Category Archives: Adventure

My preferred method of travel…slow.

Most of my time spent working is usually with the goal to save up and travel. My girlfriend Jacqueline and I enjoy traveling slowly.  Staying in one place for a few weeks if not a month or more.  It is easier to make good friends and find the secret spots.

Our travels this year have taken us to South America in search of waves and wind.  We flew into Lima, Peru and spent a few nights with an AirBnB, walking in the nicer part of the city and exploring the cuisine.  Quickly realizing that the “expensive” restaurants offered the same fare as the hole in the wall restaurants, we went with the latter.  Ceviche is one of the most enjoyed dishes and the best meal is lunch, you receive a “first” and a “second”, a drink and a soup.  All for about 6$.    Jacqueline was quite excited to explore the chocolate scene, but was only able to locate one chocolate store.  She did make a nice little find of a chocolate tea made from the husks of the chocolate bean.  From there we traveled south to Paracas, to teach Jacqueline how to Kiteboard.

Paracas has great conditions to learn how to kiteboard, flat shallow water and plenty of wind, although you do need a wetsuit after you get 200 feet from the shore.  It is difficult when you are traveling to either bring too much or not enough.  I have all the gear; wetsuits, pumps, kiteboards, surfboards, etc.  But by the time you bring it all, the extra baggage airplane fees add up. Although she had never wakeboarded, and had only flown a kite a few times before, she picked it up quickly.  It is quite a difficult sport to learn.  We had booked a place in Lobitos about 20 hours north of Paracas ahead of time, and wish we would have stayed in Paracas a bit longer to make sure she had kiteboarding “down”.  Waves and surfing was next on the list.

I managed to secure a boat ride out to a secret surfing spot called San Gallan with some locals from Lima.  I can’t say I have surfed that much, a few times here and a few times there,  Wisconsin surf.  But with fairly small waves that were pretty kind.  The day we arrived out at the island, the waves were huge!  I was borrowing a wetsuit from the captain and a surfboard.  The wetsuit was not thick enough and i got real cold in the water.  Luckily I would catch a wave here or there and warm up a little bit, but I didn’t last that long due to being out of shape as well.  I definitely got hammered by a few large waves.  It wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be, due to the fact I wasn’t catching that many waves and everybody else was.  If you caught a wave in the wrong spot, you would end up on the rocks during low tide, and it almost happened to me once.  But I thought of it as a training experience and learned a lot watching the pro’s ride some huge barrels.  The most fun part of the trip were the sea lions. In Peru, they call them sea wolfs.  Packs of sea wolfs would surf the waves and were always so curious.  They would come up and stick there head out of the water a few feet away from your face and look at you with a “come on lets play” attitude.  There were hundreds of these little guys everywhere.  It made for a memorable experience.  I told my new surf friends, give me a month, and i’ll be catching them like you’ll.

Off to Lobitos for more surf…and yoga.

 

 

An Honest Summer

As the water begins to warm DCKT’s kayaks are being prepped, our bus is being cleaned, and my excitement to meet everyone and everything that Door County will show me grows. The Summer of 2013 is going to be filled with kayaking, kite boarding, and new friends. But, just as importantly, this summer my relationship with my fellow paddlers (you!) will be an honest one. I will be capable of telling everyone in my tours an honest recommendation of wineries and bars, for the summer of 2013 is my first summer as a twenty-one year old in Door County! So come paddle with us at DCKT, make some new friends and enjoy a drink with us afterwards! (off the water of course)

2013 Guide James Perry

Learn deep water exit and entry for sea kayaks in a tropical paradise.

long-caye-panoramaSlickrock Adventure’s tiny private island eco-resort on Long Caye  34 miles off the coast of Belize is the perfect place to learn anything having to do with kayaking. Given the 80 degree water and pristine sheltered conditions, it would almost have to be. But along with a bevy of other water sports, sea kayaking is central to a week on Adventure Island so having a staff of expert guides and loads of the latest-model equipment make Slickrock ideal.

The reason so much emphasis is placed on sea kayaking at Adventure Island (http://www.slickrock.com/kayakbelize.html) is that, in addition to it being fun in it’s own right, it also serves as the chief mode of transportation to nearby snorkeling hot spots. That’s why every guest attends sea kayaking orientation first thing after breakfast the morning following their arrival on Batfish, Slickrock’s private shuttle boat.

