Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mesabi Range

I grew up on the Mesabi Iron Range in Northern Minnesota. My hometown of Chisholm lies somewhat in the middle of this strip of iron ore that runs SW to NE from Grand Rapids, MN to Babbitt, MN. The area is dotted with abandoned open pit mines that have become beautiful deep water lakes and a few very large mines and taconite plants that are still operating. The mining companies still own and control a very large amount of the land in this area.

As a child growing up in the heart of the Iron Range we loved to go out and explore. Of course this meant climbing over or under the fences that mining companies erected to keep people out and keep them safe. This also meant that in order to truly get that explorer feel there of course had to be that element of danger. It also meant trespassing on mining company property. We always felt it wasn't illegal unless of course you were caught by mine officials and got a ride into town in the backseat of a squad car only to have your parents come and get you.

Then there was the matter of the iron ore itself. Our mothers, God Bless them, absolutely hated it because of the stains it left on everything. I have no idea how many pairs of jeans and shoes were ruined by myself and my friends and there was never anyway of hiding the fact that you were in a place you were told over and over again not to go.

I can remember taking a long piece of old hemp rope that my father had hanging in the garage and using it to climb down to several inaccessible swimming holes that lay deep in the pits. Tie end around a tree or large bolder and toss the rope over the edge to climb down. No harness, no technical climbing gear, no partner on belay, just throwing caution to the wind. How and hell we survived past the age of 16 has always amazed me.

To this day, these pits create a sense of wonder and they still fill some of us with a sense of wanderlust and the desire to get out and explore. Or, maybe some of us just need to grow up.

Keep exploring...

Monday, August 10, 2015

While Out Riding

A collection of photos from the past month or so of riding. It's a good deal fun for me to get a mix in so I rode the fat bike, Cross-Check, El-Mariachi, 29 nSNGL, and I even got out on the road bike a few times. All fun, and all different. The weather here has been phenomenal and the riding has been even better.

I met a very kind man about a week ago while on a ride over by Coon Rapids Dam. I recognized me from the blog and we had a very nice conversation. So, if you are reading this John, thank you for the brief conversation and taking an interest in my blog. Hopefully we can hook up again for a nice leisurely ride.

This past weekend offered up a couple of nice rides, but haven't uploaded the photos yet. I'm also planning on posting some photos from our trip to Europe.

 Reverend Bob and his congregation. "Sunday Morning Sermon"

"Dirt and Fashion"

Thursday, July 9, 2015


I have completely and totally neglected this space on the inter web for the past two months. Between wrapping up the school year, packing up a classroom, and preparing for our European adventure, keeping up the blog just never found it's way onto the radar. I've decompresssed after returning from our trip and have been trying to get caught up with things around the house. It's been good to get back in the saddle and I'm really enjoying the new Salsa Beargrease, but must admit that I do miss the Pugsley.

I spent some time up in the Northwoods this past week and really enjoyed getting out to ride where I love to ride the most...

 I was actually closer to 47 degrees North

Riding these forest roads and trails never gets old.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Iron Country~Mesabi Trail

 "The Iron Range's Eiffel Tower"
"Our Childhood Playground"


 "Rail Rider"