Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy trails old friend, you will be dearly missed.

Man, what a life Andy Knapp. I cant even come close to writing something worth reading about on how full of adventure and amazing trips Andy's life was. I first met him when I was in 9th grade, my buddies and I would pull the three hour drive to Midwest Mountaineering. He always took us seriously, even though we were a bunch of dumb kids from southern Minnesota. He made us realize that we could go and see amazing places, and that we were maybe even obligated to. Later when I became involved in the outdoor industry I worked with him as a sales rep and he taught me even more about the industry and how to be successful in it. However, Andy perhaps taught me the most about life the past few years in his struggle with his illness. He taught me how to stay positive, how to live the good times hard and how to educate yourself and fight your struggle with intellect as well. Lastly, he taught me how to cry and how to admit to being scared, to look into the eye of the storm and say, hey I cant go this alone, I might need to reach out. Andy reached out to me last summer at the Two Harbors Kayak festival and we had one of the most intense and amazing conversations about life and death and his battle with cancer. I am not sure that I did much to help him but I do know that by the time we were done, we were both laughing and backslapping and then Andy went right back into his stories and his classic sense of humor.
My love and my heart as well as my wife Margarets, goes out to Andy's family as well as his other family, that of Midwest Mountaineering and all of the people in the Outdoor Industry who were fortunate to have worked with him.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Trail Care Crew in Lacrosse

I spent most of last week in school, with the IMBA Trail Care Crew on the HPT Trails. I learned a ton and had a great time doing it. That is great because I am going to spending most of June on the road with Kelly and Collins. This week IA, next week southern WI.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Just back from IMBA Board meeting at SRAM in Chicago

A great time was had by all. The SRAM test track, the sites of the sky line, the Institute of Arts...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

MN climber dies in China

I have been watching this story with dread for some time. Yesterday a search party found the body of Wade Johnson a victim of and avalanche on a remote Chinese peak. I did not know Wade but I did know his climbing partner Johnny Copp fairly well as I interacted with him in the outdoor industry and through film as he organized the Boulder Adventure Film Festival. My heart goes out to all of the families but especially the Johnsons here in MN. This sad story reminds me of the accident Doug Coombs perished in a few years ago, not in how it happened but in the fact that another MN adventurer died with him Chad Vanderham.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Good Stuff

Crash? I wont Crash, This is a Beer Truck Eh!

I love the look on Hurl's face. 120 bottles of Stella!

After much anticipation a Duluth Bike Web site!

Finally the Twin Ports has a basic guide to Biking in Duluth. It is obviously a work in progress but so is the riding in the city itself as it struggles to identify itself as a iconic MTB community. It certainly has the potential and now with Mayor Don Ness as its leader there seems to be some glimmers of hope appearing as to a much bigger picture trail system in the town. Stay tuned....
I look forward to seeing the site evolve, perhaps some shots from former Duluthian Jay Beyer would spruce it up a bit. The writing seems to be classic Chris Godsey.