The following is a true story, only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


Nature trail
Have you ever wanted to hike down a small creek among the homes of the filthy stinking rich and then packraft your way back to the start point on the larger body of water that said creek feeds.......... well, Purgatory Creek is just that.

didn't get much deeper than this
 After dropping off and locking my bike in a wooded ditch near my rendezvous point, I drove up stream (in my nearly 20 year old van) past a half dozen gated communities to my start point. Not the kind with tacky names affixed to pillars or piles of rocks on either side of the road, but those with bonafide electrically controlled  security gates, and real, working, gas lanterns.
strange looking rock...with teeth

shitty bridge...why not just walk across?
I can't take complete credit for this outing, a while back ArcFlash and myself seemed to come up with the idea about the same time and wanted to check it out together. Unfortunately It didn't happen that way, I got done with work really early and was looking for something to do close to home that wouldn't take too long. I also didn't have much motivation and figured I would bail out on this if it didn't look too fun when I got there. It turned out to be lots of fun and an interesting endeavor. I started at a park near the creek and hiked down a "nature trail" approximately a mile before getting onto the creek.
this little fawn thinks it's hiding...I felt bad for scaring him/her into laying in the water and tried to get it to move. It didn't budge so i left it alone and moved on quickly 

newest toy....Alpaka raft   Scout
Not a house could be seen from deep within the small creek valley but I knew they were there having reconed the area via google maps. Someone along the timeline of development must have had the fortitude to designate this area a green space. Once in the creek I was amazed to see not a single human footprint for the duration of my outing. Surely there would have been some kids playing in it somewhere right? nope. The creek lacks any waterfalls or cliff faces but is beautiful in a Minnesota, summer jungle, type of way. The water was clean in appearance and was void of large amounts of trash...which is always good.
home free 

Near the end, I encountered a fence across the creek and no trespassing signs. There was large hole in the river right, side, so I took it. I had been out for over an hour now and had no intention of backtracking. I was in stealth mode for the remainder of the creek's course. As I neared the Minnesota River the creek got much deeper with a final rock pile marking the point at which the packraft would become necessary. I aired it up within the steep mud banks, concealed from a large house that overlooks the creek, and then quietly slipped away. It wasn't long and I was on the Minnesota, drifting with the fast current. It was about a half mile to my take out at a large bridge and then another half mile overland with a final tromp across a nasty muddy backwater swamp to my bike.

Is this the new place for everyone in the twin cities to take a pic, post to facebook, and think it's unique ?
 As I rode back to my van in my wet and muddy clothing on an inexpensive steel Surly, past homes I would never want to afford........ I could see through the trees and noticed two guys walking down the street like they were headed out to the "links", both wearing white shorts, one with a pink shirt the other light yellow....I surmised they were named Chet or Dirk, maybe Claude and were probably talking about their portfolio's............ It felt good to know I had just been mashing around in the mud and water in their own back yards, so-to-speak,  and with all their money, they were still missing out on something I had just done.        

Monday, May 25, 2015

Straight River

 Spring is a great time for canoeing on Minnesota rivers...the water is usually up and the horse and deer flies have not yet hatched. I received a call from my brother about a day trip he was hoping to do on the Straight River near Faribault. Since my whole family could join in I immediately agreed and the date was set.
To balance things out, Super Y rode with my bro and JB

stop to look at fossils

 Our short 10+ mile jaunt happened on a nice warm sunny day and included my family of five and my brother and his friend. The river was a bit low but made no difference in the amount of fun we had. The Straight is not a very wide river and has lots of turns, small rapids and scenic cliff faces along it's banks.
Lunch time

another fossil ...different location

 With lots of time allowed for the trip, we brought along a grill,  food and snacks, and took a nice long break on a sandbar. Along the way stopped a couple times to check out some fossil beds and interesting cliff faces. Due to proximity and the scenic terrain we'll definitely be back on this river again.
After trolling for most of the day G Man catches a bass...on the season opener no less

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sakatah Revisited

 A few years back I took my middle son Super Y,along with his friends and mine,on an overnight bike trip on the Sakatah Trail near Faribault MN. My other two boys wanted "in" on the trip but they would have to wait. Finally it worked out, and the four of us were packed up and rolling toward the campground on a Saturday afternoon.
Got to see someone being airlifted on the ride out to camp 

DIY aluminum trailer built about 15 years ago, used on one trip to Canada, mothballed 15 and half years ago.

The campsite for cyclist at Sakatah State Park 
  Last time, to haul a large amount of gear I took the Burley trailer, this time I used my array of Revelate bags and  my old DIY aluminum single wheeled trailer, coupled to my Surly (1X1) 1X9. Luckily the ride was short,since we got a late start we arrived just before dark with enough time to gather some fire wood and set camp. Dinner was bratwurst, with sugary drinks and treats.

