Friday, June 18, 2010

Northern Tier 2010

We're in full-swing training for Northern Tier. Northern Tier (NT) is the BSA National High Adventure Base for canoeing. We're going to the Charles L. Somers Canoe Base outside Ely, MN in the last week of July and the first part of August, 2010. The base is in or near the BWCA - Boundary Waters Canoe Area - and just south of Quetico. I've been there twice before. The first time was as a college student or recent grad (I'd have to check the dates) and was in 19jasjdhf. Gosh, that must have been a data transmission error. The second time was in 2008 with my older son and a group of Boy Scouts. This time is with my younger son and a group of Boy Scouts. I sense a pattern.

The crew this year is a bunch of 15- and 16-year-olds. The 2008 crew was a bit older and bigger; the biggest guys on the 2010 crew would be the smallest on the 2008 crew. This means we won't go as many miles (109 or so in 2008), but we'll still have a grand time. Although we start in BWCA, we cross over into the Quetico on the first day and don't return to the US until the last day. Yes, we cross an international border and need all the appropriate paperwork.

For training, we started with hikes and bike trips. I divide training into three purposes: cardiovascular health and endurance, skill development, and team-building. Since the water was cold in January, we started with hikes - a weekly 6+ mile hike with increasing weight and irregular weekend hikes for fun. For variety, we also did some cycling - about a 20-mile trip on a suburban bike trail. As the weather warmed in May, we got into canoes. Fortunately, we have a crew member who lives across the street from Cottage Lake, so we are able to use their house as a base and portage the canoes over to the Lake. The paddling started out pretty light, building up to a mile in the early days, but now we're more like 1.5-2 miles (it is a small lake). We also did a canoe-camping trip to Diablo Lake in the North Cascades. We did 13 miles over two days with two nights camped. The weather was great, so this was a good trip for a break-in. Finally, having the guys travel together, camp together, and work together is the best team-building I know, so that's what we do.

More later.

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