7 Minute Miles

Northland Sunday Fun Day

Posted Sunday, April 10th, 2022 11:05 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Skiing,Travel at 11:05 PM

Lutsen, Grand Marais, Cloquet (and The Masters)

Originally published by DK on April 10, 2022 at 11:05 pm

Bulldoge Country (+ the Northland)

Posted Sunday, March 20th, 2022 02:44 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Family,Food,Skiing,Travel at 2:44 PM

All of the favorites – the Splash Cup was cool too

Originally published by DK on March 20, 2022 at 2:44 pm

Two hours, 19 runs ❄️

Posted Tuesday, February 8th, 2022 09:30 pm GMT -5 in Family,Skiing at 9:30 PM

Quality time with SK @ Afton Alps

Originally published by DK on February 8, 2022 at 9:30 pm

Umm…are those cooling towers?

Posted Monday, February 7th, 2022 06:50 pm GMT -5 in Skiing,Sports at 6:50 PM

Interesting look for the new Big Air

Originally published by DK on February 7, 2022 at 6:50 pm

Fun day at Giants Ridge

Posted Saturday, January 29th, 2022 09:05 pm GMT -5 in Family,Skiing,Travel at 9:05 PM

Despite the cluster at the start with the ticket line

Originally published by DK on January 29, 2022 at 9:05 pm

Blast from the past

Posted Monday, January 17th, 2022 02:59 pm GMT -5 in History,Skiing at 2:59 PM

I remember this exact Birch Park trail map (circa 1984)

Originally published by DK on January 17, 2022 at 2:59 pm

Survived day two

Posted Wednesday, March 10th, 2021 05:10 pm GMT -5 in Skiing,Travel at 5:10 PM

Finished just before the rain @ Lutsen

Originally published by DK on March 10, 2021 at 5:10 pm

The vintage Mäser has arrived

Posted Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 04:58 pm GMT -5 in Fashion,Shopping,Skiing at 4:58 PM

Via Dresser, Wisconsin

Originally published by DK on February 10, 2021 at 4:58 pm

Paulie Gatorade!

Posted Sunday, January 31st, 2021 08:28 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Skiing at 8:28 PM

If you know, you know

Originally published by DK on January 31, 2021 at 8:28 pm

Thanks, ADMIN

Posted Friday, January 15th, 2021 09:19 pm GMT -5 in Family,Pop Culture,Skiing at 9:19 PM

We famous, yo

Originally published by DK on January 15, 2021 at 9:19 pm

Merry and Happy

Posted Monday, January 4th, 2021 03:24 pm GMT -5 in Holidays,Shopping,Skiing at 3:24 PM

They are finally here!

Originally published by DK on January 4, 2021 at 3:24 pm

Ski Bum

Posted Wednesday, August 19th, 2020 08:01 pm GMT -5 in Business,Quotes,Skiing at 8:01 PM

Pros: Comped soup, and lift tickets. Cons: They got rid of the soup

Originally published by DK on August 19, 2020 at 8:01 pm

North Shore Winery

Posted Friday, June 5th, 2020 09:59 pm GMT -5 in Food,Skiing,Travel at 9:59 PM

Pretty spot on the ski hill road

Originally published by DK on June 5, 2020 at 9:59 pm

Trip Recap: Birthdays in Banff

Posted Saturday, February 1st, 2020 07:30 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Longform,Skiing,Travel at 7:30 PM

“Sleep at the Fairmont Banff Springs” has been item #34 on my bucket list for quite a long time. As we looked to conclude the year of milestone birthday trips, Marisa and I decided we would make ours a combined ski trip (and invite Colleen and Sasha to tag along). SkiBig3 had some good sales after Thanksgiving, so we picked the week between our two birthdays and made reservations. Airfare between MSP and Calgary wasn’t too terrible on the Delta nonstops and I reserved my normal Emerald Aisle rental with National.

We planned to fly on Monday and Friday, with ski days on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The drive from the airport to downtown Banff only takes about 90 minutes and we purchased the required park passes ahead of time, so we didn’t have to stop at the park entrance. Sasha and Marisa brought their own skis with, so we had one large ski bag, four large suitcases and a bunch of carry-ons. Thankfully, National had a Mazda SUV for us that really held up all week with the extreme winter conditions (heated steering wheels are awesome).

Speaking of conditions, the Canadian equivalent of the National Weather Service warned: “Temperatures will plummet to values not seen in years.” Air temp was -30C (-22F) during the early part of the week, closing two of the three ski areas completely on Tuesday. That was the day Marisa and I got to experience the Canadian health system with a morning visit to Banff Mineral Springs Hospital. She had flu symptoms the night before and they did a great job helping get her back in shape for skiing the last two days. Everything was pre-pay for service, so we are now working with our regular insurance to get reimbursed for the hospital and doctor fees (which weren’t outrageous).

What can I say about the hotel? The Fairmont Banff Springs is one of the most iconic hotels in the world, built as part of the Canadian Pacific Railway network in 1888. The “Castle in the Rockies” was just perfect – historic, great amenities and flawless customer service. It’s not cheap, but in the overall scheme of world-class hotels, very competitive. Tipping was included for most services, so that was different (and convenient, since I didn’t exchange for any Canadian currency this time). The valet was wonderful all week – we’d just call down to the concierge (“How is the Kingsbury Family doing today?”) and they would pull our warmed up car to the front entrance. The bellmen were great – somehow loading up everything at the end of the trip back into the SUV. Maid service also went the extra mile to line up shoes, organize things on the desk and generally pick up after our daily mess.

