Posts Tagged: ‘Minnesota’

Minnesota Roots

June 30, 2017 Posted by Deb

Toward the end of hurricane season we start thinking about where we want to go on the boat and toward the end of the sailing season we put together an unrealistic plan for our return to the U.S. Kind of an ADD itinerary. But it’s nice to be somewhere long enough to join stuff. We signed up immediately for pickleball, the health club, and a hobby-related club. Biking is high on the list and we found out that two members of the Cast Iron Canoe club have purchased Hobie trimarans so we have a fleet now. We added a lot more pickleball to the schedule but we also subtracted a few items like house hunting (after 2 days) and car hunting (one day), but Deb burned a lot of internet time on both. They may prove to be a couple of bad calls but time will tell.

Pickleball in Shawnee Park

Pickleball in Shawnee Park

Dinner with Good Friends - Mike, Carole, Tom & Peg in Afton

Dinner with Good Friends – Mike, Carole, Tom & Peg in Afton

Carole's Ultimate Spanish Paella

Carole’s Ultimate Spanish Paella

Biking

We are addicted and we bike alone through some of the prettiest trails in the country. The group trips will come later as friends get in biking shape. We have bikes on the boat so we get a head start. Of course Deb’s cousins, Jeff and Marti, are doing Lanesboro with us over the fourth; and they have zero miles in. We told them is was 53 miles downhill and they believed us. It’s actually mostly downhill.

Cannon Valley Trail in Redwing Never Disappoints

Cannon Valley Trail in Redwing Never Disappoints

Minnehaha Falls on our Trip to Lake Calhoun

Minnehaha Falls on our Trip to Lake Calhoun

Lake Calhoun and the Tin Fish

Lake Calhoun and the Tin Fish

Trailside Food Stop on the Gateway

Trailside Food Stop on the Gateway

Brown's Creek Trail

Brown’s Creek State Trail

Trimarans

The Minnesota fleet has been out several times and you can see we are not great at picking sunshine. We are envious of the improvements Hobie has made to the trimarans over the years and are thinking about trading up.

Launching on the St. Croix in Hudson

Launching on the St. Croix in Hudson

Cloudy Day on Forest Lake

Cloudy Day on Forest Lake

Launching the Fleet on Big Marine Lake

Launching the Fleet on Big Marine Lake

Steve % Cheri Tri Rigging

Steve & Cheri Tri Rigging

Maiden Voyage for Jeff

Maiden Voyage for Jeff

Deb’s 45th Class Reunion

All Melcher-Dallas, Iowa Class Reunions are held on Coal Miners Day and there are sand and mud volleyball tournaments, a parade, a DJ, food vendors, and fireworks. Quite a show.

Coal Miner's Day All-Town Reunion in Melcher-Dallas, Iowa

Coal Miner’s Day All-Town Reunion in Melcher-Dallas, Iowa

The Big Class of '72 Reunion

The Big Class of ’72 Reunion

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

e

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

Goodbye to Mud Puppy

October 3, 2015 Posted by Deb

Deb had mixed emotions about selling her 28-foot racing skull “Mud Puppy” but a series of injuries and surgeries made it unlikely that the two of them would churn up the waterways again. The good news is that Mud Puppy found a nice home. A guy from the northeast suburbs of the Twin Cities rowed in college and wanted to get back into it. He had a Craigslist “watch” set for that exact boat and showed up with cash in hours. As he and Deb walked down to the lake with Mud Puppy over his head there was a bit of an issue that us spectators missed. His pants started slipping down and there was no place to set the boat down so Deb helped him hold them up as they moved down the hill. Whatever it takes to close the deal.

The shots below are of the last voyage of Deb and Mud Puppy.

MudPuppy_NCenterLakeMudPuppy_Sunset

 

Base: Lindstrom, MN

August 15, 2015 Posted by Deb

The RV came to rest on a lake north of Lindstrom, MN, in an area called Chisago Lakes. The Park Manager stayed open late to walk us in and it was very tight. The two trees that mark the marina entrance gave us six inches. It looks tighter getting out but we haven’t tried that yet. We had to guess what we needed when we staged at the pole barn in Iowa, and Deb drove separately with quite a collection of boats on her car.

