Saturday, April 4, 2015

Not Hasty at All

I'm getting in the habit of explaining how or why I'm so slow to refresh this blog. I'm behind 7 at this very moment. This is January 3rd's post and I'll post every time I can because I'm getting tired of trying to remember what happened and others asking what's going on followed by a Fecesbook intervention that helped me see how I'm just hurting everyone around me by not posting to it. Blame my buddy, BreakTime.

Time to tell a tail of how 5 bloke's bush bashed their way a few dozen miles over ice and reed to have lunch and then ride home. The first photo is ice so thin I had to scout if it would even hold our weight and then return for my bike as my buddies use the trail. It held but not without an ear full of cracking. The second photo is the last of a dry foot crossing.
This is the trail we came fore. Ripping double track in deep woods and miles of it. An absolutely ripping good time. The Mayor and Best In Shoe take to blazing the trail. Deathrider, Corky and I form the remaining peloton.

This is a photo op and nature break. There was a split in the trail and we needed to regroup after finding the primary line of weakness through the woods.
We drop out of the woods and grab a bit of river trail. Snowmachines already tested the ice so it's ok for us but all things revealed I'd rather not be on river ice. If I have too, I need to see the ice and be able to assess the quality directly. With snow cover, it's Norwegian Roulette and you're going to die of exposure. (We have a plan if it happens to one of us)
 Corp of Engineers dam I suspect but it makes a proper trail crossing to the better ice just south of us. We are moving more by land and hunting for any discovery of future camps or adventure jump offs.
At times we are forced to cast. That's a tracking term whereby members spread out and report trail or track quality. This leaves some member the job of anchoring the end of the last trail. In scuba, it's called "the point of lostness". Sounds silly but knowing where the last place you 'know' marked is very helpful to getting back into the map that's in your head. "I came from there"
Back out on the lake we roll with reserved speed. We have no place to go and we are just taking in the day. This is a warm day for January and we are already sick of winter and looking for any way to enjoy a moderately warm day.

ATV's have bashed this trail otherwise we wouldn't do something like this. I'm not against ATV's but this isn't responsible and its going to get the attention of the fun police.

 Drag race to lunch.
 Roadside attraction. You have to be impressed by a huge tree root ball that's only 2 feet thick. What's in the ground below us? A slab of granite?
Ok, lunch and the turn around time for the group [Corky already turned when the day went long]. Big, cold fighting fire, lunch of meat on a stick and a few hot bevs. We are all very happy to eat all the food we have because the best way to carry food is in our tummy's.
 I'm really starting to like this Esbit (solid fuel) kit. It's too small for a multi-day but it's great for wind and a few water boils. I'm making hot cider to wash down some meats.

Below: Gnome! (its a face) I have developed an interest in finding these creatures of nature. I'm convinced that if you spend enough time in the woods you start to see the face of nature looking back at you. If you think that's a bit of fun you're short a few hundred hours of hiking because it's true.
Always looking for shelters and a way to get away from man-made and into more skill based, 'live in the land' camping this could make an awesome shelter with a tarp or maybe a lot of downed wood and sticks. Add a tiny fire and you would be almost comfortable.

 The return route is shortened for time but puts us on some bad ice that probably takes more time.
This is an uncross-able log jam. It's best we couldn't cross it because we would have been trapped on the wrong side of open water. I try and cross the ice in front and behind and I got onto ice that was maybe an inch thick. Enough that I called to Deathrider to watch and help me retrace my steps and my foot went though and my heart rate went up. Normally, I'm in a dry suit and it's fun, this was near panic.
This ice is rotten but it's also shallow, maybe knee deep. Cold and unpleasant but by no means dangerous. We all make great effort to keep dry feet. Little do we know the river we crossed at the start is now flowing with melt.

Below: This is the river and it's knee or more deep. We have to ride though it and get soaking wet feet. I slide on the ice and splash around trying not to fall ass first into the river. I narrowly avoid going for a full swim but we are less than a mile so I don't have long in my now, very, wet clothes. 
We didn't ride far and we didn't ride fast and I didn't post it for 4 month. It was fun, that's what really matters.

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