The hotel has at least three known ghost stories. Our favorite was the Ghost Bride, who was commemorated with a postage stamp and coin by the Canadian government in 2014. Sasha and I spent one night searching for the staircase, where the hotel has a picture hanging (along with the stamp and coin). The ghost of Sam the Bellman and the alleged murder-suicide in room 873 are tales that added an extra element of suspense every time the lights by the elevator would flicker when the doors opened. There was a cool museum-style area off of the lobby that was loaded with historical pictures and artifacts. The old pictures of the golf course and visits from Queen Elizabeth and Marilyn Monroe were highlights for me.

We ate at two of the twelve hotel restaurants: Castello Italiana and the Swiss-themed Waldhaus Pub & Biergarten. Both were high quality with great service. I think the Waldhaus might have been the original golf course clubhouse, as it was set down a hill from the main hotel along the river (and near the current 15th hole). Colleen and Sasha both enjoyed time in the Willow Stream Spa, which included the semi-spooky indoor pool. There were also outdoor pools that amazingly had people in them, despite the extremely frigid temperatures (how exactly did they get out there?). The hotel also had several very nice stores, a free ski storage room (with overnight boot heaters) and a uniquely Canadian five pin bowling alley (which is really difficult to master).

The actual town of Banff is a short ride or walk from the hotel, across the Bow River. It was a wonderful little mountain town, full of shops and restaurants and surrounded by the most amazing mountain vistas. On our arrival on Monday, we picked up my rental skis at the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub and had lunch at Tommy’s Neighbourhood Pub. Other stops over the course of the week included a great dinner at the Maple Leaf Grill (with the bison tenderloin recommended by my friend Chuck), poutine at the local McDonald’s, shopping at Roots and Hudson’s Bay and a visit to the largest rock store I’ve ever seen in my life. I also wanted to try out the famous Beaver Tails, but they didn’t really have any indoor seating and it was just too cold to stand around outside for any length of time.

As far as skiing goes, there are three different resorts near Banff: Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Resort. Norquay is the closest to town, but we elected to skip that one when we found out we could only ski two days. We decided to go to Sunshine Village on Wednesday, as several people told us that Sunshine sometimes gets temperature inversions that make it warmer there compared to town. The other unique thing about Sunshine is that the base area is just a parking lot in front of a building with a gondola. A long ride takes you up to the actual resort (with one stop in the middle for Goat’s Eye Mountain). We didn’t have great visibility that day and had difficulty finding easier, groomed runs to ease back into skiing shape. Groomed runs don’t seem to be as big a thing in the Canadian Rockies as they are at home, so we were initially a little uncomfortable (and I was extra cautious this trip anyways, for obvious reasons). We did find a few runs off the Strawberry Express chair, which is marketed as their beginner chair (sigh). We also skied the Wawa lift, but that was about it. I would love to try it again with warmer temps, clear skies and more confidence in my skiing ability.

On Thursday, we went to Lake Louise. By the second day, we were more comfortable with the bus shuttle system: all three resorts have nice coach-style busses that pick up right in front of the hotel. Schedules varied, but there were usually 5-6 departures and returns each day to each one. The Fairmont was the first stop in the mornings and the last to drop off on the return, with 2-3 stops at various spots in town. Lake Louise is the farthest resort from Banff, but it took less than an hour to get there on the Trans-Canada Highway. The town of Lake Louise is a few minutes away from the ski resort and is home to a couple of other cool hotels, including the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and the Post Hotel. I thought about the hotel package that let you split your time between the castle and the chateau, but I’m glad we did what we did. It would’ve been cool (literally) to see the ice sculptures on the lake for their Ice Magic competition, but that just wasn’t in the cards this time.

We loved the skiing and atmosphere at Lake Louise. The bus dropped us off right in front of the Lodge of the Ten Peaks and one of the friendly information guides told us that the breakfast buffet at the Northface Bistro was the spot to go for pre-skiing food. After a great meal, we discovered there are only two choices from that spot: the Glacier Express chair and the Grizzly Express gondola. We started with the chair and took two great runs on nice intermediate cruisers that really tired us out. After another stop in the chalet (and a visit to the nice ski shop), we tried the gondola. It’s not the highest lift there, but I felt like I was on the top of the world when we exited (and honestly, a little frightened at how everything dropped off from that point). Lake Louise prides itself on having green, blue and black runs from every lift, but the cat track we took down from there was scary just for the fact that the runs that crossed it were very steep. But once we got down below the tree line, it turned into our favorite run of the trip.

