Sunday, May 31, 2009

Got's to Love Pike

Sucker Lake is about a forty-five minute flight in the float plane, from Palmer were we live. The float plane is an awesome toy and is something I am going to have to get someday. The lake is out in the Bush, over the Susitna River and really in the middle of nowhere. I have been there before and there are a couple of canoe's that folks have stuffed in the tree's, so we just borrow one of those and can fish for pike almost 24 hours a day. There is a little point that is decent enough to camp on, so that is exactly what my by, Dane and I did. We set up the tent and hung out eating some good food and fishing for pike that are so full in the lake that it really is a piece of cake to catch them. Though not difficult to catch they are extremely fun, because we fish with top water frogs or something that causes those pike to be fairly explosive when they strike and that is just a blast to watch.
The first night was a bit windy and Dane got cold so we did not fish too long, rather we got camp set up and started a fire so he could warm up. Eventually he was falling asleep in the camp chair so I put him in his mummy bag and he crawled down inside and was out within a couple minutes. He slept until 9:30 the next morning, so he played pretty hard.

Dane was able to catch a fish or two all by himself and was very excited about it. I was surprised how well he did and that he was able to hold onto the pole when those fish hit his lure only five feet off the bank. It was pretty fun to watch him hang on and reel those suckers in. We were picked up by Chuck that next day about noon and headed for home. Dane loves flying in Grandpa's airplane. It was very cool to take my boy out and camp in the Alaska wilderness with him. He loved it and I enjoyed having him with me, even though I could not fish near as much as I would have liked due to taking care of him, but I would not trade it at all, it was awesome.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dirt Update

It has been a slow process, but there is some shape starting to take place on the track now. A good portion of memorial day was spent in moving dirt and working the shovel to mold and shape it into burm's and roller's. The area that I've got the track located is still a little wet, which is making the work a little difficult. It is exciting for me to see a couple things coming together.

Kirk is also in the process of building a pump track in his back yard and its cool to chat with him about ideas and where each of us are at in our construction. He has had a track before, but tore it up to put in his lawn. Now that bike season has come around and both of us are so stoked to ride he cant stand it and is putting another track over top of the lawn... Awesome!

There is one 8' radius burm and two rollers heading into it right here.

This Video is incredible, check it out!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Camping on Weiner Lake

This Memorial Day weekend we did get a little camping in. What started as a horrible decision to camp in a State camp site that would have cost $20 and been surrounded with other bonehead campers not fifteen feet away on all sides actually turned out to be an awesome camp trip. Rather than pitch our tents amidst the neighbors, we called a friend that has some property north of Palmer about 40 miles. It is actually the site of his home way out in the woods that burned down this last year or so. I believe that it caught fire due to his cooking a turkey in one of those deep fryers. That would suck!

Anyway, we ended up having about 70 acres all to ourselves with some sweet fire pits, and a beautiful lake with fish, beavers, and swans. We pitched out tents down by this lake and had great tinfoil dinners that Amy had made for us, hung out by the fire and chilled with our friends, Bryce and Tara.

The night was kind of crazy! Sometime in the middle of the night Tara had to get up with their little girl and go home. I think it may have been too cold for the little one. Dane and Ty handled it okay, we had been sure to put both of them in the 5 Degree bags and Amy and I took some less than stellar bags for ourselves. I have never had to endure such a cold night in such a crappy sleeping bag. At one point I was cold enough to get out of the bag and put as much clothing on as I could find and shoot back into my bag as fast as I could. Amy got cold enough that she woke Ty up and put him in her bag to help warm her up. So we need to get some sleeping bags that are made for Alaska. They may have worked fine for Utah, but they are not going to cut it here.

One cool thing about being awake, freezing to death is that I could hear a pack of wolves howling all night. They sounded to be fairly close to where we were camping and kind of scared me at first, I have never been camping in a tent when I can listen to the wolves at night. The closest thing to that would be sleeping in a hammock in Island Park Idaho and hearing the coyote's around camp, but that is not as cool as the wolves.

We headed home that morning fairly early, because our friends had pretty much left in the cover of darkness and we were just chillin now. The boys had fun though and we came home and got to go flying in Grandpa Chucks airplane, which the boys loved. They crammed in the back seat together and had a lot of fun. There are a few perks about living in Alaska and having a Father in Law with a lot of great toys.

This ugly thing was hanging in the tree where we had our dinner, sadly we did not notice it until after we had started eating. Pretty Gnarly!

I'm Scared

I am scared, because this is my kid. It amazes me how goofy and weird both Dane and Ty can get. This picture just cracks me up so much that I had to post it on here for others to see. Dane is obsessed with making funny faces and goofing off for the camera, but I don't think he could do this face again if he tried.