Kayak Belize lesson

A Slickrock sea kayak guide explains the basics of the “T-rescue” technique on land before the group heads out into the lagoon.

(Caption: A Slickrock sea kayak guide explains the basics of the “T-rescue” technique on land before the group heads out into the lagoon.)

For beginners, our orientation class covers all the basics: how to do a safety check of the equipment, how to hold your paddle, entering and exiting the boat, the use of the spray skirt, etc.

Even expert sea kayakers attend the orientation. At Glover’s Reef we snorkel right out of our kayaks. That means learning how to safely exit and re-enter a sea kayak while in deep water.

Because our guests are generally from the US or Canada, where water temperatures are colder, few sea kayakers ever think about purposefully getting out of their sea kayak. At Glover’s Reef, the water is 80 degrees so we slip out and back into our kayaks all day long.

A second reason even expert kayakers are asked to take orientation is that we teach our guests something called the “T – rescue”, and then practice it right after the demo (at right). This technique is a safe and easy way for one kayaker to assist their partner in righting an overturned kayak in deep water and steadying their boat so they can climb back in.

Once both these skills have been learned, our guests are free to explore the reef far and wide, even without a guide, as long as they have a buddy.

Franklin Seal

Slickrock Adventures

Boy Scout & Girl Scout Kayaking Merit Badge Requirements

Kayaking merit badgeHey Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts! I remember the first time I went kayaking…My uncle, a kayak guide at the time invited me out on a kayak tour with his group. I was quite nervous, being only 13, it was tough to keep up with the group, but I learned quickly all names of the kayak, the different strokes, weather considerations as well as group dynamics. Looking back at that first day, it inspired me to; start kayaking surfing with my uncle, build a wood canvas kayak, visit a kayak symposium, those first few experiences and now led me to surfing, kiteboarding, a job in Maui kayaking and swimming with the dolphins as well as my own business doing something I love! Follow your dreams and passions, even with multiple people saying otherwise, those dreams and passions will lead you success!

So we hope to offer an opportunity for you to get that next merit badge! Don’t think it will be too easy, kayaking goes back to the time of the Native Cultures like the Inuits, there is deep history with many interesting sports they used to play, e.g. Having a race upside down in a kayak, by putting the paddle over the bottom of your kayak and racing a friend. Might not want to try that friendly competition until you have mastered the wet exit.

Kayaking merit badge requirements requires prior BSA swimmer test.

  1. Explain the potential hazards encounter while participating in kayaking activities, including weather and water-related hazards, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
  2. Review prevention, symptoms, and first-aid treatment for the following injuries or illnesses that can occur while kayaking: blisters, cold-water shock and hypothermia, hyperthermia, dehydration, sunburn, sprains, and strains.
  3. Review the BSA Safety Afloat policy.
  4. Review the characteristics of life jackets most appropriate for kayaking and understand why one must always be worn while paddling. Then demonstrate how to select and fit a life jacket for kayaking. What “Type” life jacket is required to kayak?
  5. Review the importance of safety equipment such as a signal device, extra paddle, sponge, bilge pump, and throw bag.
  6. Kayak Nomenclature.
  7. Review the differences in the design between recreational, whitewater, and sea or touring kayaks. Include how length, width, initial and secondary stability, and rocker are involved in the design of each type.
  8. Review the advantages and disadvantages of the materials most commonly used to make kayaks. Explain the care, maintenance, and storage of a kayak.
  9. Using the trucker’s hitch and bowline, demonstrate how to secure a kayak to a rack on a vehicle or a trailer, or to a rack on land.
  10. How to choose a kayak paddle.
  11. The different materials from which paddles are made, parts of a paddle, and the care and maintenance of a paddle.

Using a properly equipped kayak with an open cockpit, a sit-on-top, or an inflatable kayak, do the following:

  1. Safely capsize and perform a wet exit.
  2. Reenter the kayak with assistance from a buddy boat.
  3. Demonstrate a kayak-over-kayak rescue.
  4. Demonstrate the HELP position.
  5. Capsize the kayak, swim it and the paddle to shore, and empty water from the kayak with assistance, if needed.

By yourself with a properly equipped kayak demonstrate the following:

  1. Forward stroke
  2. Backstroke
  3. Forward sweep
  4. Reverse sweep
  5. Draw stroke(s)
  6. Stern draw
  7. Paddle a straight line for 25 yards, make a sharp turn, and return 25 yards in a straight line.
  8. 360 degrees rotation to the right and 360 degrees rotation to the left.
  9. Move abeam to the right 10 feet and to the left 10 feet.
  10. Stop the boat in one boat length.
  11. Paddle a buoyed course of a length determined by your counselor that includes two right turns and two left turns performed while under way.