The Fleet Heads to Minnesota

The Fleet Heads to Minnesota

Sunrise in Front of the RV on Chisago Lakes

Sunrise in Front of the RV on Chisago Lakes

We picked this RV park last year because it was on the water and within commuting range of the Twin Cities. Now that we know what RV parks are like in the rest of the country, we wondered what we saw in this place. It is crowded, we have neighbor firepits within 15 feet, the front and back yards were mudholes, the neighbors party loudly despite noise rules, the lake was shallow and weedy, the commute to our old neighborhood is brutal, and getting in and out with the RV is so tough it is essentially trapped here.

Now for the good news. We have the place practically all to ourselves on every day but Friday and Saturday and we try to be gone on those days. The neighbors have been quite careful with their fires and are friendly and polite, sober or drunk. The owner brought in a bobcat, black dirt, grass seed, and straw and we had a front yard in about a week. I put a deck on the entire starboard side of the RV and that has made a huge difference in our lot. The lake has become less weedy and there are about 10 other lakes in the neighborhood that we are checking out, including Forest Lake. The commute is becoming more tolerable now that we have found additional gyms, stores, restaurants, and friends in the North metro. The biking and hiking are excellent. So … things are looking up.

Man-Made Front Yard

Man-Made Front Yard

Entrance to the Man Cave

Entrance to the Man Cave

Leaving Base Camp

We aren’t in the RV park much. The following shots catch us up through mid August. Then we are off to Dillon, CO followed by a high-risk anniversary taking the trimaran to the Apostle Islands. They say to never take an open kayak out on Superior, and we’re taking an open trimaran. We bought full length wetsuits today and will stop by the pole barn on the way back from CO for bug suits and a backpacking tent and gear. That should handle everything but the weather and the bears. We heard one of the islands we have a permit for has been shut down recently due to aggressive bears. Stay tuned.

Head of the Browns Creek State Trail in Stillwater on the St. Croix

Head of the Browns Creek State Trail in Stillwater on the St. Croix

Patty Griffin and the Zoo Animals

Patty Griffin and the Zoo Animals

Rowing Buddies on the Mississippi

Rowing Buddies on the Mississippi

Makin' Mom's Vegetable Cabbage Soup in my New Pans in the RV

Makin’ Mom’s Vegetable Cabbage Soup in my New Pans in the RV

Biking Past Minnehaha Falls

Biking Past Minnehaha Falls

Taylors Falls

Taylors Falls

Hiking With Sister Barb

Hiking With Sister Barb

And That's The Truth!

And That’s The Truth!

Wild Mountain Winery with Sister Barb & Michael

Wild Mountain Winery with Sister Barb & Michael

Paul Bunyan Trail, Chippewa National Forest

Paul Bunyan Trail, Chippewa National Forest

Grainbelt on Shingobee Bay

Grainbelt on Shingobee Bay

The Only Shade on the Beach, Walker Beach

The Only Shade on the Beach, Walker Bay

Sent Cousin Isaac Out on the Fish Hook River

Sent Cousin Isaac Out on the Fish Hook River

Adhoc Relative Gathering at Twin Lakes

Adhoc Relative Gathering at Twin Lakes

Surfing into a Malibu Prop

Surfing into a Malibu Prop

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.

chicken

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.

BenSurfing YvonneDeb_StevesBoat

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.

zoo-LyleLovett

Cast Iron Canoe Two

April 9, 2014 Posted by Deb

Party Barge

Party Barge

The second Cast Iron Canoe Club delegation blew into Belize at the end of March. Minnesota has been hemorrhaging its frozen citizens this winter and, from the weather news, we don’t blame them. The Belizean weather, sailing, eating, and drinking gods were smiling on Forrest, Yvonne, and Elsa Cournoyer and Jeff and Lisa Smith. The fishing gods ran hot and cold and seemed to have blessed a northern Minnesota dud of a lure that was a big hit with mutton snappers in Belize.

We started out at Roberts Grove in Placencia with a kick back day of provisioning and Hobie Cats.

HobieCat_WaterSpot

ForrestElsa_HobieCat

ElsaYvonnePool

The highlight of the provisioning was three cases of bottled Belikin and a lower waterline for the port hull. Of course there was the obligatory sampling of as many of the restaurants and bars from Roberts Grove to Yoli’s as we could fit in. Our first mobile day was a tack up to Hatchet with three lines in the water.

Yoli's in Placencia

Yoli’s in Placencia

Pelican Caye

We did a trolling headsail run to Pelican and the famous Hideaway Caye where Dustin, Kim, Ama, and Caye (the big Rottweiller) put on their usual great show.

