Sunday, May 03, 2015

Spring Action

Hardly a day going by without something going on with the kids. The weather has been great for the spring sports which is the only season that sees all high school sports competing outside. Jack has only had one meet cancelled and same with Jon and tennis. Add the extension of Jon's hockey season   and Jens playing in his first "summer" tourney, it has been non stop. All good. 

Jon was named to the Minnesota 18 NIT team which played in Plymouth, MN. the other weekend vs other 18 age teams and Sr Teams from the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and North Dakota. It's confusing to explain, Youth Hockey Hub does a good job breaking down the age categories in this article.

The team won its first three games to get to the championship. They beat Michigan Sr's in the final
to be the first MN 18 team to win the NIT. Minnesota Hockey Article Jon said it was one of the best teams he played on as far as the chemistry of the metro kids and northern kids. Had a blast, great memories and some really fun hockey to watch. The joke after the last game was they were all going to transfer to one these new private schools with a fledging hockey program and try and win a state championship.

With Jens playing in the cities on the weekend as well, there wasn't much spare time but I did sneak over one of the mornings to check out the new mtb trails at Theo Wirth I hadn't ridden on before. The riding was great, the SW loop was a fantastic flow trail.

Jonell and Jens entering the rink once again. Our nephew Garrett also playing in a tourney, caught a few games making for 11 games over the four days. Caught bits and pieces of a few other of the NIT games making for a lot of hockey!
Jens played in his first tourney of the summer with a team based out of Fargo.
Took third in the tourney.
If we hadn't had enough hockey!

Monday after, sports action continuing with Jon playing in a doubles match with his DL hockey team "liney" Sam, losing in a super tie breaker to Bemidji.

At the end of the DLHS complex was the Craig Fredrickson Invite where Jack ran the two mile en route to two PRs. Hit the mile PR en route to a PR in the two. Nice job Jack! Back on the other side of town, Jens in a band concert!

Spring came early this year with continued dry conditions. Can't ever recall a April as dry as this one. It has been great for working on the new mtb trail I started last fall over by Twin Lakes. Making great progress, should have the fine tuning wrapped up by the end of the month, weather permitting. The new addition will be added to the Laddies Loppet race this year. 

Saturday morning met up with Maplelag team riders Steve Wenzel, Greg Ames and Matt Engen for a ride in the Paul Bunyan State Forest. First rode there 25 years ago with Steve. Not much has changed there except for more trails. We rode 15 miles of the 40 mile NW section. There is around 100 miles of dirt bike singletrack. Raw and untamed so to speak. Outside of the Fargo crew and a few others I know have ridden there, a secret stash of singletrack, for mountain bikers anyways. 

Saturday was prom. Jon going with girlfriend Sophie. 

The best part of Prom is Sunday when the kids are all home safe and sound.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Phil Seljevold MAA Invitational

Last Saturday Jack and the DL Lakers participated in a track meet at Moorhead. It was the first meet on the new track they installed last fall. The football field is turf and was first used last football season.
 First track meet I have been too that there was a line to get in. Also first track meet I have paid to get in to. All good, the event was top notch, well run and having run track in middle and high school and watching Jake and Jack run track, I haven't seen a meet run as well  
as this one.
The field is named after my second cousin removed, Jim Gotta who was involved with Moorhead athletics, track and field being his 
number one sport.

 The meet/invitational named after Phil Seljevold. Moorhead figure that did much for Moorhead athletics. Loved the program. List of all seniors, list of events and times, and had each event listed with all participants and their current PR.

 Jack run the JV mile which was the first event and first group to officially race on the new track. 

 The stadium was lined by M Spud flags. Very nice touch and the stiff breeze pretty much had them straight lined. 

Jack coming through.

 Seniors being recognized. Shortly after, the anthem was sung.  Another nice touch.

Jack on the turf. No one wants their picture taken right after a race. Nice work Jack!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Easter 2015-Red Lodge

Once again we were fortunate to spend Easter in Red Lodge, MT. Jake was able to join us making it the first time in over 2 years we have all been together for more than two days at a time. Always good times with plenty of laughs.... and the skiing was great! As usual took a ton of pictures and hard to select less than 20 with over 200 images captured. 