One of the things that I still find magical about skiing in the big mountains are the moments of complete silence you sometimes find among the trees in the back country. Since our week was so cold, none of the locals really wanted to be out, so it was nice and uncrowded all over. I let the girls ski ahead of me on that long, green cruiser and at one point I just stopped and soaked in the silence. That trail crossed in front of another favorite thing of mine, the mid-mountain chalet with sun deck and greasy mountain cafeteria food. The Temple Lodge made me think of the great times I used to have with my Uncle Greg at the Outback Inn in Idaho. He would’ve loved this trip… ❤️

Originally published by DK on February 1, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Looking forward to using these

Posted Thursday, January 9th, 2020 09:02 pm GMT -5 in Shopping,Skiing at 9:02 PM

Only five days to go…

Originally published by DK on January 9, 2020 at 9:02 pm

All ready to ski

Posted Monday, December 2nd, 2019 06:37 pm GMT -5 in Family,Shopping,Skiing at 6:37 PM

Uncle Greg would be proud

Originally published by DK on December 2, 2019 at 6:37 pm

Ski trip motivation

Posted Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 08:33 am GMT -5 in Skiing,Weather at 8:33 AM

Just a dusting

Originally published by DK on November 6, 2019 at 8:33 am

First targeted ad I’ve really liked

Posted Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019 09:42 pm GMT -5 in Art,Links,Skiing at 9:42 PM


Originally published by DK on July 2, 2019 at 9:42 pm

Things I miss right now

Posted Saturday, February 16th, 2019 10:19 am GMT -5 in Family,Mini Posts,Personal,Running,Skiing at 10:19 AM
  • My mom (and her dad and brother)
  • 20/20 vision
  • Prince, Petty and Bowie
  • Running (and My People)
  • Marathon-level fitness
  • Mountain skiing
  • Warm weather
  • Disneyland (and World)
  • Happy Hour (with no happy)

Keeping a positive outlook and all, but this is still truth…

Originally published by DK on February 16, 2019 at 10:19 am

The Year Ahead

Posted Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 06:04 pm GMT -5 in Family,Friends,Golf,Longform,Personal,Running,Skiing,Travel,Work at 6:04 PM

I’ve never been big on year-end lists or goal summaries here, but I’ve always done a fair amount of goal-setting privately. This past year has put a different spin on my perspective, so I thought it might be useful to share a few things as 2019 gets started. In hindsight, a lot of my previous health goals seem rather vain compared to plain old recovery. And how fortunate was I in the past to just want to run faster, bike farther or finish another marathon? Now, regaining my normal vision (without prism lenses) is goal #1, followed closely by getting cleared to resume driving and riding a bike. I’m very thankful that the outlook for all of these things is good – much of this might happen by the middle of March.

Since Dr. Tummala gave me the OK to resume treadmill running, I’ve felt good the past week, with three slowish runs totaling 7.1 miles. I also did one nine mile ride on a stationary bike and resumed doing light dumbbell repeats. Not really sure what workout goals to set for 2019 – the only race I’m registered for is the Get in Gear 10K in April and I’d really like to participate in the Bike to Work challenge again in May. Beyond that, I just want to stay consistent all year and not have any big gaps in my charts (which happened twice in 2018). It would be nice to return to regular weekly runs with WeRunMpls once the ice melts and I’d love to reschedule a ski trip for next season (Banff, Colorado or Schweitzer). Lots of golf outings to schedule with people too.

The doctors cleared a return to air travel already, but money and time will be limited. The original plan was to give each person in our family a trip for their respective milestone birthday in 2019, but all of those plans are on hold for the time being. Most likely options? A quick Las Vegas trip after the Final Four and maybe a work trip to the annual Cisco conference, which is in San Diego this year (June 9-13). And of course Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in both Florida and California this year, but that will likely fall in the Tokyo/Lanai/Switzerland dream trip category for the time being.

With the Vikings season over, my job shifts focus to the Final Four on April 6th and 8th. We have four large events before then (two trade shows and two dirt shows), but there is a lot to do before “the road ends” in Minneapolis. Then we get to break down that setup for Garth Brooks and his sold-out stadium tour before prepping for Summer X Games (version 3.0). Since X Games moves to early August, there won’t be a lot of time between that and football pre-season. With all that work to do, maybe I should start daydreaming again about building a tiny cabin on the North Shore to escape to with the family…

Wow, how lucky am I to be writing this post? Happy New Year to all of you – may 2019 be full of love, health and prosperity!

Originally published by DK on January 1, 2019 at 6:04 pm

My stained glass from Greg

Posted Thursday, December 27th, 2018 07:18 am GMT -5 in Art,Family,Skiing at 7:18 AM

It’s been at every house I’ve lived in

Originally published by DK on December 27, 2018 at 7:18 am


Posted Saturday, August 11th, 2018 08:56 pm GMT -5 in Family,Skiing at 8:56 PM

I love this picture so much ❤️

Originally published by DK on August 11, 2018 at 8:56 pm

Time for a new Descente

Posted Saturday, February 17th, 2018 05:23 pm GMT -5 in Fashion,Shopping,Skiing at 5:23 PM

The last one only made it 11 years

Originally published by DK on February 17, 2018 at 5:23 pm

Always wanted the purple ones

Posted Thursday, April 27th, 2017 08:29 pm GMT -5 in Running,Skiing at 8:29 PM

As seen on this week’s We Run Mpls route through NE

Originally published by DK on April 27, 2017 at 8:29 pm

The sports graveyard

Posted Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 11:19 am GMT -5 in Golf,Shopping,Skiing,Sports at 11:19 AM

Flashbacks @ Goodwill

Originally published by DK on December 22, 2016 at 11:19 am

More construction shots

Posted Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 06:43 pm GMT -5 in Skiing at 6:43 PM

The Event Center @ Giants Ridge

Originally published by DK on August 5, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Ski Chalet 2.0

Posted Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 06:42 pm GMT -5 in Skiing at 6:42 PM

The Event Center/Chalet @ Giants Ridge

Originally published by DK on August 5, 2015 at 6:42 pm

Skiing in the U.P.

