Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lower St. Louis

I headed up to the North Shore today for a busy agenda. Bryan, Dave, Graeme, Pike and I were going to run the Lower St. Louis today. I headed up early with hopes of some morning surf. When I arrived at Stoney it was just barely starting to form...not enough yet to get wet for but I could tell it was coming. I went instead to check out Dave's new house...very nice! We all met up at the Outpost. Bryan was getting his new boat wet for the very first time. Graeme for his first run of the Louis. We had all agreed that it was to be an easy take our time and enjoy the river kind of day. We scouted. Took photos. We had just a wonderful day. Evening was falling as we pulled off the river. What a great group to paddle with! A bit of carnage with our group, a thumb and a few scrapes on the razor rocks. I personally only tore the neck gasket on my dry top...I had wondered why I had gotten so wet and cold. Oh well, more shopping! Oh and yes that's another new helmet. I bought a WRSI with the face shield. It fits great. I wondered how constricted my vision would be but I'm happy to say there isn't any problems there. On the whole I'm very glad I bought it. I think it looks great also! First photo is Bryan getting in his brand new boat!

Da boys dropping into the Hanging Pool.

Graeme on Octopus
Dave, Bryan, Pike, Nora, and Graeme on the First Sister, also known as the Twisted Sister.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Final Flow 08

Ever have a season you just didn't want to end? The music stops but the feelings remain like like a soft breeze randomly tickling you? You can't see it but you know it's there. The memories of the year flitting thru your mind like fall leaves? This year at Wausau was beautiful. So much growth! There were so many new people discovering the play park this year for the first time. It was great to see! The regulars getting sooo good! The new design is just wonderful! So much thanks to Julie who makes this happen for everyone! Dan "The rescue man" what a great job! Dan has been growing his own team of rescue swimmers and they're becoming incredible! Mike has done alot of work with the design and it's really great from top to bottom now! Cole has done a fantastic job this year and he just keeps getting more great ideas for next years Freestyle Championships! Thanks to all the people on the board. I don't know all of them but thanks to Alon and Dave for all the time and work you do to make this such a great place! I'll miss seeing everyone of you until next year. Have a great off season!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

RapidsRiders Vermillion River Clean Up!

Fantastic! Is how I would describe the entire day today! 24 fantastic people showed up and did a fantastic job of cleaning the Verm on the last day of summer...the weather was...of course...fantastic! I arrived this morning before 9am to find 2 men waiting for me ready to start the job. More and more people kept showing up and heading down to the river. Dead wood was removed from the trails and the clean up got underway. Fewer bikes this year than any other year I've seen! Only 6! Some of the things found were TV's, computer, mattress, socks, shoes, underwear, skateboards, battery, giant snowman and pumpkin, booze bottles and a porno stash? We even pulled a motorcycle out of fishermans pool! Mike J. brought a retired climbing rope and they set up a great pull to remove the bikes and big trash from fishermans pool. Check out the awesome videos!! These kayakers rock!! The crew had all kinds of energy and enthusiasm! Quite alot was accomplished today! Lunch was served followed by the drawing. With the swag we recieved from NRS, 3M and the Classic Rosewood Inn there was enough swag that everyone got something! Thanks to our sponsers! After our lunch we had a kayak was a playboat! We used a canoe paddle for whacking. Too much fun! Thanks to everyone that came! The photos and video are from my camera but I gave it to Bryan Z to run down on the river while I held down the food. Thanks Bryan for the awesome photos! Also thanks Alex for the great videos! Check Bryan's blog out for his photos from the day Also Rosie has some great photos on her blog... Again thanks everyone and pray hard for some rain!

Alex took these videos. They show how to pull trash out of deep silt.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bouldering at Midwest Mountaineering

I made a trip up to Midwest today and spent a bit of time in the cave. I haven't done much bouldering but I gave it a try. There was a young man bouldering there...he was very good! I'm always amazed at how just the littlest pointers help so much. So many fine nuances to climbing! Again there was the mental aspect. While bouldering without a spotter I was cautious. Joel offered to spot me and I went twice as far over the roof. Learned a little tonight and had fun. BTW the sales at Midwest are insane. I'm surprised I made it out of there without the Federal Government having to bailing me out. I may go back...I've been on an insane gear shopping binge. Not just gear but I've been doing home improvement also. Ahhhh well...It has to rain soon!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Shirley and I headed to Barns Bluff for her second time climbing. The first time she learned how to belay. Today she got a crash course on lead belyaing...I'm happy to say she passed! She did fantastic! I set the rope and we climbed for about 2 hours trying different routes. Jenna's Chimney is a fun climb. A couple more weeks of climbing and we'll try moving on to some of the harder routes. Beautiful evening for sure!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Red Wing Climbing Again!

