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A trek in the north woods

 
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RFDecarter
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:46 am    Post subject: A trek in the north woods Reply with quote

We were on the Superior Hiking Trail just off the north shore of Lake Superior near Lutsen, MN. There was a rather nasty fire (somewhat contained by the time we started out) about 25 miles north of where we were trekking. Northern MN is now in the second year of a drought and the entire Arrowhead region was under a fire ban.

We had 10 members of the Lac Superieur Exploration Company and 2 guests.

I arrived at about 5:30 PM Friday evening and walked in with temps in the mid 60s. Started raining before dawn on Saturday and the temps fell all day. Woke to an inch of snow Sunday morning. Ahhh, the wonders of northern MN... all four seasons in two and a half days.

Robert François D'Écarter
Lac Superieur Exploration Company

P.S. Wished you could have made it, Karl. We missed you.















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Isaac
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Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 289
Location: Ouisconsing, Pays d'en Haut
Real Name: Isaac Walters

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh... the north of Superior...

Looks like a blast guys. Wish I coulda been there.

IW

_________________
We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations, the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.
Aldo Leopold
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LaFrenierre
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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 64

Real Name: John Powers

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mes amis -
Ah, such a lovely crew -- almost a match for the glorious scenery of the North Shore. Glad you guys got out -- wasn't sure you'd make it with the fire conditions and all. Fire and snow -- that's spring in the northwoods. Thanks for the post -- if you have more details, please post.
LaFrenierre
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brian
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Joined: 16 May 2007
Posts: 82
Location: Land of Seneca
Real Name: Brian Schlifke

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent Photos. I sure do enjoy reading about treks and hunts. Takes me away from my boring job for a few minutes
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Dave Muns
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Joined: 16 May 2007
Posts: 116
Location: Michigan
Real Name: David Muns

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert,
Are you associated with the Lac Superior exploration that Major McInnis and crew were a part of? If so, what happened to them?
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RFDecarter
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Are you associated with the Lac Superior exploration that Major McInnis and crew were a part of? If so, what happened to them?


Same group. A few years ago Major Innes Montgomery sold his business (Stoney Creek Traders I think it was called) and moved to Florida. Shortly before this trek I had heard he has moved back into the area and was invited to accompany us.

Captain Ian McClinter used to run a great website for the Company. Developed some bad back problems that prevented him from trekking.

I've been with the Company for 10 years now and we still have a number of members from that time.
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RFDecarter
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
-- if you have more details, please post.
LaFrenierre


We entered the Superior Hiking Trail near the Lutsen Ski Area and headed east. I think I have been on 4 or 5 treks on different sections of this trail and from one time to the next I forget how hard this trail is on the feet. If it isn’t rocky, then roots cross the trail and if those two obstacles are absent then it’s muddy and they’ve laid small logs to corduroy a length of the trail. Couple those features with some of the steep ascents and descents and it’s a wonder we’ve never had so much as a sprained ankle on the treks. It is most likely the premier trail in the upper Midwest and for those of you that haven't been on it, give it a try.

Given the amount of rain we received in the early morning on Saturday we decided not to move our camp further down the trail. We figured that at least the ground under our shelters was relatively dry and we wouldn’t do any better by moving. A number of us spent the day exploring the area. As the day wore on it continued to rain and temperatures continued to fall, walking became more and more necessary just to keep the blood flowing.

One thing that made the evenings much more bearable was the presence of a candle lantern. Alexandre had contacted the local authorities and had found that, if enclosed, a lantern was allowed. That little flame and light was most welcome.

My experience from the last “hypothermia trek” on the Superior Hiking Trail taught me that the extra weight of my capot and a small piece of oilcloth is worth its weight in gold in what passes for spring in this part of the country. We all did surprisingly well given the lack of campfires. I think if there had only been two or three of use we may have gotten to the point where we would’ve ignored the ban and started a fire. With a larger group, there were sufficient “voices of reason” that kept us within the law.

While I wouldn’t want to experience that kind of weather and fire bans on every trek I do, I think we all learned a lot.

Robert François D’Écarter
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Dave Muns
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Joined: 16 May 2007
Posts: 116
Location: Michigan
Real Name: David Muns

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Robert. I remember the web site and enjoyed it very much. I am glad to hear that you guys are still in the woods!!
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KarlK
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Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 287
Location: Grand Portage, Minnesota
Real Name: Karl Koster

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 10:09 pm    Post subject: Yes, wish I was there!!! Reply with quote

Hi all,
I am back online and back in the game,finally back at ork at the fur post and have been busy with a new house. Ya know how much a pain that can be...installing new floors, fencing...etc...and generally packing out of an old house...ugh!!! The new place is nicer and bigger and located off of Lake Superior a bit, less than a 1/2 mileand just yards from the Canadian border, 1 place between me and the border. Living off of Hwy 61 for you northern travelers (next to the famed Ryden's). So next SHT Trek, I am there.
Karl
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LaFrenierre
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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 64

Real Name: John Powers

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mon ami, Robert -
Yeah, I was wondering about the fire ban. A lone candle, eh? Must confess, it was more comfortable over at the cabin in Aitkin County where there wasn't a fire ban.

What is it about the SHT hike in May that makes it a hypothermic special? But you applied the lessons learned from our last outing up there. My lesson was to wear a wool shirt, not linen, in May -- wet linen at 40 degrees with a Lake Superior wind is not comfortable.

The camp's decision to stay put for the two nights was probably a wise one. Another lesson learned for the next time out.

Thanks for the additional details.
LaFrenierre
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