Sunday, November 4, 2012

Crosby Diving

I'm so far behind I don't know what I've missed. I'm going to get this stuff up in the next few days but out of order. I have started 3 post and after a few hours on each I dumped them in the digital trash. They sucked. Dull pictures and really weak story. I need to find something fresh to say. Like my last State Park Hike. It was nice but not dramatically different then the last. I could use more human drama.

I had an early morning kayak with Josh that was good and should be easy to post but it's not going to write itself.

Did a Night/Halloween ride over at Lebanon Hills Park on my CycloCross bike. MORC puts on this popular mountain bike ride every year. They get 50 riders maybe more this year. I was suppose to meet 2 buddies at 7pm but I almost pussed out. The 2 hour wait between leaving work and going to the park is a real killer for me. If I go home, I get busy and don't want to stop and go do something else but I push myself and get on the cross bike and ride the 16 miles over to the park. I'm on the wrong bike for most of the trail. I ride the easy stuff and make a few laps before the main group returns and I hang out with the buddies for an hour or so and then ride the 16 miles home. In all it was ~40 miles.

Did a Saturday afternoon ride back at Leb with friends but it's the same story as the Halloween ride only I used my mountain bike and it was daylight. Rode from my place, around Leb, twice, and then home.

That covers the back log of what I've been doing but I'll expand the hike in William O'Brian and the Kayak and somehow have to punch the keys and pull the Badlands story out before it's lost in time.

Today I'm going to get current and get diving.

This morning, Kristen, Terry and I hit the gas about 8am for Cuyuna Range Mine Pits. The van is a jumble of gear like a clearance bin at REI. About 11am we get to the primitive roads leading into the mines. A minivan can haul a load of stuff but high clearance she is not. Kind of a belly dragger.

Maps have been made but they are quite old and the mines didn't have a responsible owner for years so the ATV riders plowed some new roads and 4x4s widen and stabilize the original mine road from being completely overrun with brush and trees so finding your way is mixed at best. I know my way around quite well but only from hours of time in others trucks and my belly dragging van. I didn't get a picture but it looks like 2 deep ruts and a tall grass beam down the middle. Ruts full of water and the beam has rocks that can scratch your belly. Some are barely passable in off road trucks.

We pick a dive site at the end of a long point and have to ride on edge and avoid falling into the lake but we get by if only just.  This is a nice area between two mines.

There are a lot of dive sites. Most are rock cliffs left after the Iron Ore was removes. Many contain small mining remnants like cables, pipes, and telephone poles. Lots of cars, trucks and snow machines falling in or disposed of for various reasons, theft being one of them.

We drop to around 100 feet and look at a large overhanging rock wall when we find an arch of sorts. It's only 10 feet long and maybe 2 feet thick but it's an arch. We return after about 40 minutes for a lunch of hotdogs, snacks and I plan to find a new site to dive. We choose a familiar site but we haven't been in it for maybe 3 years so we go to take a look. I remember an enormous beaver damn but that is all. We drive over and gear up for a second time. The water is behind us down a steep hill.

 A goat trail lead us to water.
 Last minute safety checks.

Not long after we get swimming we run across some tape.

Wait, it's old! It's all stained and has stuff growing on it. We get on with diving.

The water is about 42 degrees. We both have dry suits on and if you look close you can see my buddies yellow tank. We are in one place and not swimming? Why is that? Hummmmm OH! The Sheriffs tape!

It's a car. There is a rock on the gas peddle. It's been in here for about a year. We don't know the story but they are fun to find. 

And on that discovery, Good Bye.

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