Mike and Mikey hiking the North Shore of L. Superior, Pt.2

Mike and Mikey Gone Hiking Sign... Again

 

Mikey and I departed on our second week out together after spending a weekend at home and getting cleaned up a bit. We returned up north to the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) again, but not as far north this time. We used Temperance River State Park as our base camp, about 90 mi. north of Duluth on Hwy 61. Temperance River State Park is a small park, at only 200 acres, but it is surrounded by Superior National Forest and state forest lands.

The SHT approaches the Park from the north on the eastern side of the river and crosses the river  near Hwy 61, then runs north again along the western side of the river for about five miles before continuing its south westerly direction.

The plan was to explore the Temperance River for about a mile upstream from Lake Superior, then head inland to visit Carlton Peak and Britton Peak to the northeast along the SHT -about 9.6 miles round trip. We’d explore the state park for a day, and then we’d drive up to Oberg Mountain and Leveaux Mountain and hike their loop trails; then maybe hike the SHT back south to Britton Peak again, from the north -depending on the time we had available.  Oberg to Britton Peak would be 10.4 mi. round trip, and each of the loop trails are about 2 miles. It would be a push, but we’d see how the trail conditions were and how much time we had available -we would be flexible!  This second trip with Mikey, had us out for four days.

Sidebar: Following this second week out with Mikey, Amateur Radio’s Annual Field Day -2017 took place (weekend of June 24-25). I attended Field Day activities sponsored by two local amateur radio clubs. I’ll post a brief summary of those events as time permits. Immediately following the radio events, I was again on the road, headed east. My activities out east included time spent in VA and MD, and a week of hiking in the White Mountains of NH –the Presidential Range along the Appalachian Trail, between Crawford Notch and Pinkham Notch, in the Whites of NH. I’ll be posting about that trip in the near future as well.

Now -Back to our exploration in and around the Temperance River of northern Minnesota. Mikey and I departed early Monday morning after Field Day wrapped up, and had our base camp established in Temperance River State Park by 1 p.m. Our campsite was located on the perimeter of the campground, just above the river -a pretty secluded area overall, given it’s popular state park status.

 

Temperance River, North Shore of Lake Superior, MN

Temperance River, North Shore of Lake Superior, MN

 

SHT and Temperance River maps

SHT Map, Temperance River State Park map and tools for the trail

 

The weather was heavily overcast most of the first day out. After getting our campsite  established, we grabbed our cameras and headed about a quarter mile upstream, crossing Hwy 61, to explore the river’s gorge. Even with the overcast skies, the gorge is a remarkable geologic formation, and the rushing river waters are always beautiful -rain or shine, summer or winter, open water or frozen.

 

Hidden Falls, Temperance River, MN (1)

Hidden Falls, Temperance River, MN (1)

 

Hidden Falls, Temperance River, MN (2)

Hidden Falls, Temperance River, MN (2)

 

Temperance River gorge (1)

Temperance River gorge (1)

 

Temperance River gorge (2)

Temperance River gorge (2)

 

Temperance River gorge (3)

Temperance River gorge (3)

 

Temperance River gorge (4)

Temperance River gorge (4)

 

The Temperance River gorge trail is a fantastic place to explore with camera in hand. Different seasons and foliage variation, high water/low water, light conditions, cloud cover, etc. all add to the distinct yet diverse, multicolored, mottled scenes from nature.

The gorge and its many waterfalls and potholes are the result of the areas fire and ice history -volcanic activity followed by glaciers over a mile deep. Since the end of the Great Ice Age about 12,000 years ago, the force of flowing glacial melt water over hardened lava bedrock has created the dramatic Temperance gorge, and many others like it along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Global warming has been going on here for thousands of years.

The skies cleared somewhat by early evening, and we returned to the river with our cameras to  capture some ‘new’ scenes.

 

 

 

Mouth of Temperance River entering Lake Superior (1)

Mouth of Temperance River, entering Lake Superior (1)

 

We returned to our campsite, not far from the mouth of the river, to fix some dinner. After dinner we enjoyed a campfire and talked about the days activities. Both of us slept well and woke ready for another day of hiking and fun.