Today I hooked up with the Wednesday Rocks Climbers Lisa, Richard and Ron and did some climbing on Barns Bluff. I really enjoyed it alot. With water nonexistent right now it's been great going back to climbing. To climb how I'd like to be able to climb I know I need to dedicated more time in every week. The one thing that really hooks me on climbing is the mental factor. You really get to understand alot of how your mind works and how it affects your ability to climb. I think on the whole conditioning your body is easier than the mental conditioning. I love a challenge!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Red Wing Climbing!

Today was one of those days where there is no doubt that things happen for a reason. I took my friend Shirley up to teach her how to belay for me. I was pretty nervous as I would have to lead climb. As it turned out there were two nice young men just getting ready to climb Jenna's. We talked a bit and I asked if they would do me a favor and use my rope and just leave it up for top roping. It was great. Shirley did great belaying me and then she did what she said she wouldn't do. She climbed! And she did great!! It's the best feeling in the world to see someone discover a new passion. Esp. one that we can share! Shirley overheard the funniest thing while I was climbing. An older man was walking by with a woman and he saw us and said "That's a women's sport???" She said "YES..that's a womens sport!" What a great afternoon! BTW please pray for rain! I have only Friday off and I'd sooo love to hit the Verm!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Winter is Coming!

Wow...with no water I've been doing work around the house trying to get everything in line for the coming winter. This also includes getting ready for my winter sports. The U of M in Minneapolis has great reasonable climbing clinics and outdoor adventure trips. Even on backpacking the Grand Canyon over Thanksgiving. I'm keeping an eye on that trip. I'd just do it to scout the whitewater. Welch has their night passes on sale. I've gotta have one of those for when the wind doesn't blow. Speaking of wind, I need a small kite for those extreme days on Pepin. Hmmm...Ice climbing is on my mind. I need to find some more ice screws. Tomorrow I'm heading to Barns Bluff to teach my friend how to belay for me. She said she won't climb but she'd hold my rope for me! I gotta love her! Oh and it's also time to get my VE ten punch card. Also the Southern Theater is having the Zorongo Flamenco Dance Troupe twice this fall!! I have to carve out a day next week to see Part 1 of their new show. It needs to rain soon before I go broke with gear/trip fever! I'm also having fantasies about a mid winter paddling trip. I think I need help!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ripple Effect Rally

When you use violence to protest the RNC you become that which you protest against. The Ripple Effect Rally was a very peaceful event held on the State Capital lawn. Personally I find it hard to believe this is what the USA has come to when a benign rally like this is surrounded by hundreds of police in full riot gear and snipers on the roof tops. It was hard to feel "free" while all the time there are guns trained on you. Today I personally rallied against the RNC AND the Anarchists. The violence of the previous day was inexcusable. I ended up getting interviewed by an international reporter...The first sentence of this post is one of my statements to her. There is no excuse for violence and destruction. Whether it is a one on one conflict or a conflict between two nations, when you resort to violence or war it is because you or your leaders lack the ability to problem solve. When you resort to force to prove your point it only proves that you are weak. On the positive side I did get to hear Winona LaDuke and Will Steger speak. Both had very good messages. The bands were great! Lots of information booths...most were good a few kind of "out there". Rita and I had a good time and met up with Laura at her Health Care Reform Booth. We left shortly after 5pm. According to the news we left at a good time. Later Rage Against the Machine showed up and the protesters from the Mears Park rally came and then things got ugly. Here's a youtube link to video posted with RATM The Ripple Effect Rally itself was a very peaceful demonstration and I am glad I went. For those of you that read my blog faithfully...don't worry...I'm not going to turn it political. We all get enough of that elsewhere but I just wanted to show there were good positive demonstrations out there.
Sign of the times.

The price for this war.
Who is that?

Awesome female Hip Hop Band!