Skyway Epic 2017 – Inaugural 200 Mile Race Podium. Brian Toone (1st), Eddie O’Dea (2nd), Chris Joice (3rd), Justin Shealey (4th), Pete Foret (5th), Josh Lederman (6th) I’ve arranged these pictures from 1st – 6th, but this inaugural edition of the 200 mile version of the Skyway Epic mountain bike race was definitely a race […]
2016 Season StatisticsBeing able to participate in such a significant life-changing endeavor as the 2016 Ride4Gabe was certainly the highlight of my cycling year, and that led spontaneously to the establishment of a primary goal for 2016 – to ride in every county in Alabama in one year. I set this goal when I joined […]
Michigan! 706 miles from Hoover, Alabama to New Buffalo, Michigan in two days! It has been a while since I’ve posted here, so I’m happy to be back with quite the adventure – a 706 mile ride from my home in Hoover, Alabama to New Buffalo, Michigan at the Northern Indiana border to meet my […]
825 mile ride to the coast via 60,000 feet of climbing in 5 states, including 4 state high points! 5 states, 4 state high points, 34 counties, lots of adventure! Click to enlarge and see detail. Title Distance Climbing Moving Time Elapsed Time Day 1 – AL to GAMt Cheaha (2407′) 184.6 mi 14,365 ft […]
Kristine and the kids out on the shoals in the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge outside West Blocton. I met them there 150+ miles into the ride. It was great to cool off and swim with them in the river amongst all the Cahaba River Lilies! The Cahaba River is the “longest free-flowing river in […]
Today we had another fun adventure – ice skating! We had errands to run in Rice Lake (about 20 miles away), so we worked it out for me to bike down there on some nice backroads for a good 32 mile ride. It was COLD. The air temps were in the lower teens, but the wind was just unbelievable. I only had Kristine’s iphone with me to take these pictures, otherwise I would have taken video of the snow blowing across the road at 20mph. The outdoor ice skating pond was in not so good shape after the rain on Christmas day. It has been super cold since then, but the ice wasn’t very even.
Ice Skating Princesses
My favorite picture of Analise and Kristine, the ice princesses
Analise the ballerina ice skater
We didn’t exactly follow instructions, but they were getting ready to take down the signs anyway (we saw a bunch of people ice skating on it after lunch)
Three clips together here … Analise and Kristine almost wipe out at the end.
Refueling at a midwestern favorite – Culver’s
Josiah and me
In Wisconsin – cheese is an art!
Mountain Biking Adventure
Here’s the annotated topocreator route.
Lots of long straight flat icy snowy roads – the challenge is finding a smooth line and riding as fast as you can without falling
Some curvy roads too
Some very icy roads – this is the stuff you want to avoid
A huge snow plow for Walker (part 1 of 3)
A huge snow plow for Walker (part 2 of 3)
A huge snow plow for Walker (part 3 of 3)
The view from the high point of the ride
Blowing snow – the windchill was incredible. There was one part of the ride where the wind was blowing hard from the side and being funneled right into my eye by my sunglasses. I had to turn to look into the wind because my eyeball felt like it was starting to freeze!
Rice Lake – the cool thing about this picture is the island with a picnic table only in the winter (or by boat in the summer)
My mountain bike at the ice rink
An icy version of me at the ice rink.
This was awesome to watch. Unfortunately my batteries died right before this guy took off … literally. He got going very fast and then jumped at least 8 feet in the air with the windsail taking him up and setting him back down. I got a new set of batteries in just in time for him to make it back. How cool!!!
We had a fun skiing and biking adventure today. A friend of the Cardwell’s organized a small skiing outing with a couple different families. I decided to do a longer mountain bike ride and meet them out at the trailhead to take some pictures. Went great except that Josiah was still feeling sick with a probable ear infection and stayed home with Grandma Sandy. Before dinner, Kristine and Grandma Sandy and the kids went over to some of our most faithful blog readers Judy and Alison Ricci. Here are the pictures and videos that tell the story.
Hanging out with Alison and Judy Ricci
Analise, the ski princess getting ready to head out for a long ski
Heading back down the trail after a long ski
Trying to catch snow flakes while Mommy looks very cold and Dale and Molly ski ahead
Being towed along at the very end – quite a workout for Kristine!
I rode from Shell Lake to Spooner onto a fun road called Roundhouse Rd. I saw the dinner train where we had quite a fun adventure two years ago.
