The Fun Dome (#38): The Cross River

Uphill along the Temperance this time.

Uphill along the Temperance this time.

Bob Risch of the Superior Hiking Shuttle picked me up from Cramer Road. Leo squirmed for a while and finally sat still. He took us to Temperance River State Park where we left off yesterday. Weren’t we just here? Yes. Yes we were. Bob and his shuttle service have taken us lots of places we need to go on this journey. He took a picture of me and Leo before we started. I did the same for him and his van. He showed me a picture of a woman who had hiked forty thousand miles. She’d done the Appalachian Trail five times! And I thought I was somebody.

Robert Risch, Superior Hiking Shuttle making things easy for me.

Robert Risch, Superior Hiking Shuttle making things easy for me.

We strode up the Temperance River with a little less pep after yesterday’s long jaunt. We saw some nice upper stretches of the river that I hadn’t noticed before. Then we rocketed straight uphill forever. We finally cut across country and I was able to move out and limber up a little bit. Leo didn’t seem any worse for wear. I guess I need to treat this week like a stage race.

Leo inspects feathers on a log. Maybe where a grouse was strutting his stuff.

Leo inspects feathers on a log. Maybe where a grouse was strutting his stuff.

We dove down to the Cross River which was an absolute joy. We followed the river as it wound its way in a big left hand bend for over a mile. Hard to believe we had the whole place to ourselves. I would’ve taken more pictures, but I would’ve worn out the batteries with all the beautiful spots in the sunshine with the turning leaves.

Bridge over Cross River.

Bridge over Cross River.

Cross River. One of 50 spots like this.

Cross River. One of 50 spots like this.

Falls of Cross River where we climbed out of the drainage.

Falls of Cross River where we climbed out of the drainage.

We found some falls way up high on the river and turned across country to where I left the truck. We passed a big beaver pond. Then we found a place called the Tower Overlook. And then we made it to the truck. Seemed a lot quicker than yesterday, thank goodness. I had a little stomach trouble today, and I was thankful it was over.

Glowing leaves.

Glowing leaves.

Tower Overlook.

Tower Overlook.

It certainly wasn’t as hard a day as Father Baraga had when he made it across Lake Superior from Madeleine Island in a storm in 1846. He erected a cross at the (now) Cross River to give thanks for making it. There’s a big stone cross down by the shore now if you want to see it.

Leo sings, "I believe I can fly" when he sees a chipmunk.

Leo sings, “I believe I can fly” when he sees a chipmunk.

We also stopped on the way home to see the Sugarloaf Cove SNA. Quite a beautiful natural setting there. And there’s proof that time erases our presence. There are remnants of a pulpwood operation that operated here from 1943 until 1971. They would raft the pulpwood in the cove and tow it to Ashland to process it. There were over a dozen buildings there. Now, you can barely tell there was anything there at all. I drove by the place eleventy-million times. Glad we finally stopped. Somehow I find it comforting that in just forty years, evidence of human scarring disappears.

Sugarloaf Cove.

Sugarloaf Cove.

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Yup. It’s still crystal clear and cold.

Today’s Data: North Shore Shmo: Leg 24

Please donate to the Wounded Warrior Project via my fundraising site: North Shore Shmo!

T-Shirt of the Day:

This T-shirt is from my first marathon in Park City, Utah. It was along an old railroad grade for a lot of the race with a slight downhill. I felt great until 18 miles or so. I took in zero calories during the race. When I bonked, I felt like somebody hit me with an axe and I lost 2 minutes per mile the last 8 miles or so. I learn the hard way.

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