Posted Saturday, February 21st, 2015 01:33 am GMT -5 in Casinos,Family,Food,Longform,Skiing,Travel at 1:33 AM

I sign up for online contests all the time (which is probably why I get so much junk mail), but it seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve won anything. Last month, though, I got a call from City Pages and the nice marketing person said I won a ski trip to Michigan. I picked up the certificate from their offices near Ford Center and called Indianhead Mountain Resort reservations. The prize was good for two free nights in the main lodge, with two sets of “BIG” lift tickets (good at both Indianhead and Blackjack Ski Resort). Kid one had a speech tournament, so kid two and I left on Friday and headed to the U.P.

We took our time on Friday, stopping at Tobies in Hinckley before driving to Duluth and across to Superior. I wanted to check out Legendary Waters Resort and Casino, so we drove to Ashland and took the left turn up to Bayfield. I’ve been through Ashland before, but the whole Bayfield area was new to me. I’ve always read about concerts at Big Top Chautauqua, but have never made it to one. Bayfield was like a southern Grand Marais, with a marina and lots of touristy shops and restaurants. Washburn was also a nice small town with some very pretty architecture.

Legendary Waters is a new(ish) casino right on the big lake, but was much smaller than I expected. We had lunch in their restaurant and overall I thought it was a very nice property. Our server said they had been open three years and I later found out that Shakopee financed most of it. I signed up for their players club, got extra free play for my birthday (and for providing my email address) and won around $35 without risking any of my own money. I also stopped briefly at Bad River Casino on the way to Hurley and Ironwood, signed up for their club and basically won the same amount there. That floor was a little larger and had a nice selection of new games.

We drove through Ironwood and on to the ski resort area around Bessemer and Wakefield. There are several ski resorts in this area, but this was my first time to any of them (I’d been to Hurley and Ironwood twice in the past for consulting gigs). We found the Indianhead access road and pulled in to a dark parking lot in front of the main lodge (which brought to mind images of The Shining). We entered the lobby, which was aglow in candle light, and was told Xcel Power was in the middle of a regional power outage. They were still able to check us in, though, since everything had already been printed out (they had old-school room keys instead of key cards).

With no power for lights in the room or the restaurant, we drove back to Ironwood for dinner and ate at the Golden Dragon. I’d been to most of the restaurants in Ironwood and remembered liking all of them, but our experience this time was awful. The service at Golden Dragon was fine, but the food was terrible. I can tolerate most things, but this was honestly the worst Chinese food I’ve ever had.

We returned back to the lodge after dinner and found they still had no power. We waited in our running car for a few hours, but MK needed a bathroom and didn’t want to use one in the dark. I drove her back to the Ironwood Walmart, thinking we could waste some time walking around. We walked in the first set of doors and, I kid you not, the power went out! Their generators kicked on long enough for MK to use the facilities before they announced the store was closing and everybody needed to get out. We returned to the lodge and the lights finally came on a few hours later.

We got all our gear to the room and finally got to sleep around midnight. The rooms at the main lodge were what I would call “ski area rustic,” with lots of 70s-era wood paneling, pink bathtub and toilet, a small tube TV and no open electrical outlets anywhere but the bathroom. I also thought it was funny that the light switches were also connected to the primary outlets, so *everything* went off when you flipped the switch. We could hear other people through the thin walls, but thankfully it wasn’t bad most of the time. Slept fine in the beds and there was hot water in the shower too.

The main lodge is located away from the upper chalet, so you either have a very long walk, take a shuttle or drive your car over to the ski area parking lot (which is what we did). The weather the first day was so-so: cloudy, with a little wind, some light snow and a bit colder than we would’ve liked. We rented some nice gear for MK from the ski shop (two day junior fee for everything: $59). Lift tickets would’ve cost us $206, so that was a nice prize to win (the lodging was worth another $400 or so). We ate lunch at the lower chalet (very basic ski area food) and later stopped for some hot chocolate at the upper chalet.

That night we decided to drive back into Ironwood to try a different restaurant, Maple Steakhouse. We struck out again and had the manager give us a discount off the bill. This time it was both service and food quality – our server just plain disappeared after bringing us our main course and the meat they served me in my sandwich was awful (surprising for a steakhouse).

On Sunday we decided to check out of our room and drive over to the other ski area, Blackjack. It’s only a few miles away and just recently merged with Indianhead – they even run a shuttle bus between the two resorts. The weather was nicer, but I freaked out at first, as I couldn’t get my boots on in the parking lot. I sent MK off to take a run on her own while I went inside to try in a warmer setting (which worked). We took a few runs together in front of the chalet, then decided to try a run farther over called Spillway.

That was a mistake.

Spillway was a steep run that hadn’t been groomed and was very icy. I had gone first to check it out, but MK quickly picked up speed and passed me. The run got steeper towards the bottom, then leveled out and curved to the left to get back to the lift. There were also several open patches of water on that runout area and unfortunately MK ended up crashing into one of them, where she sat in about a foot of icy water. I caught up to her as fast as I could, popped off my skis, jumped in and got her out of the water. The lift attendant came running over and he radioed for the ski patrol.