Roundhouse Rd – typical snow covered rd from the ride
The end of the line for this train – snow covered tracks
Christmas decorations out in the country beyond Spooner
Snow mobilers – I saw lots of them on this fine Sunday afternoon
Snow mobilers alongside the road
Horses in the snowy countryside
Beautiful shell lake – over 3 miles across. I am hoping to bike across it tomorrow or Tuesday
I’ve ridden in cold weather before, but this is the first time I’ve had ice freeze to my knees!
Self-portrait about 3/4 of the way through the ride. Temps in the teens with slushy, salty, dirty snow kicked up on my face
Post-scraping, just enough to move the car out of the driveway
Which snow scraping implement is from Alabama? Which two implements are from Wisconsin? I’ll give you a hint – which one looks totally inadequate to scrape a foot of snow off the windshield and hood of a car?
Snow plowed in – blocked driveway
Exploring the snowy street
Salem Lutheran Church – where Kristine and I got married 6 1/2 years ago – the view from the Cardwell front porch
Snowshoeing tracks (or maybe it was Big Foot)
Skiing with Dale and Molly
Beautiful maple tree amongst cedar and other trees
Beautiful snowy creek, spring-fed and stays unfrozen even in the coldest temps
Speaking of frozen, when we left to drive to dinner – the rear two doors of the car were frozen shut! The kids had to climb through the front doors in order to get into the car. Then, once we got to Denelie’s, the kids had to reverse the process and climb out the front seat. Here’s a video!
At Denelie’s for a great pizza dinner
Also, it had started to snow pretty heavily right before we left for dinner. I took this video of some kids getting ready to go down the big sledding hill.
It’s hard to see all the snow falling on youtube because of the video compression.
The snowstorm is all but wrapped up now, and in comes the cold weather behind it. The sun has just come out for the first time since we have been here, and the snow is beautiful! The collage above shows all stages of the storm. It looks like we brought a little bit TOO much warm air up with us from the Gulf of Mexico as the system turned unexpectedly to rain most of the day on Christmas (Day 3 of the storm). But the cold weather took over again by 8PM when it started to snow pretty heavily again. By this morning (Day 4) we had another inch or two of fresh snow. I went snowshoeing to help map the ski trails next to the house with my Garmin. I’ll post those pictures and pictures of our car later tonight.
Josiah and Analise look at the Nativity outside Salem Lutheran Church before the 5pm Christmas Eve service
I interrupt the live snowstorm blogging for a quick thought about this beautiful evening…
We bundled up and trudged through the snowbanks and still falling snow to walk the half block to the 5pm Christmas Even service with my parents and the kids. It was a nice family worship time, full of songs, the familiar words of the first Christmas story and keeping the kids entertained with crayons, paper and jingle bells (during the songs, muffled at other times!), and ultimately, keeping Josiah from playing with the candle flame and Analise from leaning her hair into the candle. I did find a few seconds to appreciate the quiet candle-lit song…
Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
As we were leaving, someone asked if I might come back to the 11pm service to sing “Mary, Did You Know?” in a quartet, as one of the members wasn’t going to be able to come back. Since we live just steps from church and I’m always up for helping out, I said yes and somehow managed not to fall asleep before I needed to head back over at 10:30.
My beautiful little church holds so many memories for me. Years and years of Lutheran worship, from traditional liturgy to contemporary songs, many a Christmas program, hundreds of Sundays singing with the choir, serving as acolyte, reader, usher, communion assistant, and pianist (though never at the same time!), vocal and piano solos, confirmation classes, and somewhat more recently, our wedding. So many pieces of my faith were formed there, and I found myself closing my eyes and knowing the familiar words of liturgy by heart. Just as the service started, one of my best friends from high school and her family sat down next to me, and we were both surprised and excited to see each other for the first time in more than 7 years. She and I had sung many songs together at church, and I was taken back to 17 years ago tonight, when we sang a duet at the Christmas Eve service as juniors in high school. Here now we sat as mothers, with a whole new look on this Silent Night at the miracle that took place that first Christmas Eve.
So as I stepped to the front tonight, I was reminded of how my faith has changed. And yet… He was, He is and He is to come. Our Emmanuel.
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.
The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am.
Family picture in front of the Christmas tree after the 5pm service
Snowing outside Salem Lutheran during the start of the 11pm Christmas Eve service
Video of the snow outside Salem Lutheran during the start of the 11pm Christmas Eve service
Home sweet home Alabama (vacationing in northwestern Wisconsin) – check out the license plate and car dealership
This video shows the snowfall at about 2:30PM along with a snowplow clearing the road. Exciting stuff for an Alabama boy! Sorry for the crazy parakeet tweeting – I was standing right next to his cage and apparently invading “his space” when I was recording the video.
