Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekend at home

There haven't been many at home weekends this winter. 2 weekends ago our friends Dale and Judy spent about 4 hrs. in the hot tub with us on a Saturday night as we all tried to solve the worlds problems with beer and margaritas (no pics allowed!).

This weekend we stayed home to take care of our grandson.
Decided to do something this weekend I always wanted to do, walk and ski from my front door out the local trail, ski a loop, then come home.
27 miles (Birkie is around 31)
I had to walk the first mile to the Tomorrow River snowmobile trail, ski 7 miles to Tower Rd. Walk another mile to the xc-ski trail, ski the loop, reverse.
Route of walking and Tomorrow River Trail.
Standing Rocks Park
The walking sucked. I wore a pair of hiking shoes and switched to ski boots. Carried a backpack with windbreaker pullover, extra glove, socks and shirt. Water and some energy food rounded out the articles.
Never skate skied with a backpack on but it went fine. Snowed a couple inches while out on the trail. Took about 5 hrs...the walking really slowed me down and having to switch boots 6 times back and forth.
Goal is to get some ideas and prepare for some longer stuff next winter.

In no particular order some shots from the past couple weeks.

Broken ski from skijoring. Not sure when it happened, I just happened to feel the rough sides when I went to wax it and found it broke. When skijoring, I felt that this ski was dragging some but figured it was a embedded stone in the base, but it had lost it's flex and was "digging" at times if I put too much pressure on it.
With the winter over, I justified buying a new pair because I skipped the Birkie this year.
Cost of Birkie weekend: entry fee: $80-100, $120 for gas, $150 for motel (2 nights), etc??
Cost of new skis and bindings: $240 (1/2 price spring sale)

Upper MI. Lake Michigan. Snow dunes. Work road trip.

Had grandson Jason this weekend (another good reason not to leave town). He turns 2 in one day, so we had a little part for him.

He doesn't like to smile sometimes for the camera. Can't wait till spring to try out the trike, or until his feet can reach the pedals.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Madison, WI . Democracy in action.

I drove the 110 miles south of where I live to go see first hand what the ruckus was all about down in Madison, WI. I'm not going to get into the details of THE BILL, but anybody who wants to know about it can easily find out. Just google "walker wisconsin budget repair bill" and you will get more than you ever wished for. If you have FaceBook, this link sums up things rather nicely from my perspective.
My goal for this posting was to just get some pics and see where the day would take me.

I took my bike with me as it was great February day in WI. 30-35 degrees and sunny. Most all of the snow had melted off from the few warm days we had just experienced so I could ride the bike most anywhere I desired.
While riding the 2-3 miles to the Capital building, I started seeing folks walking to a large area. There were buses involved, so I thought it was a staging area for one of the 2 sides that were involved in the political debate.
I was wrong! It was a some kind of fund raiser, WI style.

Further along the bike route the Capital building came into view.
Following are just a flavor of the various signs that people were carrying.
The Union supporters had the most varied and shall I say interesting signs. See if you can tell which signs go with which faction.

Now this was an interesting guy. He was standing on the curb trying to get his point across to the Union protesters. Most of the Bill supporters weren't there to try to out shout the opposition, but to show physical support for the Governor and his Bill.
Security was there to make sure there weren't any serious confrontations. A few folks for the other side stopped marching long enough to give him and some others a piece of their minds, but all in all nobody got out of hand.
Crowd estimates were somewhere between 60-70 thousand. The Union marchers had all but 10 thousand of that, so it was really pointless to try to out shout them, but some tried.

This guy was very proud of his sign. Not sure the Gov. of WI can be compared to these chaps. Say, did he leave out any Cuban or Central American dictators?

2 guys tried to disable a speaker for the TEA Party, a group formed to reduce the size of National Government, combat debt and bring back fiscal responsibility.
No arrests were reported on the day, so they must have left the 2 would be vandals walk. I was somewhat surprised to see that they were as old as they were.
I have to be careful how much I crop my iPhone pics, they down load rotated.

WI Super Bowl party. Why should Green Bay have all the fun?

Maybe he was at the wrong rally.
This maybe made the most sense of all. I had just finshed up a couple beers with some friends that were supporting the Unions (I am a TEA Party supporter) when I was riding back to my Jeep and I go this shot. I had talked to a number of folks throughout the day from both sides about this topic. Greedy Rich are resident in all political parties, are we really just pawns?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

John Beargrease Sled Dog Race

Took in the pre-race festivities and the start of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Race in Duluth, MN on 1-30.

This dog resembles my son's dog except that Cooper has longer legs and a skinnier mid-section than this one. Color/markings are almost identical.

The Musher said this Alaskan Husky has some German Shorthair in it. Name is Copper.
This is my Son's dog, Cooper.
A friend was handling for a Musher of the Mid-distance race, Amanda Vogel, below.

After the "Meet the Mushers" the dogs go back in to relax and settle down till the start of the race.

Jeff Anderson, International Falls, MN. Amanda's Handler.
Different teams heading out.

104, Amanda.


After Chris finished the Arrowhead race, the plan was for him and I to ski and skijor back up to International Falls. Chris was way too tired to attempt this and I got my cold back, so as we had a room reserved at Melgeorge Resort near Orr, MN, we just went up there and did some relaxing skiing. Helen, being from Ireland, had never xc-skied before. She caught on very quickly and seemed to be enjoying herself.

Chris didn't seem to suffer any flashbacks on the same lake from a couple days earlier after crossing during a -27 degree night out on the trail.
Small tree encrusted in snow.
Coop getting a drink.
Come on, let's get with it!
I was born to run!!
Chris the first day.

Relaxing in the cabin after a couple hours of skijoring and sking.

The next day Cooper and I went on an 8 mile loop.
Coop waiting at the door. What a smile!

Had to stop and checkout a squirrel.

Cooper and I the 2nd day.