The following is a true story, only the names have been changed, to protect the guilty.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Week Before... part 2

That's the new 4 man tent I had to buy on account of someone not returning the 4 man tent I thought I had in my gear room. I don't know who I lent it too, but I'd like it back please 
 Before too much time passes, I wanted to finish my story about our adventure on the north shore the week before school started. On Wednesday morning we awoke to clear skies and warm temps. First on the adventure agenda was to ride our bikes back to the van at Gooseberry Falls SP. We got side tracked on Ellingson Island at Split Rock Light House SP looking for tadpoles and going for a swim. We weren't on a real schedule of any kind so it was a good way to start the day.
Lots of tadpoles to be found here

Frog with a tail

This was cold, I know because I was first
Urban exploration on the north shore 

 After finishing the ride, another swim was in order at the mouth of the Gooseberry River to cool off. Heading north, we stopped at another creek I have not had the pleasure exploring. It turned out to be our favorite one of the weekend. The boys were excited to catch frogs, crayfish, and more tadpoles along our route upstream. I was excited to see one waterfall after another and lots of small swimming holes. Usually I like to go upstream until things flatten out and become an average looking creek, just not today. Several hours had already elapsed when I decided leave the mystery of what lay ahead for another time.
Turned around here, but not before some swimming

Gene O
 Wednesday night we were camped at Temperance River SP. By strange coincidence our neighbors were none other than Jenifer and Gene O of One on One Bicycle Studio and their three children. Our kids got along great and they all enjoyed searching for tadpoles together as us adults relaxed and talked about the usual bike things. The next morning our two families all headed down to the mouth of the Temperance River for some swimming and cliff jumping for a couple hours before biding farewell. It started raining shortly after so most of the remainder of the day was spent dodging the drops in the van, eating lunch and window shopping in Grand Marais. That night we camped at Devil Track Lake NF campground and endured a major storm with non stop lightning that looked more like a strobe light going off in the tent.

This is Big D . He scares the shit out of me, he didn't even hesitate when he jumped off this. I hesitated when I did it, it's freakin' high. The only thing he had me do is count to three so he knew when to jump, this boy's got some balls. 

Devil Track

Pic is out of order, but this is the trail we took to access the river
 The next day, Friday, was nice and sunny again. My plan for the day would turn out to be one I would regret just a little. We were to hike up the Superior Hiking Trail to the point that it intersects the Devil Track River and then hike up-stream to our bicycles we had cached in the woods the day before. I did this route less than a year before going the other direction. I thought it would be suitable for the boys since we didn't have to rappel the waterfall at the end. The part I was wrong about was the never ending, slippery, boulder  field which makes up the creek bed on the last part of the route. It seemed to go on forever. As an adult it was a bitch, for the kids with shorter legs having to pick their way through the whole mess, it was hell. By the time we reached the bikes G Man was crying and cursing my name, I was carrying Big D for quite some time, and Super Y was way ahead chilling out at the bikes like it was no big deal. I gave them all permission to swear out loud if it would make them feel better. Big D was the only one to take me up on the offer.
Not sure what the mane is on these falls but they are pretty amazing

Hand-line to get up and around the falls on the previous pic

I believe the falls just over their shoulder is called The Admiral

Lets go home
 After the swearing and laughter ceased, we all refueled on water and snacks, consisting mostly of Starburst. Soon spirits were up and we were rolling the last few miles down a large hill to the end of our totally freakin' awesome weekend.
The final decent 


  1. Awesome awesome..... AWESOME!!!!

    Love the given permission to swear; classic!!!
    I've used that one to help get over the sucky parts with our young ones too!!!

    1. yeah , sometimes a swear word is all it takes to feel better :-)