While waiting for the ski patrol snowmobile, we walked MK over to the lift shack to warm up. The sled arrived and they drove her over to the patrol office in the chalet. I took the lift up and found my way back over there too. The woman in the office had her under blankets and warmers and there was an awesome patrol dog watching over her too. I went to the car to get dry clothes and also ordered her some hot food from the cafeteria.

I liked the Blackjack chalet more than the other ones and we hung out there for a while until she felt recovered. Thankfully nothing was broken – just the thin ice on top of the pond she fell in. The ski shop in the building was selling ski patrol shirts as a fundraiser, so we bought one (and gave an additional donation in the jar). Thanks to everyone at Blackjack who helped us out that day – you rocked. They even took care of returning her rental gear for us so we didn’t have to drive that stuff back to Indianhead.

We basically drove straight back to Duluth from Blackjack and met my sister Lynn for dinner at Grandma’s in Canal Park. Much, much better food and service there. We also stopped at the Electric Fetus on Superior Street, which is always a fun store to shop.

Not exactly the trip I thought we’d have, but still a fun adventure. Plus, MK says she is willing to try skiing again this year.

Watch out Afton!

Originally published by DK on February 21, 2015 at 1:33 am

How’s your pace of play?

Posted Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 04:32 pm GMT -5 in Golf,Skiing at 4:32 PM

XC ski trails between hole four and five @ The Wilderness

Originally published by DK on January 28, 2015 at 4:32 pm

2015 Arrowhead 135 Results

Posted Monday, January 26th, 2015 12:09 pm GMT -5 in Biking,Links,Running,Skiing at 12:09 PM


Originally published by DK on January 26, 2015 at 12:09 pm

We love the ski patrol

Posted Sunday, January 25th, 2015 02:13 pm GMT -5 in Family,Skiing,Travel at 2:13 PM

MK with her new shirt

Originally published by DK on January 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Blackjack Selfie

Posted Sunday, January 25th, 2015 02:12 pm GMT -5 in Family,Skiing,Travel at 2:12 PM

Nice place (aside from the water bar)

Originally published by DK on January 25, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Ski Patrol Tails @ Blackjack

Posted Sunday, January 25th, 2015 01:44 pm GMT -5 in Family,Skiing,Travel at 1:44 PM

MK and the water bar

Originally published by DK on January 25, 2015 at 1:44 pm

Blackjack Mountain (after)

Posted Sunday, January 25th, 2015 01:38 pm GMT -5 in Family,Skiing,Travel at 1:38 PM

That water bar just came out of nowhere…

Originally published by DK on January 25, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Blackjack Mountain (before)

Posted Sunday, January 25th, 2015 01:35 pm GMT -5 in Family,Skiing,Travel at 1:35 PM

MK at the top

Originally published by DK on January 25, 2015 at 1:35 pm

Smiley’s Place

Posted Saturday, January 24th, 2015 12:55 pm GMT -5 in Family,Skiing,Travel at 12:55 PM

MK @ Lunch

Originally published by DK on January 24, 2015 at 12:55 pm

Kickin’ it old school

Posted Saturday, January 24th, 2015 11:09 am GMT -5 in Skiing,Travel at 11:09 AM

Long skis for old guys

Originally published by DK on January 24, 2015 at 11:09 am

Speed Demon

Posted Saturday, January 24th, 2015 10:41 am GMT -5 in Family,Skiing,Travel at 10:41 AM

The kid’s got it down

Originally published by DK on January 24, 2015 at 10:41 am

That one never gets old

Posted Saturday, January 24th, 2015 09:34 am GMT -5 in Skiing,Travel at 9:34 AM

Although now it also means the runs I can ski without smashing up my face

Originally published by DK on January 24, 2015 at 9:34 am

Now I wear a helmet

Posted Friday, January 23rd, 2015 11:25 pm GMT -5 in Skiing at 11:25 PM

My crash four years ago @ Lutsen

Originally published by DK on January 23, 2015 at 11:25 pm

Excited for the weekend

Posted Friday, January 23rd, 2015 11:15 pm GMT -5 in Skiing,Travel at 11:15 PM

First time with a tag in years @ Indianhead Mountain

Originally published by DK on January 23, 2015 at 11:15 pm

Arrived safely (but power is out)

Posted Friday, January 23rd, 2015 06:13 pm GMT -5 in Skiing,Travel at 6:13 PM

Indianhead Mountain, Michigan

Originally published by DK on January 23, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Hope they still fit

Posted Friday, January 23rd, 2015 08:04 am GMT -5 in Skiing at 8:04 AM

My ski boots before Michigan

Originally published by DK on January 23, 2015 at 8:04 am

Almost forgot to get this

Posted Friday, December 5th, 2014 01:15 pm GMT -5 in Skiing at 1:15 PM

Indianhead Mountain Resort prize package from Warren Miller and City Pages

Originally published by DK on December 5, 2014 at 1:15 pm

So happy to find a coat

Posted Friday, October 10th, 2014 11:05 pm GMT -5 in Family,Shopping,Skiing at 11:05 PM

MK @ Valley Bike and Ski

Originally published by DK on October 10, 2014 at 11:05 pm

I spy A-Basin

Posted Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 09:38 pm GMT -5 in Skiing,Travel at 9:38 PM

Arapahoe Basin, Colorado from 30,000+ feet

Originally published by DK on May 14, 2014 at 9:38 pm

The Thin Line

Posted Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 02:28 pm GMT -5 in Links,Skiing,Video at 2:28 PM

Originally published by DK on March 22, 2014 at 2:28 pm

I miss Schweitzer

Posted Sunday, March 9th, 2014 12:53 pm GMT -5 in History,Skiing at 12:53 PM

Idaho potato sag with a Schweitzer dude

Originally published by DK on March 9, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Joe’s Ski Swap

Posted Friday, September 13th, 2013 01:50 pm GMT -5 in Skiing at 1:50 PM

Your Outdoor Experts, St. Paul, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on September 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Best. Report. Ever.