Well, good thing kayaking is fun, because that is a lot of knowledge to learn. Help out your fellow troop mates and lets hear some comments that answer these requirements!

 

Tony the River Otter…or some sort of creature.

We have yet to determine what animal this is, we’re bringing in experts from all around the county to help us pin point the creature we’ve grown extremely close to.

Meet Brody’s new friend Tony! Tony loves to bask in the sun over at Cave Point County Park. He also enjoys a brisk swim as long as his best friend, Brody, watches over him.  Tony loves playing chess, as well as challenging himself with rubix cubes.  His favorite animal friend is a Wamandark, half Whale Shark, half Charmander.  He is fascinated with the flames of the charmander & the powerful movements of the largest non-mammalian vertebrate. When the night sky covers his cave, Tony marvels over the constellations, recently discovering Aquila. Yet, Tony’s favorite constellation is Delphinus because it’s a little nugget just like himself!

His favorite jokes are knock knock jokes. His favorite one in particular combines two classic jokes;

“Why did the chicken cross the road?”
“umm, I dont know”
“To get to her friends house”
“knock knock”
“who’s there?”
“the chicken! duh!”

Tony’s Story:
A long time ago, Tony packed his little things in his little briefcase and walked his little legs down the big coast. He was wrongfully accused along his travels and sent to prison for life! In prison, he befriended a kayak tour guide named Brody who was also wrongfully accused and given a life sentence. Even though they were two completely different creatures from different backgrounds they shared a common experience that created a strong bond between them. This bond grew so strong it seemed as if nothing could ever break it. They also shared a dream that every creature on this planet should be given a chance to pursue, and that dream is freedom! As time went on, Tony realized he had to make a plan before it was too late. One day he broke free from the chains that were causing him pain and made a break for the coast. Years went by and Brody eventually was liberated and all charges were dropped as he was found innocent! He remembered a talk he and Tony had shared years ago of a beautiful coast in a distant land… DOOR COUNTY! He paddled and paddled until he reached Cave Point where the two were reunited! Beautiful beaches, dolomite caves, and sunshine forever! They pass each other once a day and exchange smiles that only the two of them will ever understand. The smiles represent more than happiness, more than freedom… they represent hope!
Don’t ever give up, and don’t ever lose hope in your dreams to come paddle with us down the beautiful coast of Door County!

What animal would you embody?

Throughout these past few weeks, our guides have encountered a plethora of animals along our paddles. From swans to otters, our tours haven’t lacked the visual appeal of wildlife in Door County.  Our recent sitings of the playful family of river otters portrays the elements of earth & water, both in which encompasses our passions of adventure.  Come paddle with us, gather your courage & curiosity, & the great bald eagle may grace us with its presence.

Happy 4th o’ July Door County! Enjoy the explosion of colors in the evening sky in Baileys Harbor tonight!

 

July 4th, 2012 Kickoff!

Our favorite holiday is just around the corner…JULY 4TH!

Aside from the traditional 4th of July events such as BBQ’s, fireworks and boating, Door County has some of the most fun outdoor activities one can imagine. What is our favorite? Kayaking of course! With 298 miles of shoreline waiting for you to partake on a kayaking adventure there is no reason not to get out on the water on us.

Besides kayaking, our guides at Door County Kayak Tours share a wide array of personal interests and hobbies. Every year around the 4th we make an extra effort to enhance our team bonding and are always on the lookout for an adventure. Our next two weeks are not just filled with work-but also skydiving, kiteboarding, ziplining, climbing, off road segway-ing and fishing (just to name a few).

These past 2 days we’ve been blessed with a full day of kiting lessons in Bailey’s Harbor and a chartered fishing trip with Reel Addiction Charters in Ellison Bay. A big thanks to Captain Tim for taking the crew out and helping us come home with 12 salmon…enough dinner for a few weeks! With a great kickoff to the 4th of July craziness we look forward to many more adventures in the upcoming weeks- stay posted!!

Thanks for listening, and if you’re ever wanting to fish be sure to check out Reel Addiction Charters :)

-Tina

Exploring off Ridges Rd. in Bailey's Harbor

Emma, Brody and Tina after a day of kiting

My first fish of the evening!

