Flentje.com

Random thoughts, rants, raves and photo opportunities

2013 - Broken Toe Island (GCKG14)

Broken Toe Island (GCKG14) by OlysGirl

I've had this geocache on my to do list for several years now and finally decided to go for it. I figured I'd better not paddle the mighty Mississippi solo so Doublemoose graciously joined me for the adventure.

I loaded up the watercraft, a red 16', 2 man-power, Old Town Camper canoe. We parked at the public water access at Prairie Island. As the crow flies, it was .79 miles. But we all know crows don't fly in straight lines.. going around the bottom end of the island, and it was easily a mile each direction. Luckily, the open water was calm and only a couple of heavy boats sped by so we were able to take in the wake safely and made it to the island without getting wet.

After fifteen minutes of searching we scored the little bugger. We did the dance and fist pumped to celebrate the find of this lonely cache. Then snooped around on the island for a bit before paddling back to the landing.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2013 - Scenic State Park, Bigfork, MN

Our gang spent five gorgeous days last week camping at Scenic State Park. Located near Bigfork, MN, on the Edge of the Wilderness, Scenic State Park is literally one of THE most gorgeous state parks in Minnesota outside of the northern shores of Lake Superior.

The park is very nicely maintained and the park staff were very busy keeping the park clean and picked up. The park offers hiking, paddling, fishing and a swimming beach. We managed to take advantage of just about every feature this park has to offer. The only issues we experienced were fairly minor. The swimming beach is not far away but just far enough away where the kids couldn't wander down to swim on their own. The mosquitoes weren't bad but the biting black flies were out something fierce. In spite of the beach and the flies, I would definitely return to this park to camp again.

I managed to snap a couple hundred pictures. Here is just a sample of our experience.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2013 - Minnesota's 6th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event

Minnesota's 6th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event was held today, Saturday, August 17th, 2013. For six years running now, the weather was spectacular and the crowd of geocaching friends has grown.

Like all previous canoe-in geocaching events, the 6th annual was held in Dakota County's Miesville Ravine Park Preserve, which is located about four miles south of Miesville, MN and six miles northeast of Cannon Falls, MN.  The majority of geocachers paddled the Cannon River from Cannon Falls to Miesville Ravine, a 6.7 mile stretch of the river that is just gorgeous.  Others biked the Cannon Valley Trail from Cannon Falls, MN to Welch, MN.  And some geocachers just stopped in for the picnic.

I would like to thank the following:

  • My geocaching mother Norvina, who sets up and mans the shelter while we're on the water.
  • Nosnow and Shadow's Friend, the MNGCA, and Dakota County Parks, all of whom provided door prizes.
  • And especially thank you to all of whom attended this event. Without you all it just wouldn't be as much fun to be on the river.

Final attendance numbers as of September 13th, 2013:

  • There were 45 RSVPs.
  • 50 have logged the event Attended.
  • 64 signatures were listed on the written log.
  • Physical headcount during the picnic was in excess of 65 attendees if you count infants and canines.
  • 7 dozen ears of sweet corn served along with a pound and a half of butter.
  • In years past, we've filled two park barrels with trash. This year, we hauled out two of our own trash barrels leaving the park with only a minimal amount of cleanup.

I am always reluctant to say there will be a followup event in the following year. But with a gang of friendly geocachers that grows every year, it's easy to say, see you at the 7th annual event next year.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2013 - Maplewood State Park, Pelican Rapids, MN

We spent Independence Day week camping at Maplewood State Park. Located six miles east of Pelican Rapids, MN, Maplewood State Park offers paddling and hiking opportunities. The park is nicely maintained and the park staff were very friendly. But I have to admit, I would probably not return here a second time. While the actual campsite was very nice, it is unfortunate that the beach is over four miles away and the hiking trails are just too steep for young children. But our gang made the best of it and spent our time paddling in the lake, visiting nearby parades, and repairing flat tires.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2013 - Lateral Potholes (GC272EE)

Lateral Potholes (GC272EE) by bflentje

There seems to be some difficulty in finding this geocache. Here are spoilers to aid in scoring the find. But please keep in mind, using spoilers for a 3/5 rated geocache could be embarrassing if your friends find out. So use this with discretion. It should be noted that the reservoir has been drained down for the winter. The normal waterline is three feet higher than shown.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2013 - Exploring Lake Byllesby Sea Caves (GC272D5)

Exploring Lake Byllesby Sea Caves (GC272D5) by bflentje

There seems to be some difficulty in finding this geocache. Here are spoilers to aid in scoring the find. But please keep in mind, using spoilers for a 4/5 rated geocache could be embarrassing if your friends find out. So use this with discretion. It should be noted that the reservoir has been drained down for the winter. The normal waterline is three feet higher than shown.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2012 - Minnesota's 5th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event

Minnesota's 5th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event was held today, Saturday, August 18th, 2012 and was the most successful event I've held to date. Like last year, the weather was spectacular, the crowd of geocaching friends has grown, and the food was good and plentiful.