Posted Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 09:24 pm GMT -5 in History,Skiing at 9:24 PM

The History of Skiing, by David Kingsbury – 7th Grade English, Ramsey Junior High School, St. Paul, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on June 18, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Gashagi under snow

Posted Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 07:40 pm GMT -5 in Golf,Skiing at 7:40 PM

The fourth hole tee box, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay, Tower, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on March 5, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Need to do this more often

Posted Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 04:45 pm GMT -5 in Skiing at 4:45 PM

Nordic skiing along the first hole, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay, Tower, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on March 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Go Arrowhead 135ers!

Posted Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 08:56 am GMT -5 in Biking,Running,Skiing,Sports at 8:56 AM

The support crew has arrived, Arrowhead 135 Ultra, Fortune Bay, Tower, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on January 29, 2013 at 8:56 am

Pert’ Near Lutsen

Posted Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 02:25 pm GMT -5 in Links,Music,Skiing,Video at 2:25 PM

Originally published by DK on January 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm

NYT: Snow Fall

Posted Saturday, December 22nd, 2012 12:55 am GMT -5 in Links,Skiing at 12:55 AM


Originally published by DK on December 22, 2012 at 12:55 am

Those would be the “new” ones on top

Posted Thursday, November 8th, 2012 08:01 pm GMT -5 in Skiing at 8:01 PM

My old Rossi alpine skis

Originally published by DK on November 8, 2012 at 8:01 pm

The transition to white has begun

Posted Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 08:38 am GMT -5 in Links,Skiing at 8:38 AM


Originally published by DK on October 24, 2012 at 8:38 am

Oh to be a ski bum

Posted Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 09:55 pm GMT -5 in Links,Skiing at 9:55 PM

Originally published by DK on September 22, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Ten Favorites – Outstate Minnesota

Posted Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 12:46 am GMT -5 in Food,Golf,Longform,Marathons,Nature,Skiing at 12:46 AM

Continuing on with the ten favorites theme I started a few days ago, here is my initial pass at outstate Minnesota. There is a heavy focus on the northern part of the state, as I’ve spent the most time there. Other areas are very nice too, but maybe that can be a third post down the road.

1. Devil’s Kettle Hiking Trail

Part of the Judge C.R. Magney State Park, the trail to the Devil’s Kettle is pure North Shore beautiful. It’s not too long or too tough, so almost everyone can do it, and I just love that we haven’t figured out the mystery of where all that water goes.

2. World’s Best Donuts and Sven & Ole’s Pizza

Grand Marais is such a beautiful town. I’ve been lucky enough to visit almost every year of my life, so I’ve had plenty of time to see the dining options come and go. These two establishments are firmly planted within shouting distance of each other and continue to be must visits on every single trip I take.

3. Lutsen Mountains and Lutsen Resort

Lutsen has always been Minnesota’s only “real” ski area and I love visiting any time of the year. The golf course added another dimension and the original Lutsen Resort on the lake holds special memories of my friend Megan’s beautiful wedding on the beach.

4. Gooseberry Falls (above) and Split Rock Lighthouse

Gooseberry Falls State Park represents everything that is good about the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Gorgeous setting, nice visitor center, easy access off highway 61, miles of great trails and photogenic waterfalls. And it’s all free.

Just down the road, Split Rock isn’t free, but what a wonderful historic site. Another great visitor center, friendly, informative guides, super cool lighthouse structure and a beautiful hiking trail down to the lake and the iconic photo opportunity that awaits.

5. Ely Blueberry Festival

This is a relatively new thing for me, but I’ve been to the last two Blueberry Festivals in Ely and will plan to keep coming back. My parents have been going for years and it’s just down the road from work, so I think it’s officially tradition now.

6. The Wilderness at Fortune Bay and The Vermilion Club

Speaking of work, it’s a no brainer to include The Wilderness at Fortune Bay, Golfweek’s #1 public course in Minnesota.

Best. Benefit. Ever.

After the round, the food at the resort is good, but nothing compares to the VC. You know your foursome needs a Bamboozler…

7. Grandma’s Marathon

This race lacks the total spectator count of Twin Cities, but it’s so very special in a different way. Taking the train to the start, the beauty of Lake Superior, the crowds when you enter the city, the party at the end – Grandma produces a world-class event. A true showcase for the city of Duluth.

8. Tobies Caramel Rolls

Not quite halfway between the Twin Cities and Duluth, the pit stop in Hinckley almost always means a visit to Tobies. And Tobies means caramel rolls – soft, sweet, sticky caramel rolls. Yum.