 

Sunny day in the river gorge

A new sunny day brings out the colors in the Temperance gorge.

 

We hiked past the gorge on the SHT, taking more pictures along the way. As usual, we had to watch our step given the rocks and roots along the trail.

 

Headed upstream beyond the river gorge

Headed upstream beyond the Temperance gorge.

 

Top of the Temperance gorge

Top of the Temperance gorge

 

Temperance entering the gorge

Temperance entering the gorge

 

Temperance River

Temperance River

 

 

Mikey at beginning of Temperance River gorge

Mikey at beginning of Temperance River gorge

 

 

Mikey taking pictures upstream

 

 

SHT overlooking Temperance River

SHT overlooking Temperance River

 

SHT leaves the Temperance headed NE

SHT leaves the Temperance and heads NE

 

SHT -a great trail!

SHT -a great trail!

 

Mikey likes to hike

Mikey likes to hike

 

Britton Peak in the distance

Britton Peak in the distance

 

Britton Peak

Britton Peak

 

Base of Britton Peak

Base of Britton Peak

 

Mikey on Britton Peak

Mikey on Britton Peak

 

Mike and Mikey on Britton Peak

Mike and Mikey on Britton Peak

 

After exploring Britton Peak we got back on the trail, and headed for our campsite -we were both getting hungry. All we’d had since breakfast were a couple of energy bars.

 

The trail back

The trail back

 

Hiking along the Temperance

Hiking along the Temperance

 

Life on the rocks (1)

Life on the rocks (1)

 

Cloudy skies return over the Temperance

Cloudy skies return over the Temperance

 

Beauty along the river

Beauty along the river

 

 

Mikey on the SHT

Mikey on the SHT, overlooking the Temperance River

 

Life on the rocks (2)

Life on the rocks (2)

 

Temperance River, another view

 

Water on water

 

We wondered if the rain (above) would be moving our way; but not that day -we had no rain all night! We had been lucking out weather-wise, last week and this week as well. One big downpour last week in the middle of the night, and nothing yet this week.

 

The beach, Lake Superior near Temperance River

 

Life on the rocks (3)

Life on the rocks (3)

 

Lake Superior shoreline, MN

Lake Superior shoreline, MN

 

We returned to camp to fix dinner and relax after a long day on the trail. We split wood and built a nice fire. It’s always fun to talk around a campfire, and I had plenty of stories to share with Mikey about my past backpacking experiences.

Next day we drove up Hwy 61 to Co. 336, to hike the Oberg Mtn. and Leveoux Mtn. loops, and then head back to Briton Peak from the north side along the SHT (beginning at the common trailhead for Oberg and Leveoux). We weren’t sure if we’d have time, but figured the sooner we got started, the better our chances of getting in the miles and completing the mission. Mikey was anxious to get started!

We arrived at the trailhead and hiked the Oberg loop first (about 2 mi.).   There are some good vistas from points around the upper perimeter of Oberg, and the day was good for pictures.

 

 

Leveaux Mountain, viewed from Oberg Mtn.

Leveaux Mountain, viewed from Oberg Mtn.

 

My wife, Judy and I snow-shoed up and around Leveaux and down to Temperance River State Park a few years ago. We followed wolf tracks that were tracking a deer for the last few miles. We stayed very alert, watching for the wolf and any sign of an encounter, but witnessed nothing. We never saw the wolf or the deer, and eventually lost their tracks among hiker prints as we approached the Park.

Oberg and Leveaux are only a few miles apart and share the trailhead parking lot. Both offer interesting views and good short climbs. They are good hikes if you only have a few hours available. The sawtooth formation as seen on top of Leveaux, is consistent with other formations in the Sawtooth Mountains found along the North Shore of Superior.

 

Flowers on Oberg Mtn.

Flowers on Oberg Mtn.

 

 

View from Oberg (1)

View from Oberg (1)

 

View from Oberg (2)

View from Oberg (2)

 

View from Oberg (3)

View from Oberg (3)

 

View from Oberg (4)

View from Oberg (4)

 

Oberg -heading back to trailhead

Oberg -heading back to the trailhead.