The Bar is Up and the Dog Eats Cameras

The Bar is Up and the Dog Eats Cameras

Water Toys Off Pelican Caye

Water Toys Off Pelican Caye

The next islands were a blur because we made up the trip as we went along and focused on maxing out our trolling time. We ran headsail only to South Water, Colson, and one long day to St. Georges followed by Caye Caulker. That is practically the whole country on a headsail with three lines out.

Jeff_CatchingOne

Jeff_MuttonSnapper

ForrestElsa_Hug

The Bar at St. Georges Lodge

The Bar at St. Georges Lodge

Lisa with a “Good Eatin Fish”

Lisa with a “Good Eatin Fish”

Jeff and Lisa off Colson Caye

Jeff and Lisa off Colson Caye

Big Bang Theory Shirt

Big Bang Theory Shirt

Full Jellyfish Protection Mode

Full Jellyfish Protection Mode

Belize Wrap Up

Cast Iron 2 saw the news about 17 inches in Superior (Yvonne’s home town) just before they left. We dropped them at the water taxi in Caye Caulker and Neytiri got empty again. We moved up to San Pedro to provision, dump garbage, do laundry, and clear out of the country. The wind got stronger every day and the boat was covered in salt both inside and out from waves crashing on the reef. Neytiri is currently hiding in the Bluefield Range from an anticipated strong norther and staging for a window to go to Mexico.

In the four months that Neytiri has cruised Belize we have made the run from Placencia in the far south to San Pedro in the far north four and one half times, visited dozens of islands that were new to us, entertained four rounds of company, and gone through countless bottles of Belikin and rum.

Waiting for Crew

February 2, 2014 Posted by Deb

Deb flew north to Iowa to get the car off blocks and un-bag some winter clothing and headed further north to Minnesota to try to time the coldest weather and worst storms of the season. Missions accomplished. The reason for the trip north turned out to be two herniated disks and several large bone spurs that were shutting down her right arm and triggering the crazy bone nerve for the last seven weeks. Fun stuff.

Iowa: Tropical Pool Fun in January

Iowa: Tropical Pool Fun in January

Heading North on I-35 in My "Summer" Car

Heading North on I-35 in Deb’s “Summer” Car

Robert’s Grove – Nice Living

We moved the boat to Robert Grove Marina because Deb’s trip north was an unknown for length and I may have to fly out of here as well. The marina area is under construction. It is quite a hike to a bathroom and the cruiser showers have not been built yet. Not a big deal because the cruisers haven’t shown up here either. They are offering specials and trying but not much action as yet. They also haven’t hooked up the meters yet so we’ll see how they charge for electricity and water. The resort is finished and it is pretty nice. Oh … the gym and all the toys including bikes, windsurfers, and Hobie Cats are free.

Life at Robert's Grove Marina: Lagoon Side

Life at Robert’s Grove Marina: Lagoon Side

Quiet Spot in the Lagoon for Neytiri

Quiet Spot in the Lagoon for Neytiri

Robert's Grove Oceanside

Robert’s Grove Oceanside

A Little Contrast: Deb in Minnesota Staying Warm at Mike & Carole's

A Little Contrast: Deb in Minnesota Staying Warm at Mike & Carole’s

A Day Off

I drilled out two rusty bolts in high wind off Caye Caulker to repair the solar panels. We tried to catch all the rust bits but in a few days the boat developed a massive outbreak of brown rust spots. Thirty hours later, I believe we have the upper hand. I dug the tiny little flecks out with a knife, vacuumed up the flecks, dabbed ospho on the stain, waited, washed, and then neutralized with baking soda. That pretty well tore up my back and arms so I declared a day off.

Free Beach Cruiser on the Road to Placencia

Free Beach Cruiser on the Road to Placencia

Hobie Cat Toe Sailing

Hobie Cat Toe Sailing

I bike into Placencia for lunch most days, about 4.5 miles away. I’ve been hitting Yoli’s, Barefoot, and Tipsy Tuna because, for me, eating near the water is mandatory. I’ll be making one night bike trip tomorrow for the big super bowl party. We’ll see how the trip back in the dark goes. I do intend to take the Hobie Cat into Placencia when the wind is right … that will be a blast and I will take a paddle and a VHF.

