Pete's Stuff
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February is the BEST Month!

The last couple weeks have just been great for winter sports. We've had relatively warm temperatures - upper 20s in the day (sometimes higher) and teens at night, along with a high proportion of clear skies. With the sun moving up higher and higher, and the days getting longer, this has been a fabulous month to get out skiing.

Last weekend I drove up to Wild River and went for the longest ski I've ever done - a three-plus hour continuous tour of the Sunrise Trail to the Deer Creek loop. It was so warm, I overestimated my clothing requirement and had to change after 20 minutes - but toward the end, as the sun dipped below the hills west of Deer Creek, I had to change my mind again. That was right after I scared up a bunch of wild turkeys, about a dozen and a half of them strutting from the marshy Deer Creek flats into the hills to the west.

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The City of Lakes Loppet

Last weekend was the 2010 City of Lakes Loppet, a full two days of ski-related events and races. On Sunday, I went out to Wirth Park with the camera to catch some of the action.

Here are some of my favorite pictures; go to the gallery for the full collection.


Classic skiers coming up to the aid station at Wirth Parkway.

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Ski 2 Beer 3 (S2B3)

Today was our third annual "Ski to Beer" day where a bunch of us get together and XC ski from Wirth Park to the end of the Mall in Uptown, then go out for a late lunch plus refreshments. I missed last year because I was in Seattle, but this year we had a bigger group than ever - Stephen, Mike, Julia, Ian, Molly, Molly, Justin, Darryn, Jim, Tom, Kelly, Paula, Peter, Andrew, Jesse, Alan, Earl, Jason, Andrea, Waima, and Brian! And I feel like I'm forgetting somebody. Then Kari and baby Sydney came down to meet us at Old Chicago afterwards.

We rambled from the Par 3 warming hut through the Front 9, skirted J.D. Gardens and headed over by the Quaking Bog before crossing 394 and getting out on the lakes. Minneapolis Parks runs a grooming machine right down onto the snow-covered ice and packs down a pretty nice path for everyone. The classic tracks were in good shape and fast across the lakes, although I could have done without the gradually increasing headwind and the temperatures hovering near 5°F. Still a fun day with lots of good company.



What I Did Today, In The Freezing Cold

A bit over a half hour of skiing (it was only 2°F out), and then two hours dinking around with my video software. However, I did figure out how to use a low resolution version of my captured footage to do the editing, and then re-render it with the HD original. It's called "offline editing". Man, is there a lot to learn in the video production world.

Download this video (46.4 MB)

Click on the still frame to play.