Sunday, August 3, 2008
Two Harbors 08
Technology comes to the north woods: they have wireless at the Burlington Bay campground in Two Harbors, MN. It made sense however, when we noticed that the guy across from our motley SKOAC Renegade tent city had a portable satellite dish for his Greyhound-sized motor home, Jeep Cherokee hitched on the back of course. I logged on Saturday, thinking my post regarding the Tall Ships Maritime Festival may have sounded a bit petulant and overly critical. As you can see from the Duluth NewsTribune comments, I was actually kind and gentle. Ouch!
In complete contrast, the Two Harbors Kayak Festival was an nicely and efficiently organized event and managed to handle a record crowd with very few miscues. Weather conditions were perfect and a number of the SKOAC Renegades won their respective classes including theManFromSnowyLegs, BemidjiIntelOfficer, KleanDeckKate, MrEngineerGear, and BjornDahlieOfMahtomedi. The VOR took the bronze in her group. RonO and I would like encourage any potential racers in the 51-55 age group to please take a year off. At your age you should be resting. Once again we managed to finish ahead of a number of winners in lower age groups but lose to overly competitive early 50 year olds. We've discussed surf skis, wing paddles, steroids, and even (gasp!) training. Since the official name of the race is the Betty's Pies Five Mile Race, we've been training by eating pies. Bjorn says maybe something called 'intervals' might help or even maybe just hard paddling before the event. RonO and I shall take all of that under advisement. At least we made the race; the BessemerConvivialist had far too much fun at a Gear Daddies concert Friday night and she informed us via cell that, "I am SO not going to make it in time for the race".
We even had time to explore Two Harbor a bit. Usually folks just pass through on Highway 61 on the way to Grand Marais, the BWCA, or Thunder Bay and the Canadian North Shore. Two Harbors is a thriving town with a working taconite port, great downtown, a superb B&B in the old lighthouse, and a wonderful attitude. We managed to lock the keys in the car and were told by a friendly guy on the corner to just call the local car dealership. We did so, a guy was there in 10 minutes (it was close to his home and he was on the way to lunch), popped the lock, and didn't want any money. I slipped him a Jackson and told him to be sure to spend it foolishly.
I'm pretty sure this event has made the lengthening list of 'annual events' after two years in a row. There are rumblings about more people signing up for the 18 miler but I'm a committed sprinter and will leave the routes to the more ambitious. You don't even get a slice of pie after completing the 18 miles like you do when you knock off the five! It was a just plain fun event and I'll post a few more racing shots tomorrow.