9. Brainerd Area Golf – The Classic, The Pines, The Preserve and Deacon’s Lodge

While I’ve photographed all of these courses, I’ve actually only played two of them (The Classic and The Preserve). Throw in Golden Eagle and you have a solid week of great Minnesota resort golf. One of these years I’ll organize a buddy trip to do just that.

10. Greg’s Meats

Last, but not least, Greg’s Meats is located just north of Cannon Falls on highway 52. While they have lots of great things for sale, all I have to say is: beef jerky time!

What else do you like outstate?

Originally published by DK on May 2, 2012 at 12:46 am

Colorado 2012 Mini-Vacation

Posted Monday, January 30th, 2012 09:36 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Family,Food,Longform,Skiing,Travel at 9:36 PM

When my daughter’s favorite group, Atmosphere, announced they were performing in the first ever winter show at my favorite venue, Red Rocks, we had to figure out a way to make that happen. After some mad Google Mapping and creative budgeting, the road trip was on.

We packed up the MINI and hit the road last Thursday afternoon. After a quick stop at the Axel’s Bonfire in Eagan to eat some free birthday Bull Bites, we drove to Lincoln, Nebraska (420 miles). Holiday Inn Express was our hotel of choice this trip, thanks to their decent breakfast food and relatively low prices.

On Friday, we drove from Lincoln to Littleton, Colorado (500 miles) and checked in earlier than planned at the hotel. I totally forgot about the time change, so we had an extra hour before the concert started. We hit the local King Soopers grocery store to check on discounted lift tickets (not a great deal – skipped it) and had dinner at a surprise Chick-Fil-A (totally forgot they are in Colorado). I don’t care what anybody says – that food is damn tasty!

The concert was scheduled to start at 7:30, but I wanted to hike around Red Rocks before the sun went down. We had about 45 minutes of daylight, which turned out to be just about perfect. Since we were so early, we also got an awesome parking spot in the VIP area immediately below the main exit. We hung out in the car until gates opened at 6:30 and made a beeline to the merch table, which unfortunately was at the very top of the amphitheater. Many stairs later, the kid got what she wanted and we hiked back down to row ten to watch the show (it was general admission, so we took what we could get).

The bill consisted of Get Cryphy, Grieves and Budo, Common and headliner Atmosphere. Get Cryphy was playing as soon as the gates opened, which was nice. The set by Grieves and Budo was brief, but entertaining. Technical difficulties delayed the start of the Common set by about 30 minutes – I felt bad for his band (two keyboardists, a drummer and an MC), who just sat there in the cold the whole time.

I’ve listened to most of the Atmosphere albums, but there are still a lot of songs I just don’t know. This was not a problem for the kid, though, who sang along to everything. I do know that God Loves Ugly was the opening song and Brother Ali finally came out for the very last song (which wasn’t really an encore, as all the performers went off stage for only a minute or two at the end). The crowd was a little rowdy, but the close quarters and movement helped keep it warmer. A few snowflakes added character, along with lots of “special” smoke in the air, too…

The show ended around 11:45 and we were able to beat the worst of the traffic, thanks to our great parking spot. We made it back to the hotel around 12:30 and were back on the road by 8:30. I decided to skip Beaver Creek this time, opting to take the Loveland Pass over to Arapahoe Basin. I-70 looked good on the traffic cams at 7AM, but all three lanes were bumper-to-bumper about five miles up the grade. We finally made it to the Loveland Pass exit and I white-knuckled it up and over the treacherous two-lane road with no guard rails. Even driving my own car with snow tires, I wasn’t comfortable at all and will probably skip that option in the future.

A-Basin was just perfect. I had been there once before in high school and not much had changed. I take that back – they had a great new high-speed detachable lift right in front of the base chalet and a nice mid-mountain restaurant called the Black Mountain Lodge, where we had lunch. Rentals were quick and easy for the kid and I loved the pricing, which was cheaper than what we paid in Minnesota. Since they consider teens to be kids and not adults, her lift ticket and rental was only $59. Add in my $74 adult ticket and you had quite the Colorado bargain.

We took most of our runs off of that high-speed quad, with the “green” run Sundance being her favorite. Parts of that run are steeper than most “blacks” in Minnesota, so I didn’t mind skiing it like a mid-length cruiser. I was also quite fond of High Noon and took a few runs from the top of the mountain too. I would’ve done more up there, but the wind really picked up as the day went on. We managed around ten runs total before stopping around 3PM.

The rest of the trip was basically a big highway blur: Arapahoe to North Platte, Nebraska (320 miles), overnight one last time at the Holiday Inn Express, followed by 640 miles back to Minnesota on Sunday. We stopped for a steak lunch in Omaha at the lovely Upstream Brewing Company in the Old Market part of town and had some boring Wendy’s in Clear Lake, Iowa, for dinner.

Great trip, but oh so short. First vacation in three years, though, so I’ll take whatever I can get.

