Wednesday, March 26, 2008
So after a few days with Guy and his buddies I headed up Logan Canyon with my wife Margaret and her sister Kass. Last year Kass and her now husband Mike (elmo) were married up in Logan Canyon so we decided on a reunion. Unfortunately Mike had just had knee surgery so it was just the three of us. We had a killer time, good snow on north facing slopes and a nice cozy yurt to come home to.
So after about two years of work, the sauna is up and running. The overall building is not done, a ton of trim work to do and details to finish but the hot room is cooking and we have been using it a bunch. So here are the results of building a large sauna over living rock (slate, greywacke(sp?), granite). Over much speculation the people who voted that the room would take a long time to heat up are correct. The room takes about 2 hours to get up to about 170degrees. Once the rock is warm the room will heat up well over 200 degrees. The Rock stays hot for about 36 hours after a good session. The hottest we have spent time in the room is about 200 and I am starting to acclimatize to it and am already looking for hotter. The large Kuma stove kicks ass, it takes maybe as long to heat up the stove as it does the rock, but again once it gets going it is insane hot. The door handle and pegs are courtesy of Darren Bush at Rutabaga, and the benches were crafted by Ted Klehr formerly of the Ski Hut. The small side room with the rubble rock is eventually going to be the shower area. Anyway, hope you can swing by and have a session.......
In Mid Feb. I headed out west to visit with friends and family (they seem to meld together these days) and of course to get some skiing in. For the first time in years I was able to hook up with Guy Evans and utilize his knowledge of the Wasatch. I was totally stoked to find out that I had landed in time to join a tour with he and some buddies while the hit Mt.Timpanogos, possibly one of the best ski tours in the Wasatch. It has it all, high Alpine Exposure. Moderate technical skiing, steeps, gullies you name it. It was also cool because I was also able to ski with Cory Salmela on his first real alpine descent. At the top he was a tele skier, at the bottom he was a SKIER in full. Looking at the pics you can see the triangle shaped face we skied the lookers left all the way down the spine.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
So the kayak season is starting to heat up. Boats shipping, trucks getting fixed, clinics happening, skis getting tuned.....yup one trip left, Whitecap Alpine. Check this post out on Dog Lotion.
We learned last month that a new Veterans Cemetary is proposed in Jay Cooke State Park. Now, I am all for a gorgeous place to bury our war dead and I certainly feel that these men and women deserve all the respect that their commitment to Bush's Folly demands, if not more because of it. However, I am less concerned about the cemetary and what it stands for than I am of the seemingly effortless way that Pawlenty was able to trade State Park Land for this cemetary. The State of MN is the largest landowner in the State, why could they not have taken land from the Nemadji state forest? Its in the same place, it is already being destroyed by ATV's and is basically useless to anybody who wants to check it out non-motorized. It would actually increase the value of that land instead of decreasing the size of our Park. Undeveloped, non-motorized wildlife protected parks are limited, dwindling and having a hard time surviving, why use that land??
Last night my buddy Martin emailed inquiring about a canoe triathlon that he is thinking of doing this spring in Montana. It is called the Peaks to Prairie Race and it looks like a hoot. His question centered on what kind of boat would be effective for this kind of race. I thought about it for awhile and realized that this is something worth pondering a bit. Every spring from California to Maine there are spring races, generally centered on run-off and fast water. Boat choice in these races is extremely important to race success. At first I was just going to send Martin three boats out of the Wenonah line that I felt would be good on the course but then I decided I should go through the paces and see what the river was really like. It was a great exercise and would be a good thing to learn for anybody looking to do a race or even just run a river. I did a bunch of google searches and sought out info on the exact section of river that Martin would be paddling. I also looked at the DNR flow charts and water level graphs to get a feel for the size and speed of the river. I checked out the past results, lookinf for times and names that I might remember from racing. I checked out the race sight for the river route description. My conclusion? First, that you can never trust the river description from the race directors! To read the route description I would look at the river (lower Yellowstone near Billings) as fairly serious whitewater. Digging deeper though I found that most likely it is a large, high flow river with some standing waves and bridges to get around. A different boat entirely than the boat I would have chosen from the race description. Now of course the best way to choose a boat is to run the water, a luxury I dont have sitting here in MN. The main point of this rant is that you need to do your homework to pick the best boat. By doing that however you will literally make huge time increases on the competition, especially in a moving water contest. Many participants will choose highly rockered, huge depth whitewater boats to deal with the obvious challenges but then will suffer where time is really made, on the longer flat and moving water. Another tip, learn to paddle minimal craft in bigger water!