Showing posts from August, 2009

BWCA Trip 2009- Preview

In the upcoming days and weeks the blog will feature the 2009 BWCA narrative. This year's sojourn in the border waters starting at South Hegman Lake was wet, muddy, rugged, and cool.
This year's trip included a lot of portages, a few rivers, plenty of history, and a rabid waterfall.
The series should begin in earnest after the last entry in the bike tour saga- which I surmise will be around this weekend.

The things that happen when you are away

I went on my annual respite to the border lakes region of Minnesota last week. It was wet, muddy, rugged, and cool. No drama this year- unless you count the minor annoyances of not finding a campsite after paddling for 6 hours and portages over a mile. I also misplaced my wallet for a while but providence broke through each time. I'll detail the trip later for you BWCA enthusiasts.
However, the point of this post is to respond in a surprised manner at how much the world changed when I was alone in the wilderness.
Let me begin with the first piece of news- Brett Favre is a Viking. Yes, old news to most now but when I got to Ely on Saturday morning and saw Brett in Purple on nearly every paper, I flipped out. I had thought this story was dead and buried. Apparently it resurrected itself.
Next, Scotland decides to release a terrorist on what the government calls "compassionate grounds." Abdel Baset al-Megrahi was serving a life sentence for a Pan-Am airplane bombing 20 years a…

The perfect blendship- man in front of train station

Man arrives from someplace. But from where?
Perhaps it is Vulcan. His hat covers his ears and he spoke exclusively in logic. Although I am not sure why he would smile.

"I am Segue." he uttered, "I am a disc jockey."

The perfect blendship- woman with backpack

The green backpack followed her out the door and then to Finland and other European points including Italy.
I think she is saying- "Thanks." And then let's out a chortle.

The perfect blendship- kids in a tent

Took these kids over a hour to set up the classic Eureka! Timberline.
Once they were done, everything was okay.

Tour de Valli: Stage 7 to Hunter

The following is the continuing narrative of my North Dakotan bike tour in early July.
I stuck around the Sibley Crossing Campground long enough to shower. It was Sunday. A slow day for some. The beach was littered with debris from last night's fun. You could have made a bonfire from it.
After the cleaning ritual and packing I set out across Ashtabula.
A paper handbill stuck out to me at the campground office the other night. It was for a restaurant that offered a Sunday brunch. The establishment, Kelly's Crossing, was on the other side of the lake at the east crossing. Hunger drove me to take the shortest route on gravel through the wind farm in the late morning heat.
The wind turbines seemed to go on for miles. That morning only a few the giants were turning. Because of the emptiness of the range, the wind farm resembled something from a post apocalyptic novel. I was peering upon the last energy reserves of a once great society. Alas, that's not true.
The jaunt through the …

Tour de Valli: Stage 6 to Sibley Crossing

The following in the continuing narrative of my solo bike tour in North Dakota in early July.
It was July 4th. It never seems special anymore since I am usually on the road to somewhere. Well, last year I was actually at a celebration at a friend's homestead. I even met up with a rock star that evening.
Today I met a motor cycle couple from Iowa. They had pitched camp next to me at the campground. We talked a little about biking. They mentioned RAGBRAI, a popular (if not legendary) tour in Iowa from the Missouri to Mississippi River. I had read about it a number of years ago in Outside magazine. We also discussed the flooding in Fargo and in Iowa.
After chatting I headed to the actual Pioneer Village next to the campground. This collection of old buildings with associated antiques is quaint and free. There was even a building they called "Louis L'Amour Writer's Shack," which featured artifacts from the prolific author's original hovel for writing. If you did not…

Boy reporter learns Vikings will not be in Super Bowl

Finally the Brett Favre "is going to play for the Vikings" saga is over. The man decided to stay retired and enjoy the endorsement checks he still receives. (Doesn't he endorse some deodorant? You don't need to be a playing pro football to say "I sweat but this stick makes me smell better.")
Nonetheless, it was not a joyful day last week, when Favre made known his intentions, for one Vikings boy reporter. When handed the AP News release, he burst into tears and muttered "The Vikings will not be in the Super Bowl." He could not be consoled until Brad Childress spoke with him. It is suspected Brad promised the boy a pony.

Tour de Valli: Stage 5.5 In Jamestown

Being larger than I expected, I was a bit disorientated once I got into the downtown. The James River, which runs through town, had flooded this spring and dikes were still standing. The James apparently is the longest un-navigatible river in the world. At least that's what the wiki says. I think you could probably canoe many of the 710 miles.
I wanted to get a camping spot firest and then look around town. However, I ended up looking for a camping spot not knowing where I would find one.

I had originally planned to camp at a primitive place north and west of town but I too scant notes to be able to find it. I tried a city park, McElroy Park. I went further east. No go. I used the Nuvi and it began to take me west. I climbed another hill, passed the Super Wal-Mart, then got directed down a dirt road where I proceeded to wipe out fall over the front handlebars due to the new gravel. I wasn't hurt, but frustrated. I continued down the road until it turned into a prairie road. This…