New Years VanSlam 2015

Kingston clowning it up for the GoPro

Kingston clowning it up for the GoPro

It has been said the one should try to spend New Year’s Day the way you would like to spend the rest of the year.  Well, if that’s the case, then we’re off to a pretty fabulous 2015. Beautiful freezing blue sky afternoon, followed by an evening campfire under a star filled, moonlit night, hiking, bicycles, dudes, Puget Sound sunsets…

New Year’s Day found us headed to Fort Casey for a brief little winter VanSlam. Susan and Leane had worked out most of the important details, like the food, and I was left to manage the camping arrangements. Of course Fort Casey has traditionally been a perennial favorite for us so it was one of the first places I thought of.  It has a nice little paved drive looping around the camp so bringing the Dudes’s bicycles was gonna be part of the plan too.

A day on the beach

A day on the beach

When it looked like Richie was going to be delayed with that unmentionable 4-letter word (work), Susan suggested that we roll out early, run down and pick up Kingston (it was his turn for some Grandpa and Suzie time) and get up to the camp early to secure two campsites. And that turned out to be a winning move because the place filled up just after we arrived.

Kingston - giving me the "Look"...

Kingston – giving me the “Look”…

As soon as we got our camp set up Bubba and I were on the bikes, racing around the loop.  We also got in a little hike up to the WWI era artillery bunkers where we scrambled around for a bit.  When it was time to get a fire started Kingston was all over the fire steel and birch bark combination.  It took him a few tries but he actually did get the tinder bundle burning.  What a great little bushcrafter.

Suzie at the bunkers

Suzie at the bunkers







More "FIRE"

More “FIRE”

It was well after dark when Leane and Richie and the other two dudes rolled into camp. We braved the freezing cold temperatures and kicked it at the campfire for a while… But eventually the cold drove us into the warmth of our camper vans.




The Dudes

The Dudes

Blustery Morning

Blustery Morning







The next morning we were in for a fairly drastic change in the weather.  Mother Nature clocked the wind around to the southwest and cranked up the volume.  Our day was very blustery and with the wind chill factor… it was downright nasty outside.  So, what could we do?

Ride our bikes around the loop a few hundred more times of course.






Duke, practicing the "look"

Duke, practicing the “look”

Kingston zooming by

Kingston zooming by

Cade - getting started on two wheels

Cade – getting started on two wheels

This was slated to be the trip where Cadence was going to learn to ride his little bike without training wheels, brought on by necessity – since Richie had removed his training wheels and chucked them in the trash.

Well, before long Richie got Cadence balancing and pedaling under his own power and that brought all hands out of the vans, standing along the loop road screaming with excitement.

Take Off

Take Off

Flying Solo

Flying Solo

(Author’s Note: As I was typing these words at about 1700 hours Richie called to show us, via face time, Cade in the dark at their schoolyard just pedaling around like this was No Big Thing.  Kind makes this next thought even more inspiring…)

"We can go anywhere"

“We can go anywhere”

As a finale thought, when Cade and I were loading his bike on my bike rack we couldn’t help but notice that the two machines just seemed to nestle together on the rack perfectly.  Like the Yakima trailer hitch rack was specifically designed for just these two bicycles.  I looked to Cade and said, “Man look at that perfect fit.  You know Cade, once you learn to ride a bicycle we can take off and go –Anywhere!


About Jeff Katzer

Welcome friends. I'm a cyclist, hiker, motorbike rider, kayaker, photographer, videographer, ukulele player, snowshoer, XC skier, and BEST of all - a grandpa. Somewhere in that list above you'll find the theme of the Adventure Journal.
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1 Response to New Years VanSlam 2015

  1. Kevin says:

    JK, great start to 2015.
    The action bike photos, and best of all, a great ending!
    love ya bro -KK

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