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

Monday, September 9, 2013

The week before........

The week before school started for my three boys, I took them up to the North Shore for a final hurrah. Once school starts we still manage to have lots of fun but the freedom enjoyed all summer comes to an end and things begin to get hectic.
On top of Palisade Head, Shovel Point in the far background

There were a boat-load of blue berries up there. It was confirmed later that they were in fact blueberries, since none of us became ill or died :-)

I think this dude is going to be ninja
  Lynn (mom, wife) was not able to attend which is partly why the trip happened for the four of us. She is a teacher and went back to work for the year. There was no day care available Monday or Friday and the price of "day camp" Tuesday -Thursday meant it would be a near wash for me to work those days. I'm not going to work if I'm only going to make a few bucks for the day, so we headed north.
Pellet Island at the end of the breakwater 

Almost there    The rock closer to the island is covered in this brilliant orange lichen 

Getting on the actual island requires this traverse up some slippery logs made easier by a hand line others have permanently placed
 We got out of town on Monday around 2pm. If you noticed the post about "scout camp", we left the day after Super Y and I got home. I was tired. Our first stop was Gooseberry Falls State Park, to our dismay the campground was full... on a Monday night  WTF? Further north we scored a spot at Tettegouche due to a cancellation.. yaaaaa !  After setting up camp and before it got dark we all went for a swim in the Baptism River. Due to rain that night we were not able to cook dinner and settled for appetizers at a little restaurant in Beaver Bay.
Looking back at the safe harbor

Thumbs down on the welfare cheese sandwich. AKA Government cheese sandwich  Ingredients: white bread, government cheese, and spreadable butter. This became something of a joke after last years trip with T-Roy and J-Boo.

The start of the Split Rock
 The next morning was nice and sunny. While my friends and family at home in the twin cities were battling a notoriously hot and humid Minnesota day around 105 deg, we were cool and comfortable along the shore of the big lake. The first adventure for the day was a hike at Palisade Head which is a large cliff overlooking Lake Superior. G Man is the only one to have been there before but it was brief. I had not done too much exploring around there so it was something new for all of us. With nothing but time to burn, we stopped at the marina/safe harbor in Silver Bay. The boys weren't to keen on my idea about going to an island when I ran it by them, (they wanted to swim). As soon as we stepped on the breakwater compiled of massive stones with Pellet Island peaking through the fog at the other end, they were all for it. It's been several years since I was out there, and it was great that they are now old enough to do it themselves.                                                                
Starting to get good

Water-slide !

This one hurt my ass and back, I don't know how they kept doing it

This looks much more fierce than it actually is. He also doesn't look like your typical seven year old, small  :-)
After our hour and a half of rock hopping we were finally getting to the swimming portion of the day that was promised. As one of my predetermined goals for the week, we were going to check out Split Rock River. Rivers like this are also my version of canyoneering in Minnesota. I've done this river countless times in the the winter on skis,snowshoes, and fat bike to the point that I'm not really interested in it unless it's a first time for someone in our group. In the summer I've not been up it so it was real treat. The water was relatively/safely low so I was not nervous about the boys getting swept away...too far :). Several spots had sort-of natural water slides. Theses were much better suited to kids with rubbery joints and not for old guys like me. I tried several of the sides they kept hitting and was amazed that they could slide over the rough rocks with ease and with smiles on their faces....youth !
Super Y was upset he forgot his bike helmet, he said his climbing helmet made him look like a dork on the bike. I told him he looked like bad -ass, how many kids do you know that even have a climbing helmet and use it...he felt better

Krampus tows Burley 

We 're here 
The final step on day two was the bike tour portion. This was also one of my predetermined goals and I had a reservation for the campsite this time. duh  Although we had to do some backtracking from the Split Rock River, we started at Gooseberry Falls SP. The plan was to ride roughly 8 miles of the Gitchi Gami Trail to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park and stay the night. I loaded the Burley trailer with all of our gear and had the boys carry some water and snacks in their "adventure backpacks". The ride went well even though we were all tired. In less than two hours from our start point, the ride was complete, camp was set, dinner was nearly eaten, and our eyes were fixed on a package of  birthday cake Oreo's.  
            ..............Stay tuned for days 3-5
That is what you get when you take the inside of 5-6 Oreo's and put them between two cookie portions, mmmmm