The whole crew with our "catch"

 

 

Aviary Invasion

If you are a fan of the aviary variety, then Door County is a good place to do your gawking.  Whether you’re looking for Cardinals, Vultures, Pelicans, Hawks, Eagles and/or the ever available Seagulls, there is something to be seen if you have an eye on the sky.  My bird book has taken note of all of the varieties above, but by far the most tremendously amazing encounters have been with the US of A’s pride and joy-> thee Bald Eagle.

The first meeting came on the way back from a tour of Cave Point.  One lady had asked if we were going to see any birds on the trip, and I could only promise that there would be a plethora of Gulls along the way.  Sure enough, as we made thee approach back to the launch site, from the vast blue abyss that is Lake Michigan, a white-headed wonder soared in above and made its nest in a shoreline cedar.  Sometimes, you do get what you wish for*

The second meeting was a bit different, but just as grand.  Just last Tuesday, on a two person private tour, a mother Bald Eagle and its Fledgling came in over the land from the South, and put on quite the display of outstretched wings.  It was the first time that I had seen a “teenager” Eagle and they are quite easy to distinguish, as they are mostly brown with white spots.  It was hard for me to maintain my excitement, but luckily the guests were just as enthused as I.

Bald Eagle and It's Fledgling
My brother is a trained Wilderness Guide out West in Washington, and always emphasized that one should always keep their chin up because of the way our eyes and faces are designed.  We can easily look down without moving our heads, but we can not easily look up.  Try it- keep your chin up so you can see the sky, and you can still see below and out in front. If your chin is down so that you may better see your feet, anything above is in your blind spot.

Keep Your Chin Up and Your Eyes on the Sky^ :)
Sincerely,
Keith

Winter Pro-leisure circuit travels

Traveling

On a sad note of my puppys departure via a hwy 42 smashed trailer, smoke and ashes, I left for Maui with my kite gear strapped and an old friend and guide, Rachel house sitting with her boyfriend Jesse, a local cook at the Bayside Tavern.  Rachel, curently works at the Bead Bucket in Ephraim and Greens and Grains in Egg Harbor, she is the creative type with her ideas often elegant, simple from unique pieces of jewelry to magical inventiveness somethings. She has a etsy site where she sells her creative jewelry. Hopefully it helps to have her around for the winter, because my new house could use a womans touch.  Jesse, is the quiet hard working type that is dreaming for more than dipping cheese curds in hot fryer oil. I kinda wish I could stick around to create with them. Hopefully I will get a chance in December.

Maui

Maui welcomed me with a 4-5 foot wave day and strong winds.  I have been staying at the Northshore Hostel in Wailuku.  It is a good spot to start from, but I doubt I will stay here long, too many travelers.  I would like to end up hanging out and doing some yoga with some locals, or old friends, like my Evergreen State College soccer buddy Vanessa Charles, looks like she is hosting a big island yoga detox retreat in Feb.  Doubt I will be here then, but wish I could join that, I could clean out some of the wisconsin cheese curd cholesterol sitting in my arteries with some fresh maui juices.

I have a some great friends in Oahu I would love to visit as well, Matt Joswick, who is my search engine optimization specialist for my outdoor adventure zip line, kayaking and kitesurfing, stand up paddle boarding websites.   He also does some work for a local company in Kailua and Oahu, HI called Wind Ward Watersports that specializes in Kayak Rentals, Kiteboarding Lessons, SUP Rentals, and Surfing.  So I hope to get some more time on the water touring the island in a few different vehicles and maybe hang out with a professional kiteboarder, Jeff Tobias.

Colorado

Looking ahead towards the fluffy white, picking up some backcountry gear for some sidecountry riding in east vail.

Oregon

Explore some Zip Line potential in the Alsea Mountains in Oregon at the ThymeGarden.com.  They are secluded, majestic and the local area could use an eco-activity like zip lining.

All in all, it should be a beautiful winter with wind, sun, waves and snow, I just wish more of my friends could join me on the adventures ahead.

