Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Cachepedition to Michigan's Oldest

Maps were printed, caches along the route uploaded into the GPS,and the canoe was loaded when the alarm went off at 3:30 in the ayem. Meanwhile, 1Patriot was just finishing up the graveyard shift in Grand Rapids. I pulled up as he was punching out, and we were soon heading north on 131 towards Mission Point and Power Island!

This was a three hour drive, followed by a 3.2 mile paddle across open water to visit the oldest active cache in Michigan. It felt like a pilgrimage.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Building a Backcountry Pulk

They told us to bring a sled to pull our gear for National Ski Patrol's Mountain Travel and Rescue training. We would be training at Sleeping Bear Dunes in western Michigan. While they're certainly not mountains, the immense sand dunes are perched atop towering glacial moraines, and offer ample opportunities to climb and descend steep terrain.

We'll be on nordic skis, camping two nights, and training during the day. It'd be considerably more stable to pull our camping and rescue gear than to carry it on our backs.

While they said we could just pull any plastic toboggan with a line tied to our waist, they suggested that many add tracers to keep the pulk from bowling them over on downhill runs.

... And so the glove was thrown!