Now to figure out how to finally become a ski bum… 🙂

Originally published by DK on January 30, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Everyone needs a Rossi dartboard

Posted Monday, January 30th, 2012 11:03 am GMT -5 in Photography,Skiing at 11:03 AM

Ski rental office, Arapahoe Basin, Colorado

Originally published by DK on January 30, 2012 at 11:03 am

Ski bums are made, not born

Posted Sunday, January 29th, 2012 09:06 am GMT -5 in Photography,Skiing,Travel at 9:06 AM

Mid-mountain, Arapahoe Basin, Colorado

Originally published by DK on January 29, 2012 at 9:06 am

Why yes it is, yes it is

Posted Saturday, January 28th, 2012 11:26 pm GMT -5 in Photography,Skiing,Travel at 11:26 PM

Sign in the A-frame Lodge, Arapahoe Basin, Colorado

Originally published by DK on January 28, 2012 at 11:26 pm

All Ski Areas Should Do This

Posted Monday, January 2nd, 2012 10:18 am GMT -5 in Links,Skiing at 10:18 AM


Originally published by DK on January 2, 2012 at 10:18 am

Actual Snow at Giants Ridge

Posted Friday, December 30th, 2011 10:31 pm GMT -5 in Family,Longform,Skiing at 10:31 PM

This week we stopped at one of the few spots in Minnesota that has snow right now – Giants Ridge in Biwabik. Of course most of that snow was artificially made, but you really couldn’t tell. The quality was great – not icy and very few bare patches. It helped that there was a dusting of real snow overnight, but overall I was very happy with my first day out this season.

After the big crash last year at Lutsen, I now judge the success of a ski trip by whether or not my face gets smashed on something. The new helmut makes me a little more confident, but I’m still not as agressive as I used to be. I’m slowly coming around to the fact that I should probably dump the ancient straight skis and get something more modern (and safe), but cost is a huge factor right now.

Speaking of cost, I experienced a bit of sticker shock at the front desk. I was hoping Giants Ridge would have a reasonable beginners package available, as one of the kids had never skied and another needed a refresher after not skiing for a few years. All I wanted was a bunny hill lift ticket, rentals and a short group lesson for a reasonable price (say $50?), but they didn’t offer anything like that. I bought four lift tickets, three rental sets and taught my own group lesson and it was $250. Add in several visits to the cafeteria and it was a very expensive five hours.

A few other downers: spoiled kids, rotten parents, cursing teenagers, greasy chalet food, lack of sunshine, cold winds and frozen extremities.

But I still love the actual sport of skiing – there is really nothing else like it. Freedom to move at your own pace, a connection to the outdoors, the feeling of “beating” winter, spending time with my kids and an adrenaline rush you don’t get from running or golf.

You will never confuse Giants Ridge with Colorado, but compared to other ski areas in Minnesota, it’s fun. I still prefer Lutsen, but Giants Ridge is only a half hour from work. Both of them could use some high-speed, detachable chairlifts, though – the old style chairs take soooo long…

Originally published by DK on December 30, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Wish I Was There

Posted Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 05:27 pm GMT -5 in Photography,Skiing at 5:27 PM

Schweiter.com screenshot, Sandpoint, Idaho

Originally published by DK on December 13, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Red Rocks in January

Posted Friday, December 9th, 2011 09:49 pm GMT -5 in Family,Mini Posts,Music,Skiing,Travel at 9:49 PM

When I saw Atmosphere’s tweet tonight about the first ever winter show at Red Rocks in Colorado, I was hoping I could figure out a way for kid one and I to go. Google Maps says it’s a 14 hour drive from home and I have relatives that live in Denver now, so that part should hopefully work. Just needed to confirm it was an all-ages show (yes) and if seats were reserved (nope – general admission). When I saw there was a cheaper pre-sale price before the general public on sale tomorrow, I pulled the trigger.

This trip will be a birthday present for both of us. I haven’t had a vacation in almost three years, so I couldn’t be more excited. We’ll also get some bonding time during the MINI road trip through Iowa and Nebraska, along with a day of skiing at an area to be determined (Beaver Creek?).

Kick. Ass.

Originally published by DK on December 9, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Reopening Friday

Posted Sunday, November 20th, 2011 09:46 pm GMT -5 in Links,Skiing at 9:46 PM


Originally published by DK on November 20, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Almost Time to Ski

Posted Friday, October 14th, 2011 03:35 pm GMT -5 in Links,Skiing at 3:35 PM


Originally published by DK on October 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Snowshoes and Nordic Skiing

Posted Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 06:34 pm GMT -5 in Mini Posts,Nature,Photography,Skiing at 6:34 PM

Picked up some new gear at the wonderful Joe’s Sporting Goods in St. Paul last weekend. Took my pocketful of Christmas cash and bought a set of Fischer nordic skis and bindings, Alpina boots and a pair of Yukon Charlie’s snowshoes.

I’ve never really done either of these sports, so these are just entry-level products (but well made). I went out and used both yesterday for the first time and did OK. I need to learn more about cross-country form, but 32 years of downhill skiing made it pretty easy to get around without falling down.

Snowshoeing on frozen Lake Vermilion at night was a total trip. The stars were beautiful, it was absolutely quiet and temps were very reasonable. So peaceful and calming – at least until I started to sink into some slush. I was using the cross-country poles and one of them poked through to water. I asked a co-worker about that and he said not to worry – apparently the heavy snow can force water up through cracks to create a slush/water layer. He assured me there is ice beneath that, so I’ll go out again tonight.

Saw one shooting star last night, but still waiting to see the northern lights again.

The picture above was taken with my new favorite iOS photo app – Camera+. It really is a massive improvement on the build-in camera app and the low cost makes it a no-brainer purchase.

Originally published by DK on January 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm