Posts Tagged: ‘Iowa’

Cast Iron Canoe: 2017 Edition

May 31, 2017 Posted by Deb

Namekagon River

Namekagon River

A traditional canoe trip that started decades ago and which we’ve been a part of for many years. Our sailing life has kept us away too long, but we made it back this year. Old sailing friends, Forrest and Yvonne on s/v Nazdrowie, who we met in the Dominican Republic in the 1990s introduced us to the group; and it has been a party ever since. This year we picked the Namekagon and Saint Croix rivers over the three-day Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Tent City

Tent City

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We Know How to Fill a Canoe

The weather started out great and stayed better than the forecast for three days. We did have rain and hail, but we built a tarp city and we’re pretty much impervious to bad weather. True to Cast Iron tradition, we had two Dutch ovens, plenty of liquid refreshments, and a wrap-up five-pound bacon fest on the final morning that forced Deb to stay upwind. No injuries to report other than a number of tick bites that sent Deb to the doctor for the anti-Lyme routine.

Tarp City Going Up

Tarp City Going Up

Hail On the River

Hail On the River

We did have a longer than normal 22-mile day due to full campsites that featured a 1.5 mile sprint to beat out another group to 12.3 mile campsite. Unfortunately, Deb and I won the race but missed the campsite sign. The sprint pretty much turned our arms to noodles for the next two days. Oh well.

Land Ho

We look forward to the transition both from the ocean to land in the spring and back to the boat in the fall. With each move, we have a high energy vision of what we’re going to do “this time.” Yeah, right. We seem to forget that the seven-plus days it takes to put the boat away and the exposure to air conditioning and airplane air usually leaves us half dead with colds. This switch was no exception but we did get a couple of days of Casa Grande Palm Creek pickleball in before the bad colds really set in. We motored north in the RV on a three Wal*Mart run with 102-degree fevers. It is now late May and we’re just barely back on our feet again. And hey, it’s cold up here in May.

Wanna Go Outside at 100 Degrees and 100% Humidity?

Wanna Go Outside at 100 Degrees and 100% Humidity?

Plans

Our plans change weekly but our high-energy vision included an extended summer on land with biking, pickleball, a variety of water events, camping, and other north country fun stuff. Now we’re toying with the idea of getting rid of all the mobile stuff including the RV and Neytiri and looking for a home or a townhome. Our future yacht broker is begging us to bring Neytiri back to Florida again and to do so immediately. That ain’t happening but we may get back on the boat early in the fall and sail her back to the U.S.

So … we’re going house hunting at 10:00 tomorrow morning after moving the final leg of our RV trip from Melcher-Dallas, Iow,a to Woodbury, MN. For us, home ownership again is a big and scary change.

Toys Are Out in Iowa

Toys Are Out in Iowa

Celebrating Hayden's Soccer Win with Dorothy, Cindy, and Halle

Celebrating Hayden’s Soccer Win with Dorothy, Cindy, and Halle

Late Entry: The Famous Roatan Yacht Club

We thought it was famous and very nice 22 years ago. We were worried that we weren’t dressed well enough to go into the restaurant. It seemed very British. We had just finished a long ten-day passage from Cartegena, Columbia, somewhere around November, 1995; and we weren’t too presentable. We stored our dinghy there during our last visit four years ago even though it had been closed for new owners and renovations. The carpenters were banging away.

Roatan French Harbor Yacht Club

Roatan French Harbor Yacht Club

Little did we know how far the Yacht Club had fallen. This year, the property has been seized for money laundering and the official government “Stay Out” signs are up. We had to find another dinghy dock to get to town and our Plan B four years ago was the shrimping/fish station. They’ve had a very bad fishing season and we were advised to stay out of that area. So … by word of mouth we found a lady in a small house down from the police station car graveyard with a little dilapidated dock on a shoreline filled with floating garbage. The routine is to hand her 50 Lems (2 bucks) and walk to town.

Only Sign From the Street

Only Sign From the Street

Murder at the Yacht Club: A German Hotel Owner is gunned down at his Business
Nicolai Winter, the German owner of the French Harbour Yacht Club was gunned down at his hotel by a man in this thirties, presumed to be from the mainland.

