River from the bridge. 

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!!