Fall Colors Tours

Summertime in Door County may be idyllic, but fall is when our county really shows her stuff. Brilliant yellows and vibrant reds are already beginning to dapple the trees, and orchards are getting ready for what looks to be a massive apple harvest. Anyone who wasn’t able to get away for the summer can still get deals on biking, kayaking, zip lining, sailing, sightseeing, scenic boat cruises and airplane rides – all without the heavy crowds. Pumpkin Patch Festival comes to Egg Harbor October 10 and 11 this year, a fun family weekend that draws people from all over the country. The village comes alive with colorful displays, zesty hot ciders, parades, retail specials, cultural events and more. Local farms put out their best at all of the roadside stands and markets throughout Door County, selling the freshest produce and delicious seasonal treats. You can experience great cuisine with the Kingdom So Delicious festival, one of the tastiest September fall festivals in Door County, or enjoy the magic of Fall Fest in October – whatever you do here this autumn, you’re going to have a ball.

Gravity Trails in northern Door offers you the chance to get up close and personal with Door County fall colors. Our Fall Colors tours take you straight up into the trees for breathtaking views. Bike the scenic trail back to our zip course and fly through the trees. Make it a true fall experience with a kayak tour on the pristine Mink River, where you’ll travel through Wisconsin’s only officially designated wilderness state park, Newport State Park in Ellison Bay. It doesn’t get any more refreshing than having fun with friends and family in the crisp fall air.

Get a shot in the arm this fall with these great Fall Color Activities and more. Give GT a call to make your reservations today – remember, weekends fill up fast!

Baja or Bust

At last a chance to sit down and catch up. Baja or Bust Adventure

With the goal of offering a adventure camping trip in Baja, we took off across country. We soon found out we had too many goals cluttering our minds, it looks as if the baja trip will be purely adventure and researching.  We scrapped bringing the E350 for the Mercedes. and only took one kayak, which we hope to leave in baja.

After collecting and filtering enough vegetable oil from Sonny’s and Digger’s Restaurants to get to Nebraska.  We found ourselves with a plugged fuel filter after 1000 miles, it was night, we couldn’t find the headlamp, so Abbie used the ipod to illuminate the greasy fuel filter replacement during a cold october night.

Our first destination was the flatirons in Boulder, CO.  We had friends with climbing gear, a determination to get outside and  explore the beauty of the flatirons.

We had a great time goofing off in the flatirons, our rock climbing friend Justin Budd, set ropes, and we scaled up some beautiful pitches.  After a hard day of climbing.  We decided to do some free style walking, which turned into free style running down the mountain path.  Jumping from boulder to boulder and defying what we would even think of doing if we had looked before we leaped.  Justin, Abbie an I all agreed it was some of the most fun we had had running ever.  I usually tell myself that I don’t run except for a few exceptions; the cops and soccer.  Well now there is a new exception to the rule, freestyle trail running.  Its always an adventure to play with Justin Budd.  Here are some pictures of freestyle running.  As I write this, I am in catch up phase, so we have not busted, we are in baja, in fact, I only have 10 days left before I have to leave for colorado.

Did you guys know… BAJA is AJA… but with a B…

Hola… writing today with the splenders of another penninsula on my mind.  Imagine if you may, endless beaches, unexplained rock formations, colorful deserts, gray whales, brilliant clear skies, and a variety of unique people to spice up your life!  Getting excited already?? Because I sure am!  This winter myself (guide), David Rack (owner of DCKT), Abbie Turner (guide/photographer), Taylor Johnson (photographer), Chris Katzban (guide), John Suhar and some other friends are heading to the BAJA penninsula in search of fun in the sun, a winter escape, and of course adventure.  The winter months in BAJA average 70-80 degrees which sounds like just about perfect winter weather to me! That is one thing I will not miss while basking in the Mexican sun, is the freezing cold Wisconsin winters!  Because of the consistently beautiful weather nothing will hold us back from engulfing ourselves in the endless adventure that awaits.  Mile after mile of stunning coast line provides perfectly sandy kayak launch locations and speaking of kayaking… I thought kayaking around Door County was beautiful, but could you imagine kayaking the Sea of Cortez (water way between the BAJA Penninsula and the rest of Mexico) while gray whales swim by you?

Ephraim’s 44th Annual Fyr Bal Celebration!

                norwegian-flag.jpgfyr-fire-3.jpg        

   Today is the first day of Fyr Bal in Ephraim!!  Fyr Bal pays homage to early Norwegians celebrating Midsummer’s Eve. Tomorrow we’re going to have our annual Fyr Bal tour, where we will paddle Eagle Harbor and get an amazing view of the flaming fires that welcome in the Summer Solstice. Aside from an awesome opportunity to paddle with us, Ephraim will have tons of fabulous fantastic activities such as: artists, musical entertainment, shopping, trolley rides, family activities and of course, a classic Door County fish boil on the shoreline. We are going to paddle at dusk, where we will be able to enjoy the sunset, then watch the 9 or so bonfires blaze then fireworks to end a great night. I’ll be wearing my Fyr Bal hat and Norwegian earrings all day long! A warm Scandinavian welcome awaits you in Ephraim anytime of the year but especially so during Fyr Bal!

