Thursday, August 31, 2006

A couple of more North Shore shots

I had a few requests for a closer shot of Devil's Kettle. It's the scariest thing I have seen on a river. The other photo is my favorite of the trip. The Sawtooth Mountains.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Proof of the fish story

OK Here's my big fat bass out there for all to see. He was a keeper all right! Between 7 of us we filled a five gallon pail with small mouth bass. Great day fishing!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Gunflint and the North Shore Trip

I had a great trip to the north land! I arrived on the Gunflint to join my friends Wednesday evening. Thursday we spent fishing on Bearskin. We took two boats out and our boat, with Melissa, Elizabeth and I, caught almost nothing but large bass. Lots of them! We ate very good that night. We discovered that the best seasoning for grilled bass is to grill a rib eye steak along side. The taste was incredible! The steak was good also!
Friday was cloudy and rainy so we went to Grand Marais so Shirley could get on line to check her classes. The surf was huge! But my kayaks were back on the Gunflint. So when we got back we went trout fishing on Leo. Miguel caught the only trout. I caught another big bass. Again we all ate great! That night Melissa and I got our rears kicked in Euchre. We won one game though.
Saturday my friends had to head back home so I moved my camp to Grand Marais hoping to get in on the big surf action from the day before. When I got to town all was pretty calm. I pitched camp and headed for Paradise beach to try to find some of those Paradise beach agates I've always wanted. What I found was the surf starting to come up. There was a small squall off shore kicking up a few waves. This time I was prepared and surfed the rest of the afternoon. I really had a blast!
Sunday was spent kayaking the 6 inch waves and roll practice. Then I headed out to find those agates. I found alot of them and one really nice prize agate about the size of a small chicken egg. Beautiful! Then I hiked to Devil's kettle and spent the night star gazing on the beach.
Each time I go to the North Shore it calls to me. I really feel at home on the beaches there and I was not anxious to return home. I can see myself retiring in a small cabin on the shore with wood heat and solar power. An old fashion wood cooking stove in the kitchen. Ah but I dream...maybe someday.

Big surf
Little surf

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Happy 21st Birthday Shane!

Stopped at the Verm today...

I stopped for a quickie after work today. It's really low, low, low. A summer low with lots of green moss growing. Triple was barely there as was RR. Donut was gone. Still it remains just a beautiful float down the river. The water was clean and cold. I did shed some of the work tension I had accumulated during the day. I think as it turned out that I was meant to be on the river today as everyone I talked to was interested in getting into whitewater or was just starting out. To everyone I talked to today...I hope you follow up on your whitewater desires. Follow the Rapidsriders board to see when a group of us are heading that way and feel free to join us. To get your gear in line I have to say talk to Peter at Midwest Mountaineering. He's a great help and source for information.
My Zen moment of the day was sliding across Donut and having thousands of shiney minnows leaping in the air and landing on my boat. They were just in the Donut area, no place else that I saw them on the river. Beautiful!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Time to bike?

Well the rain dance didn't work..oh warming..don't cha just love it? In my efforts to screw the oil companies and contribute to the fight against global warming I dusted off my bike and am going to ride it when I need something around town. My first ride today was to my local grocery. Now I can kayak for hours and blade 20 miles with no problems but biking was a little more work. I was using different muscles that don't always get the workouts they should. That'll change now. My neighbor who is 62 can ride his bike 80 miles a day! Now that's something!
Next chance of rain (just a big tease from the weather people) is due on thursday. I'm hoping that something (da Verm) will come up for my big day off on friday. If not it'll be Taylors. Gotta get my kayak wet!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Verm is just too low...

I went to the Verm this morning and though Donut, RR and Triple are still Lou Rawls sang..."the thrill is gone" It's at a great begginers level for surfing but I seem to need a little more. I have always gone down at this level before just for the exercise factor as I'd much prefer this to the YMCA but I think my blades need more miles on. The next few days have rain forcasted. I hope it hits the Verm watershed. I'll be held close to home for the next two weeks as I start my heavy work schedule thursday night. Yep...I'll miss Jim Falls and Wausau this weekend. Oh well I'll be there for the last Wausau release.
Cha cha cha...Shake a shake shake...twist, turn, cha cha cha...<--rain dance!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The last four days kayaking...

I've spent the last four days at the Verm. The last rain brought the Verm up to a peak of 171cfs. It's been just great summer surfing. These four days have seen a big change in my kayaking ability. At the higher level trashing is a common occurance and my combat roll is starting to be a little reliable. Thus I was really throwing it around...lots of fun! The level of the river has fallen but not quite as low as the gauge says. Still fun play on Donut but RR is a little tame.

Dragon Boat Racing

These are some photos of my son, Shane, Dragon Boat racing. He races for Burns Construction each year and each year they take first place. I Dragon Boat raced for 3 years and it's good to see my son carring on the family tradition. It's a blast!

Shane and his cousins Devin and AJ.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Goltz

Nate and Emily's first paddle as a married couple...gotta love em! Congratulations!

Verm at 171cfs

The Verm was incredibly sweet today. Did a morning and an afternoon run. With the lack of running water this year everyone was really tearing it up! I jumped in and was surfing RR with 171cfs the highest I've played it. Wow! So much fun! I even got a little air today for the first time. There are things that happen that you know you immediatly like and that was one of them. I don't know how it happened but I'm going to try to figure this out and get some more;-) I did get a good window shade on RR that knocked the paddle out of my hands breifly. I was able to grab back onto the paddle with one hand but had to swim. I got a good combat roll in but celebrated too early and the "squirrels" took me down again.
Having been on bigger water this year the Verm at times looks a little small. But it's days like this that is what the Verm is all about. The good people that gather is what give the Verm it's subtle charm. The positive energy that's expended remains even when the water has subsided. Much like the memories I'll retain will be that of the people more so than the gnar hole or move.