Sunday, April 22, 2007

Four Days

Here I sit, my eyelid black and blue, my back sore enough cause pain with breathing, my biceps and shoulders sore enough for me to avoid lifting them. However, I do not list these attributes as complaints but as proud evidence of my last four days of adventure.

It started last Wed. with the baptism river... Me and a friend drove up and decided to run a river we had never paddled. It was laden with falls to portage, and class III drops that kept your adrenaline pumping as your kayak leapt over wave trains.

Next came Thursday in which I drove with companions out to rock climb Palisade head. I rappelled down the 80 ft cliff to the shore of lake superior. There after I managed to whip myself in the eye with the rope...leading me to climb half blind for the remainder.

Friday I awoke a 6:00 am and drove out to Ely's peak where I spent 9 hours tackling a 5.11b overhanging dihedral finger crack. Promptly thereafter myself and a friend drove out and kayak surfed the standing waves of the St. Louis River until nightfall. Then we drove to the Kettle River.

Saturday, I awoke to the sounds of the Kettle river running and thunder approaching. I paddled and played in the whitewater of the Kettle river all day.

I awoke more sore than I had been all year, but pleasantly had much to show for it....

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Surfing Lake Superior: Day 2

I woke in the early AM hours and put on my damp wetsuit and dry top. Seeing the sun shining warmly through my windows woke me up as I headed out the door. I loaded up kayak and was off with my fellow paddler for the wave riddled shores of Stoney Point on Lake Superior. We arrived to find that the stillness of the morning had slowed the winds and lessened the size of the crashing waves. Yet having seen a few sets break, we deemed paddling well worth getting wet.

They were nice clean 3 ft breaks just fun enough for a nice ride, but having no wind you had to work for your waves very little. It was balmy in temperature as we surfed and watched as the sun rose from it's lowley position until it was high in the sky. Blue skys complimented the crystal clear lake. It was a gorgeous day of non-strenuous surfing, and I was thankful for every minute of it....

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Surfing Lake Superior: Day 1

The April gusts brought grey skies and rolling waves to the shores of Lake Superior. Suprisingly I stepped out my door, kayak and paddle in hand, to find it warmer than expected. I jumped in my fellow adventurer's vehicle, and raced for the body of water that so beautifully graces Duluth.

When we reached Lester river we could see the large waves curl towards the shore line in long breaks. Having seen a few sets come in it was clear we needed to get on the water. Clad in neoprene from head to toe we set off into the wind swept waters. We paddled furiously against the breaking waves and broke through their peaks until we were past the break line. There we found we were not alone seeing five surfers on their boards working tire-less for the prize of a long ride.

With this same goal in mind I paddled hard, and found just what I was looking for. It is an indescribable feeling, dropping over the crest of an 8 foot wave and carving down its slope as it curls down and crashes around you in a explosion of water. For a small momentum you're blinded then you emerge from the spray surfing sideways in the continuing wave of whitewater then carefully placing a paddling stroke and turning an edge to turn slide down the wave backwards: watching a wall of water curl up and reach out for you as it block your view of the dark horizon of sky and water. You couldn't ask for a more exhilaratingly beautiful scene...

After leaving as darkness slowly crept upon us, you felt like an excited little child having just discovered candy: speaking in half sentences usually ending within exaggerated exclamations of awe at the experience. That night when my friends asked me what I did, there came the normal frustration at my inadequacy to conveying the experience of surfing a wave... then suddenly finding a better way to describe the undescribable... I let out a sign while I smiling wide and stared off into the distance.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Quest For The Cadbury Egg

Every spring, out of fantastical childhood dreams and the reinforcement of TV advertizing comes into existance a rabbit that lays delicous chocolate eggs filled with a dilectable white creamy frosting filled yolk. Biting into one of these eggs, one couldn't keep the taste from reminding them of the sweetness of spring, the resurrection of Jesus, the coming daylight, multiplication of rabbits, and.... fertility. Of course, with absolutely no seriousness I am refering to the Cadbury Egg...straight from the British shores It is the quintessential Easter candy.

Anyhow, this year having attained an age far past childhood, I recieved no Easter candy this year. Having the rising feeling of deprivation, I decided that the week after Easter would be the best time to make a killing on Easter candy and satisfy my insatiatable desire for Cadbury Eggs.

And so the night of April 10th, I set off for my adventure filled quest to obtain Cadbury Eggs. At my side I brought two companions of the utmost stature when it came to Easter candy shopping. The first stop was Cub Foods, which left me empty handed with the exception of some lowly starburst jelly beans. Next we arrived at Super One Foods, and reflective of the quality of the establishment: they had absolutely no Easter candy. Next came Target, which was also devoid of Cadbury. Then having entered the infamous Walmart store, it became apparent that China hadn't found a way to bypass the Cadbury Rabbit and manufacture Cadbury eggs, for it too was empty of Cadbury. We then stopped at a Walgreen' was closed, then another Super One Foods...nothing, no Cadbury.

So in a last desperate attempt I drove down another Walgreen's in a less then pretty area of Duluth...and there in urban ugliness shined a little light... for there I found half price Cadbury Eggs at 25 cents a piece. I left the store with my bag filled with 40 eggs knowing that I would have enough to have the a taste of spring for months to come...