 For the complete schedule visit- http://www.ephraim-doorcounty.com/fyr_bal.html

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Great People, Good Food, and Beautiful Scenery

As new comer to the Door County area, I have already fell in love with the sights, sounds, and amazing atmosphere here in the north east peninsula of Wisconsin. I have had some great experiences so far including kayaking out on the water and viewing, for the first time, the caves that truly are a sight to see, hiking around on Eagle Trail in Peninsula State Park, cooking some amazing food, meeting a wide variety of unique people that are all pulled together by the love of the outdoors and the atmosphere that comes with it, and many more. One thing that I continue to find breathtaking every day is how stunning the sunsets are and how they leave you with this amazing feeling of serenity. I can’t wait to kayak a sunset tour soon and be able to view one from the water. I already know this is going to be one incredible summer and I can’t wait for those consistently beautiful summer days and all the fun that comes along with it. Living out at ‘Camp David’ on county highway F has also been a blast and Fishstock concerts are definitely going to be a highlight. This is the type of summer fun you just do not want to miss!

Climbing on the St. Croix

River boat

As the hardest of the snow follows exodus into the ground water and beyond,

joining the river in its triumphant run,

spring finds the aspiring rocky faces nearby

suddenly populated.

>>

In short, I joined some other students on a where the St. Croix River separates Wisconsin from Minnesota

and spent the day climbing some of the adjacent cliffs. Excellent photo op.

This was the first day above 10 degrees in a while.

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Single pitch, about 5.9.

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Two old-fashioned river boats, that would no doubt be full of tourists in the summer, sat dormant at the landing.

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-Get outside.

Mud Lake Paddle

This past Wednesday David, my friend Jack, and I went for a paddle down Mud Lake at the Ridges Sanctuary.

Mud Lake conservation messageThe weather was gorgeous, but the water temperature was a tad chilly at 40 degrees F. Door County Mud LakeMud lake

During the trip we saw a variety of birds, frogs and fish. The Ridges Sanctuary is known for a large variety of flora and fauna in the wetlands area and boreal forest. We heard the potent call of the small spring peepers. Although we didn’t see any, they were very audiable. Frogs are indicator species, which means they are the first to be affected by pollution and changing habitat conditions. With this said, it was quite a joy to hear such an ample amount of these frogs. Besides the Spring Peeper, we heard the Western Chorus Frog, and possible echoes of the faint but resonant call of the American Toad. Also, I have included some short audio clips of the frog calls. They’re pretty easy to hear once you know what they sound like.

Spring Peeper

spring-of.jpg

03-spring-peeper.m4a

Western Chorus Frog

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-western-chorus-frog.m4a

American Toad

american-toad.jpg

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In the Aves department, we had a few sightings. Although none of us are experienced birdwatchers, we managed to decipher a few species. Some of the most exciting sightings were:

Peregrine Falcon Cardinal Sucker Fish

peregrinefalconkk.jpg card.jpg resized1.jpgDoor County Birds Woodpecker

We also thought we saw spawning salmon, only to realize that they were in fact, “large lipped” sucker fish.

As we were returning from our paddle, Jack and I decided to take the “easy” exit, while Dave decided to brave the ominous tunnel rapids. We were mystified as he flew through the spider- infested tunnel towards Moonlight Bay.

Overall, we all had a marvelous time and learned a lot. I even got to drive the kayak bus for the first time. And let me tell ya, backing up is surely an art that takes a lot of practice!

Tree House Resort

Had a fun weekend traveling down to my uncles place,Uncle Allans House

We took a midnight paddle on his pond. Pond

Then traveled on down the coast past some clear cuts, Clear Cut how they get away with cutting down all the trees is beyond my imagination. They also spray pesticides to kill off any leftover vegetation so that they can replant only what trees they want after they clear cut. The pesticides end up running into the rivers and contaminating the local salmon population.