They are weird, but I sure like hanging out with them as much as I can.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pump Fever

I have got the bike bug so bad, it is ridiculous! I really do wish that the riding was as good up here in Alaska as it is down in Utah. In Cache Valley there is so many good single track rides and with a little travel there is some of the most incredible mountain biking in the world around Moab and Southern Utah. There is a lot of potential here in the Mat-Su Valley though, and I will just have to get out and find more trails to ride even if that includes building some of my own, which I have partially begun already.

I posted earlier about the Giant STP 1 Dirt Jumper that I have been planning on purchasing, and I am pleased to say that I now have that bike in my possession. It is a dream come true! I have been eyeing that bike for a year now and with a little coaxing, my wife came around to the idea that I needed such a bike.

Aside from a little single track through the woods I have also started construction on my pump track. I plan on working on it as often as I can, but it looks like it is going to be quite an undertaking, especially with the area that I have to work with. It is located near the creek and is still too wet to do much with. I had the skidder out on it yesterday and we found that the ground is still frozen solid about a foot or less under the surface. Thu
s far I have cleared the land of the grasses and small trees and now will just have to see how fast that can help the whole thing thaw. The trail through the woods that I have been working on is built in a location to give me a little excitement anyway. I have started clearing the path for an area that starts near the house and winds down through the trees and off of a little hill that has a pretty good drop off the top. The photos that Amy took of this section do not look very impressive, but the drop and pitch of the hill is such that I cannot just ride straight down it or my front tire would drop and I would endo over the handle bars, so it does make it interesting. I have to hit it with enough speed to actually jump off the edge and land on the slope. No one else around here wants to try it. Lastly I wanted to post a sweet video that Kirk sent to me from down in Utah. There is a trail that we used to ride a lot, and they have made some very good additions to it over the years. This year Kirk tells me that there are a couple jumps that someone has built and so he took some video of one of these monstrous jumps. Not only did he get some video of this gnarly kicker but added some radical affects to the video as well. It is probably the coolest jump that I have ever seen.

YESSSSSSS!!! Nice one Kip!

I was working on my manuals with the new bike.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Trooper Diggin

It is not much for power under the hood and definitely does not have the big mud tires or a lift kit underneath it like most four wheel monsters do, but this little sport utility vehicle is a Trooper!

Since our first trip earlier this spring down to the river bottoms with Ryan and his Jeep the boys have been wanting to take the Trooper down and go "diggin" with it. I must admit that I have been a little interested myself to put it into four wheel drive and see how she does. Though I can't say that I have had much opportunity with this vehicle since we got it to get out into the mountains or mud, I have been a little apprehensive to push the little thing too hard for fear of finding out that something is wrong or the four wheel drive doesn't work. Amy is insanely fearful about this sort of thing! We put it into 4wd the other day just to lift the front tires up onto a snow bank a little bit and she was through the roof. She clings to all the handles and totally freaks out even though the back tires are still on pavment. Meanwhile the boys in the back are loving all of it and only wanting to do it again and go higher.

Needless to say, just the boys and I headed off last Saturday to meet up with Ryan and his Dad for this epic adventure. I packed a lot of snacks for the boys and we stopped and got a package of hot dogs for a little fire cooked dinner down on the river bed.

All in all the trip was very fun and I think the boys loved it. The Trooper did very well in four wheel drive and ran excellent. The only complaint that I have about it is that the tires are just street tread, so in the mud they spin a whole lot to get very little done. I do need to throw some BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires under neath it and then she would be just fine.

We had a gourmet fire roasted dinner, accompanied by honey-mustard Pringles that were just divine, and played around until about 10:00PM. I would have liked to be home earlier than that with the young boys, but we are now getting over sixteen hours of daylight and all of us are having a hard time getting used to the fact that bedtime now comes long before the dark.

The only hang up on the whole evening was when Ty and Dane were playing by the river, throwing rocks into the water. Ya you can already guess what happened uh! It was as if it happened in slow motion though. Ty backed up the hill behind Dane and reached down for a rock. I was a little distance off and could see what Ty was doing so I hollered to him not to throw rocks right there, he would have to go back down by Dane who is about four feet away and down hill below Ty. The little stinker kept about his business and got ready to throw this rock about baseball size down to the river. I could see what he was about to do so I started to holler even louder, trying to get him to stop. I yelled out "Ty, Ty, Ty" each time getting louder, because the kid was not listening whatsoever. Sure enough he threw that rock as hard as he could and it thumped Dane right smack in the temple of his head, with a loud pop. It was really weird to watch it all unfold right in front of me and know what was going to happen, even anticipating it enough to instruct Ty before hand not to even pick up the rock, but that kid is mischief.