Like the previous four events, it was held in Dakota County's Miesville Ravine Park Preserve, located about four miles south of Miesville, MN and six miles northeast of Cannon Falls, MN.  The majority of geocachers paddled the Cannon River from Cannon Falls to Miesville Ravine, a 6.7 mile stretch of the river that is just gorgeous.  Others biked the Cannon Valley Trail from Cannon Falls, MN to Welch, MN.  And some geocachers just stopped in for the picnic.

I would like to thank the following:

  • My geocaching mother Norvina, who sets up and mans the shelter while we're on the water.
  • Doublemoose for stopping in to help Norvina with picnic setup.
  • Nosnow and Shadow's Friend, Commando04, the MNGCA, Dakota County Parks, and the MN DNR, all of whom provided door prizes.
  • And especially thank you to all of whom attended this event. Without you all it just wouldn't be as much fun to be on the river.

Final attendence numbers as of September 7th, 2012:

  • There were 43 RSVPs.
  • 43 have logged the event Attended.
  • 58 signatures were listed on the written log.
  • Physical headcount during the picnic was in excess of 65 attendees if you count infants and canines.
  • 6 dozen ears of sweet corn served along with a pound and a half of butter.
  • In years past, we've filled two park barrels with trash. This year, we hauled out two of our own trash barrels leaving the park with only a minimal amount of cleanup.

Lessons learned from this event:

  • Just when you think it can't get better, it does.
  • Bring more sweet corn next year.
  • I need a bigger wagon to traverse the picnic gear from the parking lot to the shelter.
  • Kayaking solo on the river was much easier than anticipated, but more tiring than canoeing.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

Additional pictures can be found attached to the event listing.

2011 - Bear Head Lake State Park, Ely, MN

Our family camped at Bear Head Lake State Park this weekend.  Located in the great north woods of Minnesota, Bear Head Lake is approximately half way between Tower and Ely.  While the area is known for vast populations of wolves and bears, the only critters we ran into were the three bears at the North American Bear Center, located just south of Ely.

Believe it or not, this was our family's first solo camping trip without the presense of other beloved friends and family members.  The weather was absolutely perfect, there were no troublesome insects, and the food was plentiful.  With the exception of a dead battery in the truck and having run out of beer, every one of us seemed to have a great time.  Things we enjoyed?  Relaxation, swimming at the beach, kayaking the lakes, hiking the trails, geocaching, enjoying the campfire, and stargazing at night.  There are many other gorgeous state parks we'd like to camp but Bear Head Lake has certainly made it to our short-list of places to return.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event

Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event was held today, Saturday, August 20th, 2011 and turned out to be a wondrous success.  There were more geocachers than expected, we had spectacular weather, and the food was good and plentiful.

Like the previous three events, it was held in Dakota County's Miesville Ravine Park Preserve, located about four miles south of Miesville and six miles northeast of Cannon Falls.  The majority of geocachers paddled the Cannon River from Cannon Falls to Miesville Ravine, a 6.7 mile stretch of the river that is just gorgeous.  Others biked the Cannon Valley Trail from Cannon Falls to Welch.  And some geocachers just stopped in for the picnic.

Final attendence numbers as of August 23rd, 2011:

  • There were 28 RSVPs.
  • 36 have logged the event Attended.
  • 46 signatures were listed on the written log.
  • Physical headcount during the picnic was in excess of 52 attendees.
  • 5 dozen ears of sweet corn served.

Lessons learned from this event:

  • Bring more sweet corn next year.
  • Perhaps BOTH sides of the grill should be fired up next time?
  • Don't draw conclusions about absent geocachers as you'll more than likely be proven wrong.
  • Doublemoose can paddle with the best of them.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Highslide JS
2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event