Friday, October 02, 2015

NAHL Showcase

Last weekend Jon participated in the NAHL showcase for the third straight year. The showcase features all the NAHL teams plus the HS Elite league, along with U18 and U16 teams. Games start on Tuesday and run through Sunday from 7:30am until 11pm. Lots of hockey. There are a lot of scouts from college, JR to NHL. The showcase has a different feel than other tournaments or showcases. With the opportunity for kids to "showcase" themselves there seems to be a bit more nervous energy in the air. I caught bits and pieces of some of the other games, looking for kids we knew that are now playing in the "NA". Heard some interesting comments including the parent that was telling a younger son "he doesn't care if he is trying out vs his friends, he needs to play more physical" 

With the scheduling at the resort and Jon's team being the recipient of one of the 730am games on Saturday morning, Jonell took him down Friday night for the morning game. The second game wasn't until 8pm so I went down for that and Jonell came back.
NAHL score sheet.
Jon played in Rink 5 Saturday night which out of all 8 rinks, it is probably the coldest. The parents were commenting how cold they were and this kid was having no issue enjoying a ice cream cone!

It was a short Saturday night but once again nice to stay at family. Get the chain lubed Garrett, next time we are riding.

Sunday morning I had about an hour so made the trek over to Lebanon Hills which is a short distance from Garrett's house and rode a loop. This is my fourth of fifth time riding there and like I said before, probably my favorite trail in the metro, out of the ones I've ridden. The above section is a fun sweeping berm that sticks out on the system, next to the rock garden segments. Ever since I've started making mtb singletrack 25 years ago, places I've ridden have always influenced the build. I started on a new loop over by Bullhead lake this fall and there will most likely be a piece that has a "Lebanon" feel to it.

Since I was gone Sunday, Jack covered walleye frying duties for me in the kitchen at the resort for a afternoon group. He covered nicely. Well done Jack. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Taste of Lund

Every  year the end of September our church hosts an event called "Taste of Lund". Members of the congregation all contribute to the event by donating Scandinavian food items (in keeping with the heritage of the Swedish founders) to raise money for various church projects and programs. One of the more unique church functions in the area.

One of the signs at Richwood.
We contributed the Norwegian Kransekake and Russian Creme, I mean Swedish, creme.

Full menu.

Saturday morning I brought over the cream and cake while the church ladies were setting everything up. Cleo ready to dish the fruit suppe in the corner.
Home made Rommegrot ready for heating and consumption.
Church ladies strategic planning. One of my favorite church dinners was northwest of here at the Sundal church. They stopped doing the dinner as members of the congregation aged out. As I was leaving, I was wondering how long we will be able to keep this going with a older church. Committed to doing what we can to help out.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Summer End Fall Began

Keeping up to date with the blog isn't as common as years past. Blaming it on other forms of social media and life just seems busier. It has been fun to look back at years past so the intention is to keep this thing going...

Before the end of the summer, my sister and her family met up with my family along with my mom and dad in Duluth for a 24 hour family reunion. I am pretty sure it was the first time all 14 of us have been together at the same time at a location outside Maplelag.

The eight cousins. Growing up!!

The end of the summer I finally got a few races in. I raced in Duluth the Sunday we met up for the reunion and than the following weekend I trekked over to Seeley to race in the Seeley Pre-Fat for the first time. It was a super fun race. A mix of mostly rolling ski trail with some old school singletrack. Race report in the MW MTB report I do for skinnyski if interested in reading.

Jonell and I at the lake cabin before summer's end. Not often just the two of us get away and great weather to boot!

Before school started, Jack had his first cc meet. They have a solid team with ton of depth and will be exciting to see how far they can go with it.

Jens racing in the Laddies Loppet this year. It was the 25th anniversary and was a great weekend. The numbers were down as expected. Many people thinking it wasn't even happening not being part of the series and rumors you have to deal with. All good, had a great group of people at the resort and despite some interesting weather (very hot and humid for one) a special weekend. Photos
Jake racing in the cross country Saturday.

Jon started play in the HS Elite league with the Great Plains team. Training camp opening over Labor day weekend and two weekends and 6 games under his belt. Fast and exciting hockey to watch. Good tune up for the high school season and a chance to get looked at.