On March 6, 2007, around 9:30pm, the murderer checked into a room at the hotel and came back to ask for Winter’s assistance in opening the room door. While Winter with three other Yacht Club staff walked towards the room, the assailant pulled out a 9mm gun and shot Winter several times. The assailant then fled the property on foot.
According to Yacht club staff, Winter was alive for some time after the shooting. Bay Islands Voice was notified of the shooting and called Preventiva Police, DGIC and Ambulance in Dixon Cove. No one picked-up the phone. After a visit to the Dixon Cove ambulance station the attendant said “none of the vehicles are working.”
The frontier police and DGIC police arrived at the crime scene 30 and 60 minutes after the shooting, but no immediate search of surrounding area was done and no road blocks were set up. The murderer, presumed by the police to be a contracted killer, was not apprehended.  Winter bought the Yacht Club in 2004 for in excess of one million dollars. The legal future of the Yacht Club is far from certain. According to Honduran law, in absence of a testament, Winter’s closest relatives: his mother, or his sister will inherit the property.
According to Felipe Danzilo, a lawyer involved in the sale of the Yacht Club, Winter did not yet make all the payments on the property. The previous owners of the Yacht Club: Marcel Hauser and Peter Beuth, still hold a mortgage on the Yacht Club.

Within a week of Winter’s death the old owners of the hotel brought the “Pluribus” company owned by Daniel O’Connor, a American business owner from Tegucigalpa, to serve as a “safe keeper” of the Yacht Club business interests. O’Connor made efforts to assure the continuous functioning of the business: that the employees received their salaries, hotel stayed open and he plans on having the Yacht Club’s restaurant open by Semana Santa. “Every business has a value as long as it is running,” said O’Connor.

O’Connor, who has lived in Honduras for 12 years, was shocked by the lack of concern about the murder displayed by local business community and local business leaders. “This is disappointing in a community that prides itself on being tourism oriented,” says O’Connor. “This will bring a negative impact on tourism here.”

Source :  http://www.bayislandsvoice.com/issue-v5-4.htm

Guatemala via Des Moines, Melcher-Dallas, and San Pedro Sula (Honduras)

December 26, 2016 Posted by Deb

Home for the holidays happened to be right on our route. It turned out that it was much cheaper to fly through Des Moines, Iowa, to Honduras than from Phoenix. Deb got to surround herself with munchkins in her hometown of Melcher-Dallas, and everyone got lots of food with all the trimmings. Volleyball and poker were also on the agenda but no one took pictures of the volleyball. Most were thankful about that.

Some of My Favorite Christmas Munchkins

Some of My Favorite Christmas Munchkins

Annual Poker Game with Dorothy

Annual Poker Game with Aunt Dorothy

Fall Wrap Up at Jeff and Marti’s

October 10, 2016 Posted by Deb

This may have been the last year for the rubber duck race. Congrats to the Smalley clan for continuing the streak. Deb’s cousin Jeff and Marti are planning to head out to warmer climes and the great Octoberfest will come to an end.

This year featured a move from the traditional large tepee fire to an even larger pyramid. A new Frisbee game showed up as well along with a few bruised fingers. We also tried out a Swedish cooking fire and it worked. Great weather, food, and a good crowd as always.swedishfirefirepyramidwithdogfirepyramidnightrubberduckyrace16

Iowa’s Paved Bike Loop

October 7, 2016 Posted by Deb

The Raccoon River Valley Trail

We felt the need for exercise after Nashville so we made attempt number two at what they claim is the longest paved bike loop in the U.S. How they know that we don’t know. Our first attempt years ago ended with a huge thunderstorm in Perry and we turned back. This time we started in Perry and completed the loop. There are sections that are good and, for the most part, the trail is not only paved but gorgeous, smooth concrete. Where Iowa came up with the money for that, we don’t know. There are, however, exposed sections with just farms and a SE wind at 15-20 can make those a chore. Nice little towns and they are planting trees along the route.

racoonbikedeb racoonbikechuck

Enjoying Time in Melcher-Dallas

This Glider is a Keeper (Last One Got Lost in the Clouds)

This Glider is a Keeper (Last One Got Lost in the Clouds)

Squeezing It All Into the Man Cave

Squeezing It All Into the Man Cave

The Sunsets at Cindy & Bill's

The Sunsets at Cindy & Bill’s

Fifty Year Reunion (Chuck’s): Ames High School (Iowa)

September 18, 2016 Posted by Deb

Leaving Minnesota

One Last Ride on the Cannon River

One Last Ride on the Cannon River

Going Away Party with Cast Iron Canoe Friends

Going Away Party with Cast Iron Canoe Friends

Packing the Fleet to Head South

Packing the Fleet to Head South

The BIG Reunion

It’s quite a show every 5 years and it lasts four days. It’s also a pretty good time and well organized but it is tough on spouses. Thursday and Friday are events (golf, biking, tours) and a published list of where everyone should meet for food and drinks with ground zero being the Gateway Hotel in Ames, IA. Saturday was a tour of the high school and the big creative talent event at the library for those who cared to submit something. That was a hit and will probably be expanded in the future. Sunday was the final photo session, dance, and food event at the Iowa State Memorial Union.

reunionbike1 reunionbike2hightrestleWe staged in Colo, Iowa with the RV and commuted to the events. Hickory Grove County Park was our home and it was a great escape. One of my high school classmates from Alaska (Ed) also called it home for the duration.

reuniongroup

High School Buddies from the Infamous Trip to Colorado After Graduation in Honor Jerry, the Missing Friend

High School Buddies from the Infamous After-Graduation Trip to Colorado in Honor of Jerry, the Missing Friend

4th of July

July 4, 2016 Posted by Deb

Iowa City Jazz Fest

Iowa City Jazz Fest

Trimaran on Lake McBride

Trimaran on Lake McBride

Earplugs In, Ready for Concert

Earplugs In, Ready for Concert

Oakridge Boys

Oakridge Boys

Fireworks and Marti's Concert Over the Mississippi in Muscatine

Fireworks and Marti’s Concert Over the Mississippi in Muscatine

Closing Out Arizona

December 28, 2015 Posted by Deb

PSX_20151227_172449-700x700Arizona was an experiment. It’s been a whirlwind of “active adult” activities since mid-October and our pre-conceived notions about these places were pretty much all wrong. We liked it here and are sad about leaving. We met some nice folks and unlike sailing, we may never see them again (unless we come back). PSX_20151227_175306PSX_20151227_175416PSX_20151227_180341Of course, leaving from here for New Zealand presents its own set of challenges. We are leaving the RV in storage here until June. We are flying from New Zealand to Ft Lauderdale to get on the boat. So …. We aren’t hauling our filing system, laptops, hard drives, some clothing, misc electronics, and other stuff to New Zealand with us so we have to put together a shipment from AZ to FL for all that stuff. We also have to pickle the RV since it gets cold here and hire an RV watcher. On top of that, someone stole our slot in storage after we’ve been paying for it for months and not using it just to make sure we had a slot. Oops. They found another spot for us and gave us a month free for the hassle. We put saw horses on the slot so no one would take it and they got stolen. Oops.

Christmas, 2015

Deb flew to Iowa for her large family function which included activities like ice skating, old fashioned country church Christmas program, breakfast and lunch with Aunt Dorothy, annual Christmas volleyball games, party prep with sister Cindy, Star Wars movie with cousins, and catching up with lots of family and friends. I stayed here to work on the RV and deal with some pickleball commitments. Oh … we needed to barbeque up the rest of the hot dogs, salmon, and shrimp before we leave.PSX_20151227_180113

Guess Who Takes After Her Great Aunt Debbie

Guess Who Takes After Her Great Aunt Debbie

PSX_20151227_184216

While Deb Was Away

While Deb Was Away

Sedona, AZ

Sedona is kind of the AZ wonderland with magnetic vortexes, healing powers, and red rocks everywhere. We arranged a timeshare at the Wyndam for the cost of a cheap motel and had a Jacuzzi in the room. We hiked everday and tried as many restaurants as we could. On the final morning we woke up to 5 inches of snow and didn’t hesitate to get out of town and head south.PSX_20151227_173955PSX_20151227_174257PSX_20151227_174826

Summer 2015 Wrap

October 10, 2015 Posted by Deb

We closed out the north chapter of summer 2015 with a canoe trip up the St. Croix River to Taylor Falls,Minnesota, The Wheels and Wings car and air show in Osceola, Wisconsin the famous rubber duck race near Hills, Iowa, and the Bauer hayride near Melcher, Iowa.
TaylorsFallsCanoeShowboatWheelsWingsCarPlaneShowJeffsBonfirePagansJeffsParty1TentDuckRace2015KidsPlaneBauerPartyBauerHayride

AWOL Glider

On a sad note, on one of the last days up north, one of my favorite R/C gliders was about 30 minutes into a flight and had just come half way down from over 2,000 feet when I took my eyes off it and glanced at my chair as I was moving it back into the shade. I looked back up and the glider was just gone. It was apparently too high for my eyes to pick up again and despite every trick to make it show up … it is now part of the farmland between Melcher and Des Moines, IA. Oh … if it went through your picture window, this entry was just a joke.Glider_BauerHayride

Home for the Holidays

January 4, 2015 Posted by Deb

After a multi-year holiday absence, Deb returned home to her family for Christmas. My family is scattered all over the planet so we exchange e-mails. There are at least four major food events, church programs, pool, poker, and the traditional volleyball games. That’s right, they rent out a gym. The generation that hardly ever lost is now old, hurt, or AWOL and the next generation is looking pretty good. My money would be on them for quite some time.

Germantown Country Church Christmas Program (the youngest one on the far right is our grand nephew)

Germantown Country Church Christmas Program (the youngest one on the far right is our grand nephew)

VBallChristmas2

VballChristmas

A Bad End Game for a Great Year

We definitely have to work on our end game. As we drove to the airport to leave family and friends we could feel the nagging hints of the flu that everyone was catching. Shortly after that our plane broke and we were looking at a minimum four-hour delay with subsequent missed connections. Deb got us on a different flight but we arrived in Georgia eight hours late with only one day to close out our Georgia lives and get ready to cast off our lines. The rush was because a strong south wind was predicted to hit after two days and continue past our haul out date in Jacksonville. We fought through the flu and rushed through the last minute details which included hiring a diver to clean off the bottom of the boat in very cold conditions. We shook his hand afterward and it was scary cold.

New Year's Day: Good to be Heading South

New Year’s Day: Good to be Heading South

It was out into the Atlantic (we’re too tall to use the Intercoastal Waterway), hang a right, and immediately start piling on coats. Eventually, we dug out full blown foul weather gear. We were riding a cold north wind south and that is never pleasant. Even though the flu was tightening its grip we planned to dink on into Fernandino Beach for a famous Mexican meal as well as pay our mooring ball fee. That didn’t happen because the outboard throttle was frozen and there was no rowing in the three knot current. We called in our mooring fee and sat out New Years Eve on the boat. Well, not really … I got the fever shakes and it took all our drugs and blankets to get me through it even though I was already in bed with shoes, long underwear, two coats, and a stocking cap. About an hour after the shaking stopped Deb informed me that the boat was hung up in the mooring ball and that can be nasty. The last time that happened was Hatchet Cay in Belize, and we had to dive to free the lines. We got our foul weather gear on and pulled and yanked on the mooring lines in a light rain at close to midnight until we got the boat more stable. After watching the boat dance against current and wind, we’re not sure a mooring ball is a good idea for a cat in high current, high wind situations.

The final run on into Jacksonville was a repeat of day one. Deb was in better flu shape and gave me most of the day off. Her bad flu days were still ahead of her and mine was definitely New Years Eve. We side slipped a 44-foot cat through a 60-foot slot in a 2.7 knot current and eased on into our slip at about 1500 rpm just to hold her steady. It was a nice move but mostly we just didn’t give a damn after the previous two days. The marina guys said some nice things, but we still have to get out of here and over to the travel lift without bashing the boat. We’ll see what we can do when we are back to caring again.

Slipped Right Into the St. John's River in Jacksonville

Slipped Right Into the St. John’s River in Jacksonville

Iowa for the Beer Olympics

September 11, 2014 Posted by Deb

We made it back to Iowa for the September 6th birthday party for Deb’s nephew, Wil. They hyped it as the Beer Olympics but it looked like a lot of vodka when we walked by. No one was drinking the Captain Morgan but that didn’t last long when I walked by.

Our bed count this summer is mid-20’s already and may surpass the 30 we did last summer. We stayed for two days of festivities, food, and even church. It is a perfect time of year for Iowa, 75 degrees and sunshine, though we hear it had been very wet. After two days, we had eaten our fill and moved north again to pick up the debris (trimaran, van, and wine from the wine tasting) we had left scattered all over Minnesota and Wisconsin.

WilBDay

My Roots

My Roots