First Annual Chicken Loop At New Johns Lake

A friend of mine, AlsoPaul, held the first annual Chicken Loop Event last weekend (August 19-21).  Chicken Loop is the premier (and, for now, only) kiteboarding event in North Dakota.  One would think that wind sports would have more of a history in ND, but you have to start somewhere.

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I stopped by for a bit on Saturday.  It was more for moral support than anything since my largest kite is a 3 foot trainer.  Unfortunately, the wind wasn’t too cooperative, but a few people did get some time on New Johns Lake.  The inconsistent wind meant a lot of boarders would get launched just in time for the breeze to die and leave them stranded in the middle of the lake.  Fortunately, several friendly boaters were available to lend a hand.

Incidentally, this was the first time I had been up to New Johns Lake during the summer in a number of years.  Usually, I get there in the fall or winter during the hunting season when its more quiet (and cold).  New Johns Lake is part of the Garrison Diversion Project, along with several nearby connecting lakes.  Campsites are managed by the Bureau of Reclamation, and seem to be first come first served as far as reservations go.  I think it might be a good camping weekend some time, though it appears an early arrival is necessary during the summer months.

Another fun fact: the lakes are on the North Country National Scenic Trail. Most of the thru-hiker reports I’ve read have gone through this area in the early spring (March) time period, which isn’t the best time to be walking through an open, treeless prairie where the wind is always blowing at 20 mph and it could rain and snow in the same 24 hour period.  May and June are much better months to see this area, in my humble opinion.

There were several participants from across the state.  The event was successful enough that the Second Annual Chicken Loop will be held in 2017.  Good work, AlsoPaul!

Ft. Lincoln First Day Hike

North Dakota Parks and Rec. had a number of “First Day Hike” events for January 1st at parks throughout the state.  I attended the event at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.  The event was well attended, over 300 people participated along with a number of dogs.  We hiked roughly a mile from the On-A-Slant Village, down to the Heart River bottoms, up the bluff below the infantry post, and back to the Visitor’s Center.  The weather was beautiful, and all the participants were rewarded with sweeping views of the area.

I only snapped a few photos while on the hike.  More are available on Ft. Lincoln’s Facebook post on the event.

Additional hiking events will be held throughout the year at Ft. Lincoln.  More information is available at the Facebook event page.

See you on the trail!

The Great Minnesota Scavenger Hunt

Checkpoint MN has begun!  The event is a scavenger hunt of sorts across ten sites in Minnesota.  Take a selfie with the Checkpoint sign at each site to earn points which can be redeemed for fabulous prizes.  The hunt goes through the end of January 2016, so don’t delay!

This isn’t a bad idea to get people out and about in Minnesota during a time of year where people aren’t usually touring.  I’m looking forward to trying it out next time I’m in that area.