Friday, March 13, 2015


Time to put up some pictures of the last few months.  It's been a strange winter, weather wise, but that hasn't stopped us from getting out and having some fun.

Jingle Bear run

Solstice Chase

Merry Christmas

Snowbird and Alta ski trip

Cuyuna Whiteout

Stillwater to the Arcola highbridge on the frozen St. Croix

Wooly trails.  Last of winter?  A day after this ride it was in the 60's.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Bikepack to the U. P. Day 4

I awoke on day four to a steady drizzle.  I hung out in the tent for about an hour before I decided that the rain wasn't going to let up the system was pretty well socked in for the day.  I had a cold oatmeal breakfast and did my best job at packing up a soaking wet camp.  It was the last day and I only had 60 miles to go.

The days route would be mostly gravel and forest doubletrack and it went from Henry Lake to Marinesco where I planned to make a quick stop before heading into a long stretch of unknown road.  After Marinesco I would get on Forest road 523, make a quick side trip to see Yondota Falls, then catch the Ethelwood Grade that would hopefully connect me to M-28 near Bergland.

Fancy breakfast in the tent

2nd breakfast, day old donuts cold coffee

The rain was set in for the day and by the time I reached Yondota Falls I could not get any wetter.  Embracing the rain situation I figured I may as well hike out and see the falls.  It was a neat little cascade that you'd never know was there. 

After the falls I made my way to the Ethelwood grade.  This road turned out to be about 12 miles of completely awesome doubletrack in the middle of nowhere.

It's all you really need.
The Ethlewood narrowed to a mudfest but I was happy to find that it actually did come out the the highway.  About 5 miles down the road, in Bergland, I pulled into the gas station an utter mess and had to have the attendant lady open all my food and drink packages that I bought because I was too damp and slimey to get a grip on anything.  Warmed and refueled, it was time for the final 25 miles up and over the Gogebic range and the long gradual downhill to the Superior shoreline and then a road ride into Ontonagon.

I was greeted at my in-laws with a well deserved beer and a warm shower, all topped off with a hot meal!

The aftermath and bike setup:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bikepack to the UP Day 3

Waking up on day 3, it was nice to know that today's route would be 30 miles shorter than the previous day.  The morning was beautiful and I was looking forward to the quick 3 miles into Park Falls on the Tuscobia Trail.  Regardless of it's condition I had decided that 3 miles was perfectly doable and it was the most direct route to a gas station breakfast burrito and hot coffee.  

Fairly good condition on this section of the Tuscobia

I hit Park Falls and pulled into the first gas station available.  I came out with a muffin, a breakfast burrito, pint of choc milk, a banana and a cup of coffee.  Poured some milk into the coffee to cool it off for fast drinking and slammed down the muffin and banana.  The burrito was too hot and would be my treat 5 miles down the road.  After two full days of riding I was getting settled into the simplicity of ride, eat, drink ride, eat drink sleep.  I had a few miles of tar to get me out of town and then a nice section of gravel. 

The next 14 miles of gravel sounded good to me.

The roadside fresh fruit stand

Some of the only traffic on Blockhouse Lake rd.

A little gnome shrine along Hwy 182

I reached Manitowish Waters early in the afternoon and was ready for some lunch.  This being the last decent sized town before Henry Lake, where I was camping, I also picked up some rice and tuna for supper.
Asian sounded good for lunch at the Market in Manitowish Waters.  Also pictured, tonights dinner.

While planning the trip I made a point to find out where the WinMan trails were located.  Tim Wegner, the trail builder extraordinaire, had done some work on the new trail system and I knew I'd be riding through near the area so I planned to hit a little singletrack en route.  

Things couldn't have worked any better.  I rolled out of Manitowish Waters and hit the trailhead just in time to run into a local member of the trail crew.  I had a unique bike setup and he had quite a unique vehicle.  We immediately started up a conversation and soon after that I was being ferried to the newest section of trail and had a first hand guide of what to hit before I set out down the forest road for Presque Isle. 

The awesome trail work vehicle owned by crew member Rick Gehring.

About 7 miles of great doubletrack riding 

Forest road into Henry Lake Campground in Michigan

Fishing dock on Henry Lake

I rolled into camp with about 45 mins of daylight left and had the entire place to myself.  Quickly got my tent set up and some of my clothing organized for the next day.  The mosquitoes were pretty bad so I was now thankful that I had decided to pack a small tube of deet.  It worked like a charm.  I was also glad that I packed the water purifying tablets because once I finally found the campground water pump, what came out of it, looked like what usually comes out of me.

I was able to get a cell signal out on the dock so I made a call back to Kerry and checked in on a few websites and then had a late dinner before going to bed.  I tried not to think too much about the forecasted storm system that I had heard was moving in for the next day.