Archive for: ‘August 2014’

Cabin Near Our Cabin

August 23, 2014 Posted by Deb

We rented a cabin on Shingobee Bay off Leech Lake in Minnesota very close to our old family cabin from 1963 to 1995. It was kind of sad to be that close to our old digs, but it is a great lake and a great part of Minnesota. We sprung for a Hobie Tandem Island Trimaran just like the one we demo’d up at Whiteface, splashed it in Shingobee Bay, and made the trip into the town of Walker and back in under four hours. It’s great for the two bridges because it has pedals and flippers that move it along well and the main has roller furling and comes down with a click. The main and rudder can be operated from either seat. It will also move out in the right conditions. Oh, and the beer holders are built in.

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Forty Miles by Hobie Trimaran

We decided to extend the family stay up north but we needed a new cabin … our home on Shingobee was rented. We found one at Trapper’s Landing out on the main part of Leech Lake, packed, cleaned, and started thinking about loading up the Hobie. Somehow, the idea of sailing it under three low bridges, north through Walker Bay, around Onigum Island, through the Roosevelt canal, around Stony Point, and many miles east through the big part of the lake with a 25 mile fetch, seemed like a good idea. I loaded up a Coke, PowerAid, rain jacket and pants (the weather looked bad), plugged the coordinates of the Trapper’s Landing dock in my smartphone, grabbed some cash, my driver’s license (to ID the body), said goodbye to Deb, and took off.

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The trip was very cool, partly because we had no idea if it was possible. The Roosevelt canal was part of our normal loop by power boat but everything looked different from the trimaran on a cloudy day. I tacked up into a bay that I was sure had a marker for the canal and soon discovered I was lost. I took a timeout and fired up Google Maps … I missed the canal by about two to three miles and was now in the lee of land. No problem … I had peddles. The canal was fun because of the looks I got from passing boats. Pretty sure they have never seen a Hobie trimaran go through. I stopped at the north end of the canal to check in with the shore party by phone and re-mount the main. A few minutes later I was doing a real shakedown on the new trimaran as the waves from the big lake started making things difficult and wet. I hove to after about an hour so I could safely get the smartphone out, check my location, put on full rain gear to preserve body heat, and pit (which was the challenging part). The rest of the trip was tacking into 10 to 15 knots of wind without really knowing where I was going (the GPS failed to acquire after the earlier fix). I asked one fishing boat and they never heard of Trapper’s Landing. I called Deb and she said there was an American flag on an island about 200 yards offshore and that I would be going by a large island just before I got there. I started tacking into shore to check out every American flag in front of a set of log cabins because they all looked like they could be on the water until I got near. Once I called Deb to ask her if she could see me because I was fairly sure I was in front of the resort. I wasn’t in sight.

A lot of tacks and miles later, I popped out from behind a point of land and saw Deb sitting on a dock and other friends and family pointing the way to the marina. A couple more tacks, rolled main, and a few pedal kicks and the Hobie was in its new home and I got the beer I had been thinking about for several hours. The total trip was about 20 miles straight line and over 40 over the water in five and a half hours. I still think about the weird feeling of being in a large body of water with a tiny boat and having only a rough idea about the final destination.

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Hypocritical Quitting

August 18, 2014 Posted by Deb

– I was told to give up sugar but old fashioned candy at a throwback soda shop was too much to resist.

I was told to give up sugar, but old fashioned candy at a throwback soda shop was too much to resist.

 I was told to give up beer but an old fashioned brew on the St. Croix River was too much to resist.

I was told to give up beer, but an old fashioned brew on the St. Croix River was too much to resist.

My old college car except for the convertible part. No one told me to give up that car but I did and now regret it.

My old college car except for the convertible part. No one told me to give up that car but I did and now regret it.

Ranch Sitting

August 18, 2014 Posted by Deb

We took over house sitting duties at the Anderson’s while they vacationed on Madeline Island. One daughter flew in from Indiana and the other flew in from Spain for their annual trip north. We had the relatively entertaining horse feeding and chicken maintenance chores while they were gone. Yippie Ki Yi Aye.

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Inland Surfing

If you put enough water in a ski boat (3 to 4,000 lbs), you can generate a big enough wave to surf on. We were mostly ballast due to leftover injuries in FL and GA but it made for some good shots.  We intend to give it a serious try when all the body parts are working again.

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Lyle Lovett

We bombed out on Fleetwood Mac and Paul McCartney but scored Lyle. Great concert and his whole band did their songs as well. Some had fan groups in the audience, especially the MN bass violin player. We did not take padding and it was bench seating so we stood up often.

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North Country: Whiteface Park, Minnesota

August 5, 2014 Posted by Deb

We probably shouldn’t publicize this little gem of a campground, but we do it for everything else so why not. The Cast Iron Canoe Club and extended family and friends took over a whole peninsula of the Whiteface Reservoir campground with over five multi-tent camping spots near the beach, dock, and launching ramp.  This year the weather cooperated as well, but we were prepared for the worst with Forrest’s new 60-foot tarp.

As with the canoe trips, the Whiteface outing was a great food event with Bloody Mary’s and breakfast burritos in the morning, full blown buffets during the day, and a wrap-up with hot dogs for those left at midnight. We asked for volunteers for rides in the Hobie trimaran we had out on demo and every kid jumped at the chance. In a former life that would have been a mistake but it was kind of fun running a kid shuttle for a half day. Our fleet consisted of two Hobie 16’s, two kayaks, a double masted SeaPearl 21 sailboat for comfort and beer hauling, and two powerboats for fishing and pulling kids (oh, and beer hauling as well). The reservoir snakes for miles and it is a bit of a challenge to explore it all. We passed a pontoon boat going full bore (10 hp Evinrude) with our trimaran and got mooned … don’t think they liked being passed by a sailboat.

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“Missed It by That Much”

August 1, 2014 Posted by Deb

Packing to head north was interesting because we had to guess at what we would need from July through October in Minnesota and we only had two vehicles to pack it all into. The list included biking, camping, hobbies, racquetball, work and workout stuff, and the normal laptop, notepad, smartphone, camera, hard drives and all associated cords and chargers.

We were packed and ready to go with our target of the big summer party at the Anderson’s overlooking the St. Croix River. Deb got a call at 7:30 Friday night from Mike asking her where we were and why weren’t we there. Deb thought he was kidding her because we had it on our calendar for the next day. Oops. At four hours south, we had no chance of making it up there by closing time. We felt terrible but the Andersons organized a small “leftover food and drinks” gathering the following evening and we did our apologies and got to sample a small part of the night before. After that scheduling nightmare, we went over all the upcoming calendar entries and double checked them for date glitches.