It has been snowing all day today with at least six inches already on the ground, and the weather forecast calls for the heaviest snow tonight with rates of 1-2 inches per hour! More pictures from throughout the day:
The Cardwell house mid-morning
Analise prepares to walk/crawl/hike through the foot of snow in the front yard
Josiah walks through the snow near the sledding hill
The sledding hill
Josiah ready to go down the hill – he didn't go very far
A video collage of Analise and Josiah hiking/walking through the snow.
Also, I still had a chance to get an hour long bike ride in today — and I’ll hopefully ride again tonight weather permitting 😉
It has just started to snow here … I’m up for a while tonight to document the progress of the storm. Weather forecast calls for 2-4 inches tonight, 3-6 inches tomorrow, and even more on Christmas day! Also, I’ve got pictures and video at the end of our cross-country skiing outing with the kids earlier today.
Here is a video of the light snow blowing in the strong wind about an hour after it started.
Here is a “documentary” video as I walk through the snow to video at the same spot again about three hours after the snow first started falling.
And here is part II after I walked on down the hill onto the street:
The swirling snow right outside the glass door next to my laptop:
Earlier today, we went skiing at the Red Barn Campground ski area. The kids did great despite the cold wind blowing hard. Here is a video of Josiah and Kristine at the beginning. This was Josiah’s first time to go skiing. He did really well!
Here is a collage of falling down moments – unfortunately the camera batteries died before I could get a good video of Analise skiing. She did great again this year.
Analise and Josiah go sledding down the steep hill near the old football field.
Analise and Josiah make snow angels on our Christmas tree cutting adventure.
We have been enjoying the snowy Christmas season up here. First, we went with Papa Dale and Aunt Kat to a house nearby growing a few Christmas trees for sale. We had a great time until the kids realized that getting snow in ones boots and gloves is not much fun when the temperature is only 15 degrees. Aunt Kat rescued Analise by switching gloves with her, and all was good.
Analise and Papa Dale with the "chosen tree"
Josiah and Aunt Kat pose for a picture while Papa Dale cuts the tree
Trekking down the hill to find a Christmas tree
Josiah enjoying being pulled back up the hill
Our next adventure was sledding on the steep hill just down the street. Kristine was worn out from taking care of the kids all day, so I took them down and had them take turns going down the hill until our very last run which resulted in the Analise / Josiah collision you can see in the video at the top. They were OK and laughing about it … “We ran into each other” … Josiah stutters excitedly “We just, just… ran into… each other”
Bundled up and hiking through the snow in our frontyard
Happy and ready to be pulled down to the sledding hill
Analise and Josiah hike back up the hill after their first run
Last night we went ahead and opened presents since Kat was leaving today to head back to Denver. Everybody had a great time, and the kids helped play “Santa” by stacking all the presents into a pile and then helping everybody open their presents.
Analise and her new "twin" doll
Josiah and his new legos, which we had already made into a plane
A family picture this morning
Today while I was working at the coffee shop, Kristine and Grandma Sandy took the kids to Spooner to have lunch and possibly go ice skating. Unfortunately, the ice skating rink was being “watered” to thicken up the ice. So they went and played on a snowy playground instead. Josiah went sliding off the slide super fast and into a snow bank giving himself a “snow bath” he was happy to tell me when they got home.
On a see-saw like thing
Analise swinging with the bright sunshine reflecting off the snow
Josiah and Analise on the swings
Finally, we are battering down for a winter storm tomorrow night. The wind has already picked up quite a bit, and they are calling for close to a foot of snow here. Check out the map below where I added our approximate location here in Shell Lake, Wisconsin:
Definitely going to be a white christmas here … in fact, there is a winter storm / blizzard warning for Christmas:
… Winter Storm Warning in effect from midnight Wednesday night
to 6 am CST Saturday…
The National Weather Service in Twin Cities/Chanhassen has issued
a Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow… which is in effect from
midnight Wednesday night to 6 am CST Saturday. The Winter Storm
Watch is no longer in effect.
* Timing… several periods of snow are expected from Wednesday
night through Friday night. Some sleet is also possible from
late Wednesday night into Thursday afternoon… mainly south and
east of the Twin Cities Metro area.
* Accumulations… significant amounts of snow will occur with
periods of heavy snow possible as the storm intensifies Thursday
and Friday. Near blizzard conditions can be expected… .
particularly late Thursday through Friday. Total snowfall
accumulations will likely exceed a foot in many areas… . with a
few totals in excess of 20 inches possible.
* Surface visibility will be significantly reduced as winds
increase to 20 to 30 mph from the east on Wednesday… becoming
more northeast… then north on Friday.
A Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather
conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow
are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an
emergency. If you must travel… keep an extra
flashlight… food… and water in your vehicle in case of an