Monday, March 14, 2011

Polar Plunge!

Wow, the 2011 polar plunge was a huge success!   People donated over OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         $2100 to Special Olympics for us to jump into a hole in the ice in Lake Calhoun.  It was definitely cold, but also definitely worth it. 

This was my fifth Plunge, and every time has been a day of awesome energy and crazy fun.   This year was no exception, with 9 other Plungers in our group.   We met up for breakfast and a little liquid courage in Uptown, then headed on the shuttle over to the lake.    At the lake is always a crazy and fun scene.  There’s music, all kinds of crazy costumes, hot tubs, and of course one big hole in the lake.   The best part of the whole thing is the energy that comes from a couple thousand people all soaking up the fact that they’re about to do something crazy!  Our theme OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         was W-W-W-Where’s W-W-W-Waldo, so be sure to look for Derek (aka Waldo) peeking out in the pictures! 

We had a ton of fun, but that really is balanced by how much good the money will do with Special Olympics.  We really can’t thank those who donated enough!









Sunday, March 13, 2011

First Verm!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         I finally made it down to the Vermillion for the first time in 2011.  For the first time in a long time I wasn’t part of the ice-breaking crew that made  the actual first run of the year, but it was pretty chilly all the same. 

The temp was about 17 degrees when we put on, and there was a stiff wind that added a nice bite to it.  Nora, Amy, and I were all bundled up under our dry suits, though, so once we started walking/climbing/slipping our way towards the put-in we were fine. 

This was Amy’s first winter paddling OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         experience, and the ice ledges and frozen gear didn’t slow her down a bit.  She did great, even practicing surfing down in Donut! 

It was also Nora’s first descent in her new Big Dog kayak that she won in a nation-wide contest.   Though she was still working on getting the outfitting set, it sounded like the boat performed well overall.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As for the river, the level was probably only about 75cfs, but it was running winter-fast, so there was fun play at both Railroad and Donut.   Mostly, though, it was just nice to back on the water with friends.  Looking forward to a new season!