Friday, November 2, 2012

2012 Elk Hunt

This years hunt greeted us with ultra warm weather and a tough go of finding animals.  Morning temps ranged from the low thirties to an unbelievable 58 degrees one morning.  The animals don't tend to move around too much in that warm of weather.  Jim was able to down a mule deer buck one morning and then it wasn't until Tuesday evening that Scott and I stumbled upon a cow elk that would become the first and only elk in our freezer for the season.  
Though the quarry played hard to get, the hunt is still great because spending time with great friends and family, in the beauty of the mountains is always better than a day at work.  We averaged about about 7-8 miles of hiking with our packs everyday this year.  My pack with all the extra clothing, food, camera, binocs, and supplies for taking care of a downed elk probably weighs about 25lbs.  Tack a 9lb gun on there and you've got quite a load to carry around all day.  Once you down an animal, now you've got meat to carry.  A boned out, meat only, hind quarter of your average size elk weighs about 50-75lbs.  Now toss that in your pack.  One of these years I should plan a backpacking trip right after elk season.  It sure gets you in shape quickly.   

It's time!

Sunrise hits Mt. Sopris

The crew

Not bad scenery

Two does laying in "plain" sight

We got some snow at the end of the week.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

BWCA Bliss

A few weeekends ago my family went on a quick trip to the BWCA.  It had been a while since the whole fam had been up there so we decided it was time to make it happen this year.  We were blessed with an absolutely glorious weekend that fell between two crappy weekends.  We were very thankful for the great weather.  Shoulder season trips in the north woods can be magic or misery depending upon what good man above decides to throw down on you.  This trip to Dissappointment Lake and beyond was one of magic.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Caving Cornfeed

This past saturday, I spent the day in a hole in the ground with my good buddies BK, Josh, Lynn their fam.  Every year the Minnesota Speleological Survey hosts an annual get together at Forestville/Mystery Cave state park.  BK and Josh had been encouraging me to join them for a few years and I was finally able to.  Good times were had!

BK with nice clean caving attire.

The Jump.  A few of us chickened out on advancing through here.  You need to dive across the 60ft deep crevice and land on the small ledge of dirt under the overhang on the left side of the picture.   It was early in the day.  Had this been later, I think we would have went for it.  

Inside the Dragon's Jaw

Ferrying across the lake after Dragons Jaw.  

Josh tasting some bat terds that were stuck on Art's sleeve.  

Janelle works her way through The Formation Route

Josh in the Formation Passage

BK behind Blue Lake

You end up a little dirty

Monday, July 30, 2012

UP Motorcycle Trip - Tahq Falls, Whitefish Pt, Dunes

Next on the trip agenda was to head further east and check out Tahquamenon Falls.  It's a 50 ft drop and about 3-4 times as wide.  This thing dumps a lot of water in a hurry.  After that it was off to the lighthouse and beautiful beach at Whitefish Point.  17 miles offshore from here, the Edmund Fitzgerald and her crew rest on the bottom of the mighty lake.  

After some beach strolling and ice cream eating it was time to make our way towards Grand Marais and the Grand Sable dunes area.  Our original route was to take a series of gravel back roads.  As we began this excursion we found ourselves getting deeper and deeper in sand and logging traffic to the point where it was no longer fun, even on an "adventure bike".  After a brief talk with a logger who informed us that the road got much worse up ahead, we turned around and headed back to the tar route.  

The tar detour got us into Grand Marais an hour later than we had planned but still plenty of time to hit the Lake Superior Brewery for some Pizza before heading out to see the dunes.  

The Grand Sable dunes stretch for 5 miles and drop 300 ft to the shore of Lk Superior.  Around the turn of the century, trees were harvested on top and the logs were slid down the face of the dunes to barges waiting down below.  I wonder if the workers at the bottom got any hazard pay compensation?  

That's some beautiful water

It doesn't look that bad here but it got a lot worse in short order. 

Au Sable Falls

Grand Sable Dunes

More fun than the sand road