 

 

A shady trail

A shady trail; cooler but maybe more mosquitoes. Trade offs… but not if you want to get from point A to point B in a timely manner.

 

Onion River, SHT

 

Judy and I snow-shoed up the Onion River from Hwy 61 for a couple of miles about ten-twelve years ago, climbing up the edge of a waterfall along the way. It was a great experience -my first snowshoeing event! I’d broken my ankle a few months earlier, and didn’t feel comfortable x-country skiing, so we tried snowshoeing -I absolutely loved it, and have been snowshoeing ever since! Mikey has also been snowshoeing, and loves it as well.

The Onion River is also a reliable source of water along the Superior Hiking Trail -just be sure to filter it first. You’re just asking for trouble drinking unfiltered water. Avoid putting yourself in that position.

 

Leveaux Mtn. spur trail

Leveaux Mtn. spur trail

 

Trail life, the ups and downs...

Trail life, the ups and downs…

 

 

View from Leveaux Mtn.

View from Leveaux Mtn., with beaver pond in distance

 

Britton Peak from Leveaux Mtn.

Britton Peak and Carlton Peak from Leveaux Mtn.

 

Beaver pond

Beaver pond

 

Beaver lodge

 

Bear on the trail (1)

Bear on the trail (1)

 

We ran across bear prints in the mud along the trail. They must have been from an adult female black bear, because we soon found tracks from at least one small cub. I usually carry bear spray when backpacking, just in case of a run-in with a mama bear with cubs. Black bears will usually run when they see you, but the presence of a cub adds a not-insignificant degree of potential danger. If they feel threatened, they could cause a problem and have been known to attack people under such conditions.

You should always carry bear spray in grizzly country, as they are always considered dangerous, and may challenge or attack for no particular reason. And, don’t try to outrun them, you can’t! I often carry a large caliber firearm when in grizzly country, just as an added precaution. They can be very dangerous.

Both black bears and grizzlies may try and steal your food if given the chance. Hang your food and any fragrant toiletries in a bag from a tree or use a bear canister or box to store your food at night. Don’t keep such materials in your tent or pack at night. If a vehicle is available, store items inside the locked vehicle.

There are no grizzlies in Minnesota. 😉

 

Bear on the trail (2)

Bear on the trail (2)

 

Bear cub tracks can be seen along with the adult tracks in the above picture. These prints look pretty fresh, so I made some noise as we moved down the trail just to let them know we were coming – talking and clapping my hands now and then. You don’t want to surprise a mama with cubs!

 

Adult bear and cub on the trail

Adult bear and cub on the trail

 

Bear on the trail (3)

Bear on the trail (3)

 

We also found some moose tracks along the trail, not far from the beaver pond. Moose could likely be spotted along the edges of the beaver pond in early morning or evening hours. Their tracks are typically at least double the size of deer tracks.

 

Moose on the trail

 

Moose on the trail

 

Moose on the trail

Moose on the trail.

 

Trail to Britton Peak from Leveaux Mtn.

Trail to Britton Peak from Leveaux Mtn.

 

We had taken more time hiking and taking pictures than we’d planned and were falling behind on our miles covered. Mikey and I agreed before we started this last portion of the hike, that if we didn’t reach our destination by 2:30 pm, we’d turn around -just to be sure we’d get back to our base camp before dark, cook dinner and enjoy a campfire. At 2:30 we turned around and hiked back to the trailhead, then drove back to base camp at Temperance River. No big deal. We’d had a great day hiking, got lots of pictures, and now had time to enjoy a great meal and campfire. Safety is always a prime consideration when hiking and camping! Everything worked out as planned.

That simple strategy we used, provides a good way to avoid potentially bad situations, where you might run out of daylight, etc. I used it before when hiking solo in the Pecos Wilderness of the Sangre de Cristo Mountians about 20 mi. NE of Santa Fe, up along the Pecos River. I had a map with no distance scale on it, so when I headed out, I estimated the time I had available until dusk – and used half that time to determine when I’d need to turn back if I hadn’t reached my destination. In this case I reached my destination with almost an hour to spare. I then had the option of making camp at the destination, or taking some photos and simply returning to my base camp. It should be noted that I had all the gear with me that I’d  need to spend the night out -small tent, sleeping bag, flashlight/batteries, water/filter, rain gear and some energy bars. In the end, I decided to return to my base camp, but everything was planned out ahead of time. Always better to be safe than sorry!

