Slope Oak

it's the ride that counts

Millcreek 16.5 Hybrid

The build log for my tandem kayak project


I’ve been wanting to build a wood core kayak for at least a decade. I’ve clicked through the boat designs at Chesapeake Light Craft on and off for years. After much internal debate I purchased the Millcreek 16.5 Hybrid Tandem Kayak. The “hybrid” part is that the hull is marine plywood but the decking is done with 3/4″ cedar strips arranged in what ever design I feel like I can pull off. Hmmm…

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Gold Butte

February was datacenter migration time, which meant a few trips to Las Vegas. The last one would require renting a giant SUV to haul some IT crap. Since I had to drive that thing back home, there was enough room for my bike and gear, and we would finish up work Friday morning the scene was set for my first bikepack of 2018. In the sixties during the day, high twenties at night. Not bad for wintertime.

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Silver Island Mountains

Silver Island Mountains Register

I wanted- no, needed another bikepacking trip before the snow. Threw together a quick overnighter just outside of Wendover, UT. Between low-end desert casinos and the Bonneville Salt Flats lay the Silver Island mountains, with Floating Island right next door. My plan was to do a figure-eight around the island with a side trip over a causeway seen on Google Maps to camp on Floating Island. Being an isolated mountain range with one road around it I forsook Navigation Devices. Just need to look for a left turn somewhere around 30 miles. The satellite photos made it look so clear. Oddly enough, things don’t always look the appear with the same clarity at ground level.

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Cathedral Valley with the Doob

In which I take my youngest on his first bikepacking trip through the Cathedral Valley- also the first non-solo trip for me. A seasoned backpacker and both youthful and strong, the ride resembles my solo trips as he disappears ahead. I lag behind, alone and happy.

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A Roll in the Uintas

August is not what you’d call a prime desert riding month in Utah. With the Wasatch and Uinta mountain ranges in my backyard there are ample opportunities for more elevated exploration. Temps in the nineties during the day drop to the forties at night. Moose and mule deer appear along the way, our paths intersecting for a moment, each sizing up the potential threat of the other. In the fullest acknowledgment that the encounter is serendipitous, not sinister, we turn our backs to one another and continue on.

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Cedar Mountains

Visiting an old friend, having ridden through the Cedars as part of the The Wild Horse. Taking the short course route I come upon the junction to Hastings Pass, the road continuing around the mountains the bastion between the dry high desert landscape and black ash.

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White Rim – Solo Overnighter

This is the first outing on my shiny, roll-y, rubber and steel new ride. What better way to christen it than a solo overnighter on the White Rim.

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Rawland Ulv

Desert build, lots of water storage.

Build pictures…

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Arches the Old Way

arches backroad pano

arches by backroad

I found myself with an open weekend and a desire to revisit Arches in the style of Ed Abbey circa Desert Solitaire. No, not barefoot, drunk and dressed like a ranger. Well, maybe two out of three. Anyway, heading in to the Park using the original entrance. Still remote, dirt and a road-less-traveled way to bikepack into a place that saw 1.3 million visitors last year.

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Bikepack – Whistling Dixie

A loop through Dixie National Forest. Day Two, the view from the Thunder Mountain trail. Never been so grateful for a dropper post as I would be about a mile from here.

whistle_map.png IMG_1223.JPG

Like all good adventures, this was the culmination of a series of compromises. Big plans divided by last minute schedule changes multiplied by lack of fitness worries squared by carrying too much stuff. Kitty Frida chose not to make the trip. She is a quitter. In 48 hours I would be overly jealous of her lifestyle choice.

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