The tree houses img_0194.jpg were funny as each one had its own character. It was exciting to walk around 50 feet off the ground from house to house. Tree House

The best activities other than the horse swingsHorse Tire made from old tires were zip lines that ran from tree to ground and from tree to tree.img_0195.jpg

We were lucky to end our drive home with a few full rainbows. Rainbow

Snowkiting Mt. Dalles

The day started out with Katie, Randy and myself heading up to Mt. Hood at 7 in the morning. As we neared the Mountain, we found out why I had made a goal of not going on the weekend. There was a line of cars backed up about 5 miles…Not my idea of getting out into the wild, so a quick decision was made after an hour and a half of driving to whip a shitty and head back to grab our kites and rehead back out east to explore unkited territory.

Wahooooo!

Scooting back to our house, we did some quick research (northwest kite forum) and decided to head to hood river to scope the surrounding area, or more specifically, Mt. Dalles. It was a wild idea to think we would hit all of the variables but, as we left Portland on our second mission of the day, the sunlight appeared! That is a sign in Portland, where the sun barely shines in the winter.
Following the directions led us to a steep climb up a snowy back country gravel road. Luckily, the road was windswept enough to allow Randy’s vw to make it most of the way, Car ridewith a little help from Katie and I pushing I areas. No car adventure is an adventure without some car difficulty:)

As we approached the summit, the wind had picked up to get me grinning from ear to ear. I hopped out and was running around setting up my kite, by the time I had it launched, the wind had picked up considerably. 20 minutes into my kiting, I with my helmet!!!was being dragged along the ground, dodging rocks reaching for my safety release! My kite had burst its leading edge(envisioning this is probably over the head of most readers) basically my kite broke and I had no way of controlling it other than pulling the safety release and pulling in the kite with one line.

This doesn’t happen often, but with the cold weather, the increase in wind speed, the exposed rocks(i must have hit one with the kite) and the fact that my kite is going on two years old have a lot to do with it breaking!

Luckily for me, Randy had a back up kite which was smaller, and more easily controllable in higher winds. Comparing snowkiting to kiteboarding on water, is apples and oranges. Pushing snow around is much more tiring on your legs, and so Randy and I took turns on his red 9meter Best Waroo. It took a few minutes to adjust to the speed of the kite and retime my jumps, but I eventually got it down and was boosting over the small creek.yeah

I even got to throw in some grabs.Yes

While Randy was riding mountain snowkiting I was able to give Katie some basic kite flying lessons on the 2meter trainer kite,img_0029.jpg she picked it up quickly and i hope to get her on a larger kite next time, although she is in Mexico now working with an organic farm.

I am getting my kite back from the repair facility in the next week. A trip to Idaho is in the planning stages. I can’t wait!

See you in the stratosphere!

David

Organic Family Reunion

    Skipped town down to Alsea, Oregon to visit my aunt Pauline and Uncle Allan for a little known weekend as easter weekend. Car pooled with my good friends Tim, Will. Tim, an architect and Will, a chef, we talked about what my new building design would entail.  Tim was able to focus my ideas with design, function, and aesthetic questions.  I really enjoyed our conversation and felt that much closer to coming up with a sketch, which will be the next phase.  Tim, now my architectural consultant breathed creativity, open, aired, outdoor, geo/eco-dual layered, bio swaled, aritistic inspiration into my living/working space in my dreams. I am staying in a tree house this coming weekend for a camping trip, so, that will motivate some more visual ideas from up high.

As we worked around their organic farm, my uncle gave two large root balls of bamboo to a friend of his, which was a tractor process.  Did some gardening, planting potatoes, onions, chicken manure, turning soil, talking story.  Had a beautiful little soup lunch, made by my aunt pauline, she is such a unbelievable cook, and so humble, she reminds me of my grandmother, but, sorry grandma, a better cook.  ouch, sorry dad! of coarse grandmas lemon merigue and ritz cracker pie, um, um.  It is funny how holidays and food bring back fond memories. Taste and smell have that unmistakable power.

Lunch conversation was focused around my uncle’s 11 year business struggle of the invention of a new sawzall blades that has cutting teeth on every edge of the blade.  The large tool corpocracy has a strangle hold on American innovation and I wish it would be easier for him to succeed.  There is some hope with the European market, so I am teaching him about the power of the web and he will start an inventors blog tomorrow and start talking story about the ups and downs of from idea to market.

Obama was another topic, though my thoughts are that there is no significant difference between the republicans and democrats.  I see no true value in a political system which can be so easily owned by the almighty $.  But that is another post all together.  Should I even mention politics on my Kayak Tours website?  What do you think?