Monday, September 30, 2013

Weather Report

Minnesota has the most extreme recent climatic changes of any state in the nation. I find what we are doing to ourselves depressing. I cling to little bits of positive news.  So ...

The upside of global warming. Very late September. No frost yet this year. We returned to Albert Lea after a quick weekend trip to our cottage at Lanesboro, Minnesota. Right now, at 7:51 PM, it is 72F !

Friday, September 27, 2013

Cascade



This is similar to the cabin where we stayed, built in the 1930s. It's small, the bathroom is an addition. There is no kitchen, but they have added a coffee maker, a small microwave and refrigerator. The kitchen is not an issue, there is a pleasant restaurant and a pub a short walk down the hill.








Walking bridge to the pub.
The Cascade River is the color of root beer from the peat swamps that the river drains. It falls down a series of 6 of 8 waterfalls down to Lake Superior.








The weather was glorious, 72F sunny degrees every day. We hiked until we damaged our old bodies. I feel very fortunate to be able to walk beautiful terrain until I wreck myself, take a nap in and old log cabin, then walk down to the pub for fresh fish and Bent Paddle IPA on tap. 

Life is exceedingly fine.

Rocks and Lichens

The rocks of the north shore of Lake Superior are old, maybe the oldest rocks on earth. They were there before the ice ages filled the lake, before humans, before dinosaurs, before we crawled out of the swamps. Even before trilobites and such. They were spewed out of volcanoes almost a billion ages ago when the earth was creating itself - yes, that's a billion with a "b". 

Since then the weather, plants, mosses and lichens are doing their best to grind those rocks into sand. The rocks of Superior were there before us and they will be there after our species passes. I think we are going to be a fast flicker. Maybe the rocks will remember us when we're gone. "Yes, humans, I remember them; they weren't here very long. Let's see, were they here before trilobites? Or after? After, I think."

The lichens themselves are interesting. They are actually a combination of two plants, a fungus and one or more algal species. Not time or room here - and nobody cares much. What I really care about is their tenacious, harsh beauty. 











Rocks and Stones


Given a pile of stones the human animal seems to be moved to stack them up. Sometimes they stack them high and mortar the cracks. Children don't use much mortar. These were taken this week on the shore of Superior at Cascade Lodge.











Thursday, September 26, 2013

Golden-crowned Kinglet

A small bird - Sibley says .28 oz. Okay, it is a really, really tiny bird. Every time I take pictures of flitty little birds I feel I have to apologize for the quality. The pictures are always a little fuzzy and the damned things just won't hold still to really square up on them. I should maybe have hit it with flash, but that seems a little invasive. And it was all I could do just to get it in the viewfinder and pull the trigger.






Boxcars

Tour Divide 2013 Recap

If anyone wants a long read, Cjell spent a little computer time and typed out his memories of this year's trip.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

More Monē!

A video tour of the Z-Man's mobile frame shop.

1975 Dave Moulton Revisited

Right off, let us not confuse David Moulton with Alex Moulton. Dave built world class racing bicycles for Olympic and Tour de France riders; Dr. Alex designed quirky little city bikes for accountants and cement salesmen.

A year ago I posted pictures of Jack (Silk Hope) Gabus' 1975 Moulton. There was a lot of discussion about whether Jack should have the frame refinished or not. Rough paint, but one of the earliest original Moultons around. Eventually, Dave Moulton decided the issue himself. 
Jack,
I really think you leave the paint as is. Although it is very rough, it is the original paint done by me, and as it is a very early frame there will be few like it with original paint making it somewhat rare.
Dave Moulton
So let's get on with it. First, bikes are generally worth more being sold as a pile of parts, but why did someone part out a bicycle of this class? Yeah, I know baby needs a new pair of shoes, but jeez.

Okay, after a year and a half of agony - meticulously cleaning and polishing the frame, assembling the perfect components - correct year patent numbers, not quite NOS, but really close, Jack has it together and road ready. God, it's gorgeous. I am so glad it wasn't refinished. It's just a great restoration. Enjoy.



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