Back at base camp, the Dinty Moore Beef Stew with added potatoes and veggies provided us a great, hardy meal after a long day on the trail. And Mikey had plenty of daylight to wash dishes after we finished eating. We were ‘happy campers.’

 

Mike cooked, Mikey washed – a shared effort all the way!

 

Next morning we packed up and drove to Duluth. We did some shopping, and checked the schedule for big cargo ships coming into the Duluth Harbor that morning -kind of a hobby with Mikey whenever in Duluth. We had lunch at Angie’s Cantina, then walked across the Lift Bridge and out along the shipping channel to watch for the CSL ASSINIBOINE, a Canadian cargo ship 736′ long.

 

CSL ASSINIBOINE approaching Duluth Harbor

 

CSL ASSINIBOINE (2)

 

CSL ASSINIBOINE (3)

 

CSL ASSINIBOINE (4)

 

CSL ASSINIBOINE (5)

 

CSL ASSINIBOINE (6)

 

Bayfield Tugboat, US Army Corps. of Engineers

 

Bayfield Tugboat, US Army Corps. of Engineers

 

U.S. Army Corps. of Enginners

~~~~~

Next up: Hiking the Presidential Range along the Appalachian Trail, between Crawford Notch and Pinkham Notch, in the Whites of NH.

73 de Mike, KEØGZT

~~~~~~~

 

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Mike and Mikey hiking the North Shore of L. Superior, Pt.1

My 12 year old grandson Mikey joined me to hike and camp along the North Shore of Lake Superior recently. The temps got down into the 40’s a couple of nights, and we had a very heavy thunderstorm one night, with lots of loud thunder and lightening. Mikey pretty much slept right through the storm. There was some sporadic rain mixed with partly sunny/cloudy days over the five day trip. The tent worked well, and we didn’t get wet in the heavy thunderstorm, and rain-gear was adequate. One of Mikey’s first lessons was that rain-gear usually won’t keep you dry (if you’re hiking/working), but it will keep you warm. Like most good lessons, that one has to be experienced in order to learn it! 😉 Needless to say, we had great hikes every day, and overall it was an excellent trip!

Mikey’s two take-aways from the trip were that the weather can change very fast several times a day near the big lake -Superior, aka Gitchi Gami. And then, no sooner than getting to the top of a big climb, you go down again, then after reaching a stream or valley, you go back up again… maybe six or ten times a day… up and down continually… 200′-600′ at a time… and it adds up; that’s the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT). The nice thing is that there’s no real altitude to deal with -just the constant ups and downs.

Lake Superior is at about 600′ elevation, and most hikes along the SHT will alternate between 700′ and 1600′ -which can be nice if you’re a low-lander from the midwest. But you don’t get the more scenic views associated with climbing/hiking at a more challenging 8,000′ – 12,000′ and higher elevations out west, or in the Canadian Rockies, and elsewhere.

On this trip we drove up Hwy 61 out of Duluth about 140 miles to C.R. Magney State Park. We used this as our base camp. In the Park, we hiked up the Brule River a few miles, viewing the Upper Falls and the Devil’s Kettle, then some other short hikes in the park -about 7 mi. total. We also hiked several sections of the SHT, on the way north, including Section 13 -north off Co. Rd. 6, and Sawmill Dome -south off Co. Rd. 6. (At Hwy. 61 Mileage Post 65.3, Co. Rd. 6 is a left turn if you are driving N on 61.) Parking is available at the Trailhead on Co. Rd. 6, and round-trip mileage to both sites is about 6.2 mi.

We visited Grand Portage up near the Canadian border, and a cultural history museum (with a nice book store covering cultural history of the Ojibwe/Chippewa people), jointly operated by the U.S. Department of Interior and the Grand Portage Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa. Lake Superior has been home to the Ojibwe people for over 500 years. French fur traders were in the area in the early 1700’s, and the British moved in around 1760. By 1783 the British Northwest Company had established Fort Charlotte.  American Indian Tribes, like states, are sovereign governments under the Constitution of the United States. Additional information at: http://grandportage.com/heritage.php .

 

Grand Portage Cultural Heritage Museum

Grand Portage Cultural Heritage Museum

 

Lastly we visited the Pigeon River north of Grand Portage, and hiked up to the High Falls. The French voyagers portaged the High Falls in order to access the River above, along with other inland waterways. The portage trails were established earlier by the Ojibwa people. The High Falls of the Pigeon River is the tallest falls in Minnesota, at 120.’ The Pigeon River also serves as the border between the United States and Canada in this area.

Radio time. I had planned to bring along my Yaesu 817ND on this trip, with a new 10m-40m longwire antenna I recently built. I built it and a related dipole, with help from Don Clay, kc0tj and Howard Silverwater, 4x1zz -based on what I refer to as a ‘not-so-random’ longwire plan by Chris at: http://offgridham.com/2016/12/portable-antenna-hf/.

Howard and I tried it out last month -with Howard as licensed operator, and it worked well, making contacts in Long Island, NY and Alabama. However my Technical license limits my ability to operate/work many hf frequencies. I decided to bring the radio along and just try it on 6m at Section 13 and Sawmill Dome, but had no luck over a limited time, using the antenna supplied with the 817. Mikey and I decided to keep moving, so I packed up the radio and we headed out on the trail again.

A couple of days ago I received the MFJ-4103 switching power supply I’d ordered for the 817, from Universal Radio. I plan to operate on 6m and 10m SSB from the shack with conventional power until I get my General license in a few months. It will also give me time to learn to operate the 817 radio -it’s a step up from my ht, that’s for sure. I also got the Alpha-Delta DX-EE 40-10m dipole antenna to install in my attic this fall, so that should keep me busy operating over the winter months and beyond.

Tomorrow morning we set up for Field Day-17, the biggest Ham Radio day of the year- starting at noon Sat. the 24th and running 24 hrs through noon on Sun. the 25th. Lots of opportunity to get on the air, and see different modes in operation. I’m especially interested in seeing some digital modes like PSK-31.  I’ll be visiting two local clubs to see what’s going on -should be interesting. I’ll likely write up a post with some photos here.

Back to the trail. I’ve got a few pictures of this last trip to share, and I’m confident Mikey will enjoy them as well as the narrative -I hope you do as well. We started the trip with a visit to Section 13, along the SHT. Then we visited Sawmill Dome.

 

SHT signage

 

Trail heading up to Section 13 Overlook

Trail heading up to Section 13 Overlook, north off of Co. Rd. 6 on SHT

Mikey on Section 13 Overlook

Mikey on Section 13 Overlook

 

SHT signage

 

Trail to Sawmill Dome, SHT south of Co. Rd. 6

 

 

Hiking up to Sawmill Dome

Hiking up to Sawmill Dome, south off of Co. Rd. 6 on SHT

 

flowers

Keep your eyes on the trail

 

Sawmill Dome

Sawmill Dome

 

Sawmill Dome Overlook

Sawmill Dome Overlook

 

Unsuccessful  making radio contacts at Section 13 and Sawmill Dome, we returned to the Trailhead and headed north to Judge C.R. Magney State Park – about 15 mi north of Grand Marais, MN.

 

 

The Brule River flows toward Lake Superior

 

The Brule River downstream

 

We found our campsite, unloaded the car and got camp set up in short order. Time for some dinner and a look around before darkness fell. Tomorrow will be a big day to explore the Brule River upstream. Rain is forecast, but we’re prepared.

 

Mikey got the tent set up

Mikey got the tent set up and a fire started -it’s nice to have a helper along!

 

We’d been hiking and it was a bit chilly, so we had a good appetite.Time to eat! No dehydrated meals on this trip. We were car camping and brought everything but the kitchen sink! But we did try to keep it simple, we’re guys after all! Mikey had milk, I had beer… and a cigar for desert!

 

A simple dinner after hiking.

A simple dinner after hiking.

 

A good thunderstorm came through during the night, and decided to just sit over us for a few hours -lots of thunder and lightening and a real downpour. Everything held together and we stayed dry. Next morning we headed upstream to check the river.

I’d come through here a few years ago on a backpacking trip, and after a few long days on the trail, I remember climbing down these stairs and then back up again with 50# on my back -funny how you remember those things. It was much easier this time carrying only a 15 # daypack. Btw, there are three sections of stairs, like in the picture below, to get up or down the hillside.

 

Stairs down to the High Falls

Mikey on the stairs down to the High Falls, Brule River, MN

 

High Falls of Brule River, MN

High Falls of the Brule River, C.R. Magney, S.P., MN

 

High Falls of the Brule River, MN

High Falls of the Brule River, MN

 

Brule River further upstream

Brule River further upstream.

 

 

Devil's Kettle Falls, Brule River, MN

Devil’s Kettle Falls, Brule River, MN

 

Devil's Kettle Falls,

Devil’s Kettle Falls, Brule River, MN

 

Devil's Kettle

Devil’s Kettle, Brule River, photo credit MN Dept. of Natural Resources

 

The Brule River splits at the Devil’s Kettle waterfall. Half the water goes over the falls and continues on it’s way downstream, while the other half goes into a deep hole and disappears. It’s been a mystery for years – where does the water go? Now a researcher at the Department of Natural Resources thinks he’s solved the mystery. In fact the water reappears pretty quickly downstream. Read about the researchers explanation of the missing water at: http://www.startribune.com/scientists-think-they-ve-solved-the-mystery-of-devil-s-kettle-falls/414996694/.

After hiking the river and exploring the falls and Devil’s Kettle we decided to go out for lunch at a nearby establishment -the Naniboujou Lodge and Restaurant which is located about a quarter mile from the Park on Hwy 61.

 

Naniboujou Lodge and Restaurant

Naniboujou Lodge and Restaurant

 

Naniboujou Lodge

Naniboujou Lodge and Restaurant, about ten miles N of Grand Marais

 

Naniboujou is the Cree Indian name for the god of the outdoors. The walls and ceiling are painted in Cree designsThe restaurant and lodge was established in the 1920’s and has a story associated with it. The food is excellent. More information is available at: http://www.naniboujou.com.

The mouth of the Brule River is just down the beach from the Naniboujou, so naturally we had to walk down the beach… collecting small rocks along the way.

 

Mouth of the Brule River

Mouth of the Brule River, as it enters Lake Superior

 

We then visited Grand Marais, and explored the marina and a nearby art studio. It was very windy and chilly outside, so we quickly found the warm studio.

 

The breakwater at Grand Marais Harbor

Waves against the breakwater at Grand Marais Harbor

 

We headed back to camp and the wind sheltered forest, built a fire and talked about all our hikes over the past few days. And I had lots of backpacking stories to tell Mikey around the fire before it got dark. Our sleeping bags were warm and we slept well.

Next morning we drove north to Grand Portage to visit the cultural history museum and I showed Mikey where to catch the ship that takes you out to Isle Royale -I’d spent a week backpacking there a few years back. Maybe Mikey and his brothers will hike out there some day? We continued north another dozen miles and hiked up the Pigeon River to see the High Falls (120′).

 

High Falls of the Pigeon River, MN

High Falls of the Pigeon River, MN

Pigeon River below the High Falls

Pigeon River below the High Falls, before it enters Lake Superior

 

We had one more day and night on this trip. The plan for the last day was to hike from the parking lot/Trailhead at Kimble Creek, northeasterly along the SHT to Kadunce River, then take a spur trail about a quarter mile south toward Lake Superior, then return the way we came – about 4.5 mi. roundtrip. The Kadunce River flows in a deep, narrow gorge. We also visited a couple of campsites along the SHT -both were vacant.

 

Mikey on the trail!

Mikey on the trail!

 

flowere

 

Campsite marker

Campsite marker -West Fork of the Kadunce River

 

Campsite latrine

Campsite latrine up the trail!

 

Campsite latrine -au natural

Campsite latrine -au natural

 

A backpacking campsite along the SHT. This one looks like the pit may be full… time to dig a new hole! This is a job often done by SHT volunteers. A dedicated crew! There are nearly 100 campsites along the SHT.

 

Kadunce River (1)

Kadunce River (1)

 

Kadunce River (2)

Kadunce River (2)

 

Kadunce River

 

Kadunce spur

Kadunce spur trail

 

Kadunce River (3)

Kadunce River (3)

 

Well, that’s about it for our first trip out this year. We’ve already done a second four day trip that was fantastic. I’ll get it posted sometime soon. It’s the busy season… time to hike! We start out easy and keep it fun. Later it gets hard, it’s work, but it’s still fun! 😉

 

73 de Mike, KEØGZT

~~~~~~~

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On the trail again!

This is the beginning of a story about a grandfather hiking with a grandson. I will soon be hiking and camping together with my grandson, Mikey, in state parks and on the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT), along the North Shore of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota.

Mikey is 12 and he has camped and hiked with me before, often with his grandmother and sometimes his brothers.  However, our planned hiking and camping this year will be a little more demanding, given it’s just the two of us. But I have no doubts, Mikey is ready for the increased rigor and challenge! 😉

I’ll also bring along my Yaesu FT817 all mode tranceiver, a tuner, and a not-so-random, long wire home-brew antenna and some other radio kit, which I think he’ll find interesting. He is interested in the STEM-oriented classes (science,technology,engineering and math) available to him in middle-school , so I thought he might find the physics of radio design and operation to be intriguing. He’s into robots, drones and radio-controlled cars -amateur radio just might be a natural! If not now, maybe in a few years. We’ll see.

Then there’s always map-reading, use of a compass with or without a map, and common-sense things like using the sun and stars to find direction. And the campfires at night! We’re gonna have fun!

 

Two Step Falls, Baptism River

Two Step Falls, Baptism River, Tettegouche State Park, MN

 

High Falls, Baptism River

High Falls, Baptism River, Tettegouche State Park, MN

 

Trail in the woods

Trail in the woods, peaceful and quiet… the road less traveled!

 

A winding river in the distance

A winding river in the distance.

 

Which way is this river flowing and where does it go to? We can hike down and check it out, or find it on the map relative to the ridgeline we’re following, maybe also looking at the compass, or the sun’s angle for confirmation of our location. There’s also a road down there that might help confirm things.

 

North Shore river

 

Easy enough to see which direction this river/creek is flowing. Looks like its coming from the higher ground in the background, and is headed into Lake Superior. The sun’s angle would help confirm this, except for all the clouds blocking the sun this day.

 

Small lake and wetlands

 

It’s always important to filter water before drinking it. Some filters are better than others based on their ability to filter microorganisms (bacteria, protozoa, viruses, giardia, cryptosporidia, parasitic cysts, etc.), sediments and possible chemical contaminates in the water supply. Just because it looks clean doesn’t mean it’s safe to drink. And sometimes water that appears dirty or cloudy may actually be safe to drink -if filtered.

A ‘good’ filter is a ‘top-of-the-list’ need in the backcountry -or even in the city if the potable water supply gets contaminated. Always have a back-up filter canister/mechanism available if possible  -just in case. Boiling water will eliminate bad microorganisms, but not bad chemicals. I’ve seen people filter water through a bandana, or use no filter at all -don’t put yourself in those situations. Bad water can put you out of commission, simple as that!

 

Rocky river (1)

 

Rocky river (2)

 

Shovel Point, Tettegouche State Park, MN

Shovel Point, Tettegouche State Park, Lake Superior, MN

 

This area was once covered by glaciers over a mile deep. They began to melt 10-20,000 years ago leaving behind lake Superior and steep river gorges all along the North Shore. As I like to say, “thank God for global warming…,” or none of us would be here to enjoy this beautiful natural environment! Indeed!

 

Bear Lake, MN

 

Split Rock Lighthouse, Lake Superior, MN

Split Rock Lighthouse, Lake Superior, MN

 

SHT map and compass

SHT map and compass

 

SHT Maps and State Park maps

SHT Maps and State Park maps

 

Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail

 

Mike and Mikey Gone Hiking sign

Fun, fun, fun! 😉

 

Stay tuned for updates!

73 de Mike, KEØGZT

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