More Caribbean Signs

WeatherKnotSign

Sofa-King

Beer-and-ugly

Wrapping up a U.S. Summer

October 5, 2013 Posted by Deb

We had a U.S. wish list when we arrived from Guatemala for a cold Memorial Day Cast Iron Canoe trip. We thought we had the summer under control until September snuck up on us. We had to shift into a whole different gear with no more than a few days between final medical, dental, and end of season functions. Oh … and some of the boat part orders had 23-day shipping estimates on them and we cut that a bit thin. Our biggest regret was missing friends that we had promised to visit and we’ve been taking some jabs for that.

A Day at Our Private R/C Field with Dan and Anca Smith and Our Housemate, Bob Dreyer.

A Day at Our Private R/C Field with Dan and Anca Smith and Our Housemate, Bob Dreyer

After a Year of Training and Anticipation, Rubber Duck Racers Walk to the Starting Line

After a Year of Training and Anticipation, Rubber Duck Racers Walk to the Starting Line

And They’re Off

And They’re Off

Minnesota August “Must Do”

August 30, 2013 Posted by Deb

We did our August duty. We went to the State Fair, rented a cabin on a lake up north, kayak’d, canoed, skied, watched the Perseid shower, did the Mississippi headwaters, and tubed the Apple River.

The trip north came first and we headed for Iowa to break out a few of the toys for a family reunion at a cabin on Long Lake near Park City. We went a week early and it took all of that because the old ski boat had not only been used as a shelf for 3 years but was buried behind years of debris. There were battery, tire, registration, plate, and trailer issues but most importantly, we splashed the boat in Lake Red Rock just to see if it would still run. All 190 horses fired up pretty quickly, actually, and we took a nostalgia lap of the reservoir (our first date was there about 40 years ago).

We greased up the axles, hooked up a 1996 E150 van and headed north to pick up my brother Bill at the airport from Alaska and rendezvous with sister Barb and Michael from Missouri. We discovered/remembered later that this summer marked the 40th birthday of that old Sea Ray. We threw in the ski gear in the foolish hope that late 50- and 60+-year-old people could still pull that off.

Caravan North

Caravan North

Boat House

Boat House

Main House

Main House

The rental cabin was old but nice and had a newer bunk house that had 3 floors and room for more than a dozen. The neighbor was happy there were only five of us since he just survived about twenty 20 somethings. Brother Bill took over the boat house.

Not a Covered Bridge for Cars but for Party Folks

Not a Covered Bridge for Cars but for Party Folks

Nice to See Clean Water Again -- Fish Hook River

Nice to See Clean Water Again

Fish Hook River

Fish Hook River

Over the Wake

Over the Wake

Which Way's The Boat?

Which Way’s The Boat?

Sea Ray Pulled Through

Sea Ray Pulled Through In Fine Shape

Mississippi Headwater Bike Trip

It was nice to return to old stomping grounds. We did a 20-mile loop of Itasca State Park and did the obligatory headwaters shots.

Wilderness Trail Itasca State Park

Wilderness Trail Itasca State Park

Jumping Over the Mississippi

Jumping Over the Mississippi

Road Trip to Walker, Shingobee Bay, and Our Old Cabin

We picked a gorgeous, wind-free day and drove 30 miles to Walker for the highlight nostalgia tour of Leech Lake, Shingobee Bay, and the cabin we had in the family for 50 years. We believe that this summer marks the 50th year since our family bought it and we often regret selling it. We stopped at the Kaldor’s dock but they weren’t home. We did run into our old long term neighbors, the Davis’, and chatted briefly with them. Cruising by the cabin either by car or boat is tough on all of us so we didn’t stay long.

Our Old Dock on Shingobee from the Kaldor’s

Our Old Dock on Shingobee from the Kaldor’s

The Apple River, Wisconsin

Now a tame, environmentally sound trip but in the old days the river flowed with mooning teenagers and beer cans not to mention beer byproducts. We celebrated the Commiteymoon with our friends who visited us in Trinidad (Bill and Karen) along with Bill and Nancy Kostur from our former employed life.

KarenAppleRiver

KosturAppleRiver

DebAppleRiverMcteer

Wrapping up August

HorsesStateFair

MNStateFair

All the Toys Had to Go Back to Iowa in 100-Degree A/C

All the Toys Had to Go Back to Iowa in 100-Degree A/C

Our Old Dinghy from Sanity Went On To a New Owner … Sad

Our Old Dinghy from Sanity Went On To a New Owner … Sad