  It rained that night and was done just before we wanted to get up and rolling (9ish). A quick breakfast was had and we were packed and on the trail. Although the ride and camp-out were relaxed and straight forward it's a great to get out and have some fun afield with my boys.
Throwing sticks and logs in the river is a must

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Urban Camp-Out

 Recently........ a few Imperialists and myself, got together for an overnight, urban camp-out in the great city of Lavender Town.
Break...hiding his bike in the mouth of the cave


It's an urban we rode through urban areas
  We gathered less than ten miles from the actual camping spot but rode around for a couple hours to make the riding portion legit. On our way we stopped off at a cave to do a little exploring, upping the ante of our in town adventure.
bikes represented....Krampus, Cross-bike, the Moonlander 

home sweet home ....for the night

 .A little after 7pm we arrived at our destination and set camp. The area chosen was in a beautiful setting next to river, but filled with junk, some of which was very useful. Looking past the sea of pop bottles and other items that floated in, the amenities included a picnic table, garbage can, stone fire ring, table and chairs, as well as a viewing platform ( a couple boards nailed up in a tree).
Early morning view from my tent 

AF's tarp tent...fully enclosed , made from one 10x10 tarp , a stick, some small rocks and some twine....super awesome!

Apparently our camp ground is called "Peaceful Plaza"
 With all that it sounds like a state park camp wasn't. It was merely a bunch of shit someone probably rolled down the embankment and then gathered up to make an improvised other words.......It was perfect. The four of us stay up way past our bed-times and B.S.ed around the fire telling stories and cooking. In the morning we broke camp early skipped breakfast and bid farewell.
I like to sleep in on a Saturday , but seeing the water like glass was totally worth getting up early 

Monday, April 6, 2015


First ride...what better place than the riverbottoms?
 A couple yeras ago I sold off my first generation Moonlander. I did this to fund a Krampus and I didn't really love the bike. It wasn't long before I was pining for those big fat tires once again. My previous Moonlander was a medium and was to too short in the cockpit. That required a long ass stem and like three feet of seat post. The crank-set's q factor is too wide for my knees which was the tipping point for it's sale. Also the build on the stock "Lander" pretty much sucks and is really heavy...namely the crankset,which is like one of those big chunks of billet aluminum that no body ever bothered to machine down to make it light..

Already took it out on it's first camp-out too
  For my current build, I scored a brand new 20"frame/fork sometime in August, that was frame saver-ed as well as the head tube and BB faced and tapped. The rest of it came together from the local bike swap in February, like old Juicy Ultimate brakes, a brand new 40 dollar big fat larry, a brand new  E 13 crank and BB ,for 40 bucks, a saddle for 20, and on and on. I also robbed some stuff off of my other bikes. The thing that really makes the Moonlander swell is the use of the E13 fatbike crank in the 100mm version. It only has about 3-4 mm of clearance from the chainstays, but it does not touch. I've been beating the piss out of it for the last week and a half and I have not been able to get the crank arms to strike the stays....I'm happy with the "regular" fat-bike q factor and so are my knees. This bike is the shit.

The following photos are fond memories of my old "Moonie"
Moonlanders float really well but I'm not doing this least for a while

Lake Superior


Monday, March 30, 2015


Yeah...Corky is such a bad ass he rides two bikes
 Recently the weather here in the twin cites warmed to above normal temps just before going back into the crapper, covering everything in snow. For about a week we saw 60 to 70 degree days and all the snow was gone and things were drying out. I was out for a solo ride in a pretty amazing area when the idea for an over-night camp out began calling my name. Spring and fall seem to be the best times here in Minnesota....basically when the bugs (mosquitoes) are all dead and it's not to cold to enjoy lazing around a campfire in pants and a sweatshirt. A call-out to the Imperial Fat-Bike Riders Group was sen,t and details were set for the following Friday.

fan out

most of you locals know where this is....sssssshhhh

some of you don't know where this is 
  Four of us left my house in the late afternoon and arrived about an hour and a half later at our destination....a large mass of sandstone. I had not camped here before but have been visiting this site for well over twenty years. In those years the area has seen massive changes, mostly for the better, but along with that you can't really just do what you want anymore. Back in the day we used to hunt on this land, drive four wheel trucks, smash things and shoot items like bottles and TVs. Now, that's not accetpable and we were going stealth. Stealth meaning.....we would go into the woods, out of sight, build a small fire after nightfall, clean up all of our trash, and for the most part, leave no trace of our being there.  It was a fantastic night hanging with old friends Corky and ArcFlash as well as getting to know how freakin cool and funny Lizard Man is.
Heck yeah we bring cheese cake

take my word for it....the sunset was spectacular 

meat on a stick

Lizard Man and Corky
  The next morning was chilly, around freezing...a good 30 degrees colder than when we rode in and windy to boot. AF and Lizard Man took off early due to commitments. Corky and I had a little more time to kill and took a longer route home. Our plan to get a nice sit-down breakfast was foiled by my error in the location of a cafe' I had my mind set on. We had to settle for Mc Donalds.....ick, which was just fine for both of us. We were very cold and pretty hungry when we sat down in the warm building. After breakfast we had just a few more miles and we were back at my house.......completely satisfied with a sub 20 hour bicycle inspired camp-out. This is why I love the over-nighter...I get my rejuvenating "fix" and I'm home before most of the family has even had breakfast.  By the snowed that night (Saturday), which sucked, but also made me feel like pulled a fast one on mother nature.

Sunny and beautiful, but cold and windy

Micky D's in  Awful Valley