Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Canyoneering


Tomorrow we leave for Utah. Last years highlights.

Colorado river packrafting

Lee's Ferry. We hike up over and into the desert. 

No texting and driving issues on these roads. But lots of cars at the bottom, no joke.

Re-gearing between activities.

Grand Gulch. 
Sometime on Saturday, Deathrider, Neil and I start the 3rd annual Canyoneering trip.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Explorastory

This is going to be short and without much detail because it's not an adventure it's an exploration.

Ice Capades.

 Bingo. Bombed out building.

 Meat roast. (yes, I had a fork and lunch in my pack)


Lunch site for the return trip.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Go Guerrilla

A gorilla is a type of large African ape. Sure they fight, but that's not why they're called gorillas. When you see them in a tree, they're usually just monkeying around. But a guerrilla (sometimes spelled with one "r"), is someone who belongs to a group of independent fighters. This day we are fighting winter fatigue by riding a little over fifty miles to see newly protected state land with a rock on it.



So you ask yourself, what rock is worth fifty miles in the wind and cold of Minnesota 'spring'. Well it wasn't very cold this day but relative cold means nothing following the winter phucking we just took. So that rock; it's worth the ride so long as you cook up some lunch and hang out with some good buddies. Ride some spring gravel, soak in some sun and take it easy on the skinny tires of a cross bike. 













The large plowed snow berm helps block wind drift so it's all plowed to the west to match prevailing winds. We benefit from its wind blocking abilities for a few hundred yards at a time. 


Half way and munch time on top of a plateau rock behind the standing rock. I'm the only one to cook because I have new 'backpacking' foods I want to try out. 

A 'freebe' on the return route. Cool part is the ice boulder. That large block is all ice.
Who can pass up a cave?
We win the spring riding fight but in the next few weeks it gets nasty and even snows some more. This was mid March so you already know that spring is monkeying around and we all need to gorilla brat and start enjoying spring.

That's enough pun for now.


Monday, April 14, 2014

SnowHome (Quinzhee)

Back in January when it was waist (waste) deep snow DeathRider had the vision that this season would make for an excellent winter kw…™nzi (Quinzhee). With deep snow and deep cold the snow shelter is ideal. 


The trails to it are less than ideal as 11 inches of snow fell the day before and roads are nasty. We have to push (called hike-a-bike) for a few miles and then down into deep snow. 


It was a slog and if it wasn't down hill we both would have dislocated an arm dragging wood. Yes, wood. With 4 feet of snow you can't find anything small to burn.


It's cold but the wind outside is horrendous. It's blowing 15 knots maybe gusts to 18 or more. Temps are in the singles but a large wind break and fire hold the cold back long enough for dinner. I roast some veggie sausages (because they are good and a lot of grease is hard to deal with in winter) and Death goes more Australopithecus and roasts meat on a stick. 


The wind and cold get to us after a short time and the shelter is relatively warm and quiet. We are drawn to it to escape the howl of wind and cold blowing snow. It's sanctuary. We plug the door with my yellow waterproof pack and nest in for the night. 


Some breakfast in bed after a nice night. This was my first overnight in a Quinzhee and it beats a good 4 season tent like a hotel beats sleeping in a car. Temps hardly fell below 20 yet it was -0 or more outside and the wind didn't make it flap like a trash bag. I'm completely sold on snow homes if it's going to be cold.



Up and at em we have to ride back. I have ice diving to get to and Deathrider has plans as well. Friday night camps make extra long weekends at no cost so long as you have fluffy blue down booties. :)



The trail is a little packed in from the trips in to make the shelter, minus a huge snow fall plus two hikers dragging 50 pounds of wood and bikes.


9:30am Saturday and the traditional group photo (sans quitters, you know who you are) at the very end.