Saturday, December 18, 2010

Skiing Fond du Lac State Forest

Finally some real adventure in the great outdoors! Noelle and I packed up our skis and headed southwest through Cloquet and the Fond du Lac Reservation to Fond du Lac State Forest for some cross country skiing. We had a little bit of difficulty in finding the trailhead at first, but our second attempt was a success. The morning's half inch of snow improved conditions a bit and we had the trails all to ourselves. The trails are groomed for classical only so most skiers head elsewhere. We skied the first three loops which were rated as easy and the trails were in good shape for the most part. There was, however, a bit of alder and other shrubby vegetation poking out of the snow in the trail sections that passed through swampy areas.

There was a fun little downhill section as well.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Opening Night at Amsoil Arena

Tonight Noelle and I along with Noelle's fellow graduate student Elaine made it out to the opening event at Amsoil Arena. The tickets were courtesy of Erik and they were appreciated. The game was a scrimmage between two UMD alumni teams. Instead of 3 periods, they played 2 halves of 30 minutes and the clock ran constantly. There was a lot of scoring in the first half, but stronger goaltending in the second. The real treat though, was getting to see the new arena. It is very nice but seems a bit too large for college hockey.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Movie Review: 127 Hours

It's pretty sad when the most adventure you've had in about three weeks is going to the movies, but alas, that is early winter in northern Minnesota. While Noelle and I did finally get out to go skiing yesterday, the conditions just haven't been too favorable for outdoor adventures lately. There was too much snow for hiking comfortably, yet too little to ski. Anyway, we did make it out Friday night to the very nice Zinema 2 to see the Danny Boyle flick 127 Hours.

In case you aren't familiar with the movie it is about Aron Ralston; the hiker, canyoneer, climber, adventurer who during a solo exploration expedition into Utah's Blue John Canyon gets his arm pinned between a heavy boulder and the canyon wall. The movie is based upon Ralston's book Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Having read the book I must confess the movie is exactly what I expected it to be. The director took a few liberties with the story to spice things up a bit like I had expected. For example, in the book Ralston describes his bicycle ride from the parking lot to the head of the canyon as a slow slog into a strong headwind on a sandy desert road, while director Boyle turns the ride into a fast paced, wheelie-popping affair on the Slickrock Trail.

All in all though it was a good movie. There is a scene in the movie that is a bit graphic though, so if you expect to go see it be prepared. Noelle felt a bit queasy watching it. I would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.