Monday, August 6, 2007
Racin' fools at Two Harbors kayak fest
A select splinter group, the SKOAC Renegades, headed to Two Harbors for the 10th Annual Kayak Festival and the Betty's Pies Five (and a half) mile race. I am happy to report 3 firsts, a fifth and a sixth place in our respective classes. The Bessemer Convivialist finished first amongst the Renegades, trouncing the boys soundly. The victory was tainted however, when she admitted to steroid usage while lounging around the campfire that evening ("You wouldn't believe it, NOTHING hurts and you get this feeling of euphoria!"). We weak willed males also suspect that she plied us with tasty adult beverages at the Friday night fire to slow us down a bit more on Saturday morning. The crafty BC did paddle a steady race however and I don't believe she was passed once she rounded the Stewart River buoy at the halfway point. I had the back of her head in sight the entire way, waiting for my finishing sprint that never came. My plan to surf to the lead on a nice following sea was apparently everyone elses plan too. GalwayGuy was shadowing me, hoping to blow by me in the stretch run, but had the treacherous Irish Greenland stick break again. It has officially been retired to the wall.
RonO was slightly behind GG and I was 30 seconds behind the Aussie member of our contingent, henceforth known as the Man From Snowy Legs. If 'farmer tanning' (face, neck, hands tan with the rest of your carcass a pasty white) were an Olympic event, MFSL would be joining me on the medal platform. In the Greenland stick/Valley boat division myself, GG, and RonO finished 1-2-3. Our staff photographers, BjornDahlieOfMahtomedi and MFSL's lady friend, The BemidjiIntelOfficer, joined us for pie at Betty's. We immediately headed there post race to redeem our free slice of pie, a part of the race tradition.
The 18 mile marathon event was won with a time of around 2.5 hours, pretty impressive considering the 4' seas they encountered while rounding Encampment Island. This is a well run, fun, and nicely low key event. For the entry fee of $40 we received nice ceramic finishers medals, T-shirts, the free slice of pie (of course!), two very nice meals, and access to the expo, not to mention the fine cameraderie amongst fellow paddlers.
Everything you needed including food, beer, and great paddling was available on the site, which was adjacent to the Burlington Bay municipal campground. Sunday found the group heading up the North Shore of Lake Superior for a little one way cruise from Twin Points (one of the new Safe Harbors along the shore) to Silver Bay Marina. The marina is right next to the taconite facility mentioned in a previous post. The BDM is contemplating the taconite pile just before we landed. Cove Point Lodge, with a nice little sheltered cove....of course.....offers pizza, burgers, and a nice tap beer selection only 3 miles from the takeout point. Another fine paddle with a group of fine folks.