 Rest area stop on the way out. Temp was 80 degrees! Almost 60 degrees warmer than when we left. We were going skiing, right?!?
 Stopped at Arnaldo's in Bismarck for lunch.
 Authentic Mexican food. Great stuff.
 We had some great days in Red Lodge. Beautiful sunny days, and cooler than maybe what we expected. The skiing was hardpacked with some icy spots but nothing that prevented real nice skiing. Skiing got better each day with dustings of fresh snow and repeated grooming. The last day was the best with 2-4" of fresh snow falling throughout the day.
 Family fun in the mountains. Nothing better than spring skiing and with the family... as good as it gets.
 Some of the terrain was closed due to the hardback conditions but the double blacks that were open were great. The fresh snow made it nice and we had to sneak in a few areas that were closed to enjoy the fresh snow on top of the crust. Perfect spring conditions in my book. Also nice having the crust which made for better tree skiing by being able to stay on top of the surface and not punch through at the wrong time.
 Jack ripping up the groomers.
 Jens flying through.
 Jonell carving it up on Lazy M. A nice long run probably the most skied slope at Red Lodge.
 I did both alpine and telemark skiing. Talked the kids in to trying telemark. Super cheap rentals from shop in town. The new equipment makes it much easier and more fun! Jake turning it up.
 Jon on the steeps with a free heel.

  Enjoying the new equipment.
Jack coming in for a turn. Beautiful mountain sunshine. 
 Shredding the fresh powder.

Family selfie on the other side of town taking in the sights. 
 Post ski run.
 Skiing the drainage. Fun stuff.  Didn't ever see a soul on this run. I have found the Red Lodge locals to be very particular on the snow which leaves a lot of terrain untracked and no crowds on the non powder days.
 Jens off the rails.
 More fun in the drainage.

 Had the mtb along, did a few rides including a wet snowy one the last morning checking out the scene at the Nordic center.
 Heading out of town, great ski fence that extended up to the balcony and around the trees.
Traditional breakfast at Red Lodge cafe in the historic downtown before heading out.  Like I said before, we love Red Lodge for it's simple, no ego, down to earth mountain town feel. No crowds, great terrain good vibe.
Fantastic trip, great memories.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Falcon Trails

Last week Jonell and I went up to southern Manitoba for a two night stay at Falcon Trails Resort. Family members from Falcon came to Maplelag in January and after they were here, I really wanted to go up there and check their place out. We found a 3 day window so we made plans back in February to head up. On the way up we were talking how it was probably the first time since October, maybe August we didn't have to be at a destination by a certain time. We were looking forward to a short break after another busy winter season!

All three days were different with a snow storm on the second day than beautiful sunshine on the last day with temps in the teens making it feel like mid winter!

Greeter at the gas station in the small town of Falcon Lake. There isn't much to write about Falcon Lake in the winter time. Gas station, lumber yard that also serves as a liquor store and small grocery is about it and where we stocked up on supplies for the stay. 

 They have a number of cabins right on the shore of Falcon Lake and building new "eco cabins" on the shore of High Lake which we skied up to.

On the slopes of Falcon Ridge Ski with Falcon Lake in the background on the way to High Lake.
 Was great to have fresh snow. Carving fresh turns.
 Heading out to High Lake.

On the deck of one of the eco cabins

The last morning we were there was incredible. Doug, one of the owners had groomed all three days I was there. Didn't expect that with the timing of the year but a family run operation attention to personal service. It was hard to get off the trail.

 They also had a small alpine area with a terrain park serviced by tow ropes. Not big air but having fun! It was a good way to knock out three days as part of 30 days of skiing. No, we didn't not specifally go up there just to ski but obvisously it worked out well.
After we checked out, we went towards Ontario but didn't quite cross the border to visit our friends the Bensons in West Hawk Lake. Maplelag visitors might recocognize the Bensons from Laddies Loppet and they have also come in the winter and one of their daughters was married at Maplelag. Good friends, great people.

To get to their house you either have to take a boat, drive on the lake when the ice is good or walk through the woods. They stock up for at least a months supply of groceries. 

 The Bensons love to keep active, shredding hard on skis, bikes, snowmobiles etc.  Chris showing off the big powder sled with the fat skis.
 Bill making one of his awesome espressos before we hit the road.

You would think Raisin Bran would be Raisin Bran whether it was in US or Canada but the Raisin Bran or deux pelletees I should say, tasted better. Same for apple juice. Fresh from the Okanagon valley. Maybe it tasted better because it was different but good enough to stock up and bring some home.

 The border crossing we used on the way up was closed on the way down because of the time of day so we had to go more west and ultimately through Karlstad. A good place to stop for a birthday dinner and enjoy home made meatballs, Swedish pancakes with imported lingonberries. Great stuff, awesome trip!