Tuesday, October 27, 2015

North Dakota Run

Not a motorcycle post but I did manage to work in a picture of an old Honda. Also, I promise to omit the dead animal pictures, I know not everyone is into that.

It's fall in Minnesota and with it brings the annual pilgrimage to "The House" in North Dakota in pursuit of waterfowl. Duck hunters are surprisingly similar to the motorcyclist in that a truly great trip should take you far from home and expose you to new places. It’s with this in mind that I find myself drawn back to the often quiet, agrarian culture that is Northern North Dakota.

One of the biggest culture shocks I experience is not political but practical. The lack of stuff has a profound effect, like when the power goes out and all the ambient noises fade away. The grocery store and hardware store have limited hours, limited selection and they’re in the same building. There’s no internet, no traffic and no decisions. You make do with what you have or go without. I had a flat tire repaired once, it cost $13.00 and the technician gave me good advice about where to scout for birds.

Of course friends, fields, wetlands and wildlife all draw you in too. We hunted with family who, for health reasons, haven’t made it out in a handful of years. And I won’t forget that flock of canvasbacks at sun down, landing just out of range. 

Our hunts were slow but steady(ish). We are often done hunting by 10:00 AM or noon but the warm weather required an all day effort. It was 88 degrees on Saturday, by far the warmest hunt I’ve ever been on. Some years bring big snow storms, closing the interstate. I have fond memories of driving by feel, using the rumble strips to find the road in a white out.

One could buy all their protein at a grocery store, reach all their destinations by auto and miss out on so much.

- Ride North

Ducks over North Dakota

The boys getting ready for the hunt.

"So... the camera means no birds?" - the Dog

Lots of wind and 88 degrees on Saturday, the slough was like natures air conditioning.

Blocks on the water and empty skies, we saw a lot of this.

Real men sleep in the blind, and take selfies.

The mess in the canoe got a little out of hand after a full day afloat.

And the sun sets on the duck slough. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A quick ride over lunch

This is my latest edition to the "Saint Paul is awesome" series. New bicycle lockers at work mean I can store an old 10 speed there and take it out for rides over lunch. The Bruce Vento Trail starts in the parking lot behind my office, making a quick 30 minute spin on the bike easier than ever.

The Bruce Vento starts in downtown, behind CHS field. It takes you to Lake Phalen where you can do a lap around the lake or connect to the Gateway State Trail. From the Gateway you can go all the way to the Saint Croix River, but don't plan on being back to work anytime soon if that's your destination.


Most of the trail is wooded, making for excellent fall riding.

Lake Phalen, in the heart of Saint Paul's east side neighborhood.
There are three bald eagles just out of frame.

Both trails feature bike stands with all the tools you need for minor repairs.

- Ride North

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Good Morning Saint Paul

It’s fall in Saint Paul; the morning commute is never this enjoyable in the cage. A brief detour from the standard route put me in front of ducks, geese, two deer grazing in an opening and an eagle. All this within city limits. 

Harriet Island Park

Lillydale Regional Park

Pickerel Lake

Get out there and enjoy fall, it'll be over before you know it.

- Ride North

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Crossing the 59th street bridge

Brisk fall air.
Clutch out, 
on the gas.
clutch in, 
more brake, 
clutch out, 
gas on, 
brake off, 
on the gas. 
Fresh air in the face. 
Wide eyes. 
City streets. 
Parked cars. 
"Slow down you're movin too fast."
"La de da da, de da da."
"Feelin groovy."
Thanks guys.