Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Very Tempting

Around New Years the weather broke enough that we went up the shore to spend 2 nights along Superior. On the way up the coast we take the high road and get this view of Duluth.
We check into Temperance River SP and immediately go down to the beach for a short scouting trip.
This beach has a lot of indication of being the preferred swimming hole. We hike up the beach and find an ideal spot for a beach fire. The plan is to return after dinner for a small clandestine fire.

Scooby's rock climbing skills scare mom but he's solid. I challenge him to follow on some short high angle class 5 for puppies and he nails the à vue assent. We return for dinner and miss the chance at the fire.
Back inland and the river ice is poor but the trail is old snow melt and slush now frozen into a nasty mess that's very unpleasant to walk on but the weather is almost nice and we have the place to ourselves so we press on and hike up stream with a plan of crossing over and heading down the other side.

We make it upriver a long ways but the trail gets weak and our maps scale is so small that we can't tell how far and if the trail returns from such a long ways away so we loop back and the trail sucks the entire time.
The trail in the upper right photo is representative and we are without 'Creepers' or ice traction. We are too far off the grid to go shopping so I pull out the tools and go MacGyver (no mullet)
I have some mechanics wire and zip ties and it only takes an hour to weave the first prototype. I tie it to the wife's boot and we are outside looking for sheet ice and it isn't long before we confirm the design is a winner. I weave one pair after dinner and the other before breakfast. My fingers are raw but we are set for ice.

 The trail today is bad but with the MacCrampons it's no big deal. We make good time.
Somebody wanted to feed a tree to a snowman or this is a creepy father time (remember it's new years) Anyway, I think it's hideous.

 The trail narrows as we turn to climb to a summit listed on the map as quintessential "Overlook"
45 minutes of near bushwhacking and we realize the trail doesn't go to the summit in winter but wolf tracks probably do. I've been following 'dog' and hiker prints for 2+ hours and the only thing left is the dog and I realize it's wolf. I confirm that by finding some wolf scat on the trail. I see a cliff on the map and we are close so I find a natural path to the cliff for a mid-summit photos. The plan was to summit but this will have to do.
 Back at camp and it's time to lump up on the couch with some snacks and reflect on a good weekend.
Scooby is wiped out and goes to bed without us and on that note, good bye.

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