Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Looking for a good local sawmill!

I am looking for a good local sawmill that can supply me with some local Ship Lap siding. Any ideas?

The Anchor Bar in Superior, WI

This comes from Perfect Duluth Day and the venerable Barrret Chase. When I saw it I totally needed to link it. For those of you lucky enough or un-lucky enough to not live in the Duluth area the Anchor Bar is the classic sailor/longshoremen bar. Literally the sailor bar. Most people would say that is not possible in the Midwest but keep in mind that Duluth-Superior are the biggest shipping ports in the country. We get all sorts pf "salties" coming from the world over and the Anchor Bar is likely to have a few of them hanging around. The place is also just plain a cool place to hang for the rest of us as well and even though you might not feel welcome (it is a truly rough place, I once saw the bar mistress punch a customer in the nose then turn to me with the nicest smile and ask what the HELL I wanted) it is a mainstay around here.
Here is the bar site, its great.
Hey you can get a burger and fries for $4.00!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Stihl maker of Chainsaws takes a stand on big box dealers

I was paging through the Wall Street Journal this morning and saw this crazy add from Stihl. It blew my mind and really made me feel good. As a seller of high quality kayaks I have had to battle with my retailers to make them understand the depth of the commitment that CD has made to them as "specialty" retailers. We dont sell Big Box, our comp does and yet our retailers still feel the need to support them. Well finally here we have a major industrial and mainstream company standing up and saying no and not only that, doing it in a big way in huge one page ads in the Wall Street Journal. The Greenneck should take note.
Check it

Meet your Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

This weekend I was lucky enough to meet the conservation officer of the region in which I live. A great guy with a huge job. He lamented the huge amount of territory that he and another officer are in charge of. He also lamented the fact that his job is ever changing. No longer is his title "Game Warden" it is "Conservation Officer" and it now entails recreation baby sitter and ATV cop. He turned me on to the new
Conservation agenda. Some very interesting and disturbing reading. Hunting and fishing as far as numbers are totally down and falling as we speak. However, ATV use is sky rocketing. However as he stated himself, despite the numbers the users tend to hang themselves by being destructive to the resources. It was cool to meet this person as he has some great insight into the area that we live, the people and especially the fish and animals that reside here alongside of us. If you are in a rural area and have the chance, calling up your local officer might not be a bad idea. Especially if you are dealing with destructive people in your backyard, ATV or otherwise because these officers rely on local people to act as stewards an supply them with any information possible to help them do their jobs.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Finally spoke with Bill Koch yesterday

So if you are a nordic skier or if you have seen my recent film "Cross Country with the Snakes" you hopefully know who Bill Koch is. Well after almost two months of trying to track him down I finally spoke with him about the film itself. Back in July I had sent a letter and a copy of the flick to him to basically get his blessing on using his image. It took almost three weeks to get a return call from him and then literally another month to get him on the phone. A self admitted reclusive he abhors the phone and refuses to speak on it unless absolutely needed. He was extremely supportive of the film. He really loved the message that it sent and felt that I had captured his way of skiing and way of thinking about skiing precisely. He however was not into the music! Not a big surprise there as the Snakes are an aquired taste for sure. We also spoke a bunch on Kochs world view, how he sees his future and his kids future and how even to this day almost 31 years later he still believes that skiing has the power to change the world.
It was perhaps one of the most haunting and enlightening conversations I can remember having in the past 10 years.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

NPR "The Story" Combat Artist

NPR ran a story on the "The Story" about Combat artist Mike Fay is another piece or proof on the power of art to tell a story and make impressions. Certainly looking at Fay's blog gives you a much greater appreciation for life in Iraq and Afghanistan for the soldiers right now.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wolves in Jay Cooke State Park, Thomson MN

During the fall it is just about impossible to not get outside and that is certainly true of most of my friends. This past weekend we went to several social events and caught up with some of our better friends. To my astonishment at least 5 different people from 5 different locations related to Jay Cooke State Park related to seeing Wolves, either chasing deer or feasting on a previous kill. In one description, Greg Hexum described Trail Running near Mission Creek when he and a buddy came on a pack of 6 wolves fighting over a kill! Interesting stuff. The park has always put in its literature that there was an active Wolf Pack in the park, I wonder if it is out growing its zone.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tastiest thing on two legs

The proverbial thunder chicken gives new meaning to the whole idea of Free Range.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Behold the Giant Puffball

I was riding the other day and discovered a bunch of Giant Puffballs. Crazy looking things. When I was a kid my mom and I used to find them and cook them up in a little bit of butter. Actually this site has some good info on them and a way to cook them too!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Retro Kurt
I met this guy Kurt at the Bayshore sale. He has some awesome 70's outfits. In fact check out the video that he and his buddies made for Miller Beer.

ATV fight in Vilas County WI
While traveling in NE WI last week I was listening to the ever present NPR/WPR in the truck. WPR is big on regional talk shows so I was intrigued when a show about the proposed ATV trail in Vilas County came on. The interesting part about it was that a few years ago the trail was voted down 2-1. It was a decisive NO to ATV's and the majority of Vilas County residents said they would rather see the ATV's take a hike (literally) than ride. Well somehow these guys are back at it. On the show they had the head spokesperson of both sides and it was great to hear how many people called in to rip this dude (ATV guy) a new one. It was really cathartic for me. In any case if it sounds like it did on the radio I dont think the ATV lobby has made any ground in Vilas County. Or at least I hope not.
Here is a letter on line FOR the trail

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

North Eastern WI swing. Langlade to Door Counties...

I look forward to this swing every year. I go to some of the best that WI has to offer in both riding and in paddling. As is the tradition I went to the single track trails in the Washburn Lakes County Forest. There are a multitude of ski trails here but some of the local woodchucks have also made some great singletrack trails. Unfortunately there are no maps of the singletrack trails. Last year I was lost for two hours and came home in the dark. This year I had a better idea but they added a bunch of new trails so I still got my share of confusion but I would say this is a system worth exploring. Door County is always an adventure. I stay at the Pennisula State Park in Fish Creek and I love to ride on the paved trails there. They are crazy! Paved or gravel they go through some of the coolest sea scapes and mature Cedar forests I have ever seen. I would say hitting the Sunset Trail at sunset could be one of most stunning things you can do in the Midwest if not in the country. And of course there is the final party with Bayshore that always gets a little bit out of control and this year was no different. I look to survive this party as it comes at the end of the season full of parties and events and sales and yet this one seems to be the party to end all parties. I made it only mildly wounded.

A few pics from the BWCA on Labor Day

I have been so busy I have not had time to go through my pics lately so here are a few posts that show what I have been up to while on the road selling boats....

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Critical Mass Bloodbath in Minneapolis
This sounds unreal. Anybody out there actually on the ride?

Another fun blog to check out

I saw this posted on Perfect Duluth Day. Looks like some interesting stuff to me!

Something to listen to
Some fun music to check out. Heard this guy on NPR the other day and bought the album. I like it, an easy way to listen to jazz for sure.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

BWCA Respite

We just returned from a great weekend in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The drought is obvious, it looked as though the leaves were already changing and the rivers were basically dried up. The fishing was killer though and the company of our friends Ryan and Sherri was awesome too!