First day of school picture taken the day before Jake went back for his final year of college at St Scholastica. Jon a SR in high school, Jack in 10th grade and Jens in 7th grade.

The two Seniors! Both will be captains of their respective winter teams and couldn't be more proud.

Jon joined cross country in to the season. 1) two be on a same team with one of his brothers and 2) conditioning.

 This is one of my favorite times of year. Being in the woods most of the year, the summer is great but deer flies, mosquitoes, gnats, bees, humidity, deer ticks, etc. make you appreciate the coolness of fall, the lack of the above mentioned insects etc. and the changing of the seasons.

The days suddenly are much shorter but with it comes some great sunsets with a low angle sun.
Enjoy fall!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Grand Marais

The end of July, Jens, Jake, Jonell and I made a three day trip to Grand Marais for some biking and relaxing and "Scamping". Jack was at Italian language camp, Jon was at a hockey camp so they were not able to join us.
Exploring the shore.

The Scamp isn't very big but when the outdoors is your living room, it is big enough.
At the Pincushion trailhead ready to ride.
Last year Jens, Jonell and I made a trip up here. A few weeks later, Jon, Jake and I went to Copper Harbor for some mountain biking. We chose to return to Grand Marais for the style of trails and the town of Grand Marais. There were a few new trails since we were there last year. The trails are a mix of machine and hand built. Fast flowing but rock gardens scattered throughout that challenge all aspects of ones skill set. As far as flow trails go, the riding at Pincushion feels more natural, not predictable and truly contour.

Rock garden on a new section. Instead of covering all the rocks up, they worked the terrain to find a line and make for a challenging run ride.
Jens on a berm.
The wind was ripping pretty good when we were there, producing waves more common in October.
Mesmerized by the water.
Jonell rolling over the rocks at Britton Peak. Jonell rode a bit more this year and did awesome. A fun little trail system near Tofte.
Family ride! A great trip and nice weather.
I didn't force the kids into taking this picture.
Jens rolling over the rocks.

Nothing better than riding with your kids.

Hughie's Tacos a must stop in Grand Marais.

Top of state trail that heads back to Grand Marais. Had to stop and tell the boys the story of racing back in 91 and 92, the first years of the Sawtooth Challenge. It was always super muddy and the descent was always dicey. Especially with rigid bikes. 

Meanwhile Jack was at camp. At International Day, the day all camps come together for multi cultural sharing and conclude with song and dance. The Italian camp mixed it up this year, enacting a gladiator scene where Jack was the last man standing! Short version for a bit more complex production.
On our way home we swung by the cities to watch Jon's last game with the U of M model camp. Before his game former Gophers now playing Pro hockey were having a friendly scrimmage. Despite the slower pace, it was obvious there were pros out there with the skill set displayed.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Alex Hockey Fest

Being involved with hockey in some shape or form for almost 40 years now, every year I seem to find myself in a new arena watching the kids. It is pretty neat how every rink is different including the ice. The rink that I've stood in the most though is the Alexandria Runestone Arena. 

Few weekends ago wrapped up Alex Hockey Fest #3 for the summer with Jon and the high school team playing the second tourney there this year.

I was asked to help on the bench. It was fun watching the boys having a good time. It makes you realize that parents take things way to serious as the kids are just having fun.
Face off!
Custom repair job, using tape for string.
In between weekends, we were up in Moorhead one night to watch the production of "Footloose" directed by my sister Debbie who was with the Gooseberry Park players.
Great show!
The weekend before Jens and the Detroit Lakes team he played few times with this summer were playing. Jens and his friend Lucas stayed with me in the Scamp. In between games we kept busy with non stop activity.
Both weekends I brought the Scamp as I have reached my quota of hotel nights stayed in Alexandria.
Bacon, eggs and toast over the fire.
Bumper boats in between games.
Fanta Fest.

Car racing at the local track.

Go cart racing in between games.
Quick rest after lunch.
Prepare to do battle.

Airing out equipment. One of the beauties of summer hockey.

Traveler's Inn. The most popular spot in Alexandria on a Sunday morning. Simple, home cooked meals. We offered our spot but no one wanted to sit at the counter.
Taking a splash in the Long Prairie river on the way home.
We've had some funky weather this summer. Mostly all good other than the day the wind blew 55 mph and the hail but some great sunsets.