Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How to Make Reid's Day

Send him this:
Subject: you should know

Every time I'm tempted to quit Facebook (a pretty regular occurrence), I think of all your fascinating status updates -- the slug counts, the 100-update marathons, the unbridled criticisms -- and I'm compelled to stay a little longer. Just to see what you do next.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Weekend To-Do List

  • Call mom, dad, Granny
  • Clean out garage
  • Vacuum, mop, sweep
  • Post/organized wedding photos
  • Go to library
  • Convert books-to-read to be a spreadsheet
  • Enter books to read from Newsweek
  • Tinker with B&W conversion of dock picture
  • Shop for furniture
  • E-mail Pentax about lens/camera
  • Mount mirror
  • Move microwave
  • Make some beans
  • Think about Cyclopath permissions?
  • Do laundry (Erin did it)
  • Tune up bike
  • Change slug bait
  • Trim bushes
  • Trim/move avocado
  • Help Joanna and Steve move

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Split Rock Lighthouse

End of honeymoon! We stopped at Split Rock Lighthouse on the north shore on the way home.

For Sale: Strange Contraption, On Skis. Needs Motor, Propellor.

Bears Bears Bears Bears Bears and More Bears (Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary)

On the evening of the 3rd, Erin and I visited the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary near Orr. Summary: Bears, and lots of them. It was great. I wish we could have spent more time there. I strongly recommend that you visit if you find yourself in northern Minnesota.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Secret/Ennis/Blackstone Loop Hike, including Four Red Squirrels on a Log

This is one of the minor BWCAW trails, about 6 total miles of loops just off the Moose Lake put-in.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Farm Lake Sunset

Here's four sunset images (taken from our dock on Farm Lake). Which do you prefer? Why?

16 Mile Paddle

On the 2nd, the wind wasn't quite so bad, so Erin and I went for a paddle right from Timber Trail. The goal was to paddle across Farm Lake and Garden Lake, portage to Fall Lake, and then paddle up the Shagawa River to Shagawa Lake, showing that we could make it from our cabin to Ely town by canoe, and return home.

I estimated the paddle beforehand at 14 miles. We didn't complete the full plan, and it was still 16 miles. Ooof.

Portage beach at Fall Lake.

Two frog rocks taking, um, romantic liberties with one another.

End of the line! We'd dragged the canoe through one rapids already, and the prospect of more shallow paddling and rapids did not seem appealing, particularly at 3:30pm.

The paddle went under two pairs of culverts like this. Cool!

Note the fisherman eyeing us. We'd just zoomed out from the culvert, thankfully missing any sharp fishhooks. Hmmm.

Painted turtle.

Our cabin, from the lake. You can see Erin's white Honda through the trees.

Review: Sir G's

I was a little skeptical of small-town ethnic food, but Sir G's on Sheridan in Ely was delicious. I was extremely impressed. If it were in Minneapolis, I'd be a regular, and I'm sad it's not and I'm not. Sir G's will be a regular stop on future trips up north.

I'm not qualified to evaluate authentic, but they make all their own pasta and it sure tasted great to me. I particularly recommend the lasagna and the combination red/white sauce. Portions at dinner are very generous, so be warned.

Hegman Lake Pictographs, with Carnivorous Plants

On July 1, we decided to go canoeing no matter the weather, up to but perhaps not quite including tornadoes. With the help of the Timber Trail outfitting staff, we loaded up an aluminum beast and went out to Hegman Lakes to see the pictographs. They were pretty nice, even coming from someone who's spoiled by the excellent pictographs and petroglyphs of the Southwest. But a little ways beyond the pictographs was a floating bog containing tons of carnivorous plants - pitcher plants and sundews (and also a few iris, which are not carnivorous). Wow!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


We had a flock of four chickadees outside the cabin for a little while. I need a faster, longer lens.

Bad Weather

The lake outside our cabin (Farm Lake) spent a lot of time looking like this.

Kawishiwi Falls

On the 30th, we spent some time checking out the Kawishiwi Falls nature trail just outside Ely.

Weekend To-Do List

  • Call mom, dad, Granny
  • Clean out garage
  • Vacuum, mop, sweep
  • Finish posting honeymoon photos
  • Go to library
  • Convert books-to-read to be a spreadsheet
  • Clean washing machine
  • Order film and filters
  • Tinker with B&W conversion of dock picture
  • Shop for furniture
  • E-mail Pentax about lens/camera

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bass Lake hike

On Monday the 29th, the weather was dreary again, but we went hiking anyway. We did the Bass Lake loop, which is interesting because the lake level dropped abruptly in historic times, by 60 feet. This is what the Forest Service sign at the trailhead has to say:
Bass Lake and Low Lake occupy a long narrow basin that glaciers gouged from pre-Cambrian rock. Prior to 1925, the two lakes were separated by a ridge of glacial gravel which acted as a natural dam between the lakes. A wooden sluiceway was constructed to move logs through the gravel ridge from Bass Lake to Low Lake, a drop of nearly 60 feet, for the logging operations that occupied the area until 1920.

When the logging operations stopped, the area was abandoned. Without maintenance, seepage eventually weakened the sluiceway as water moved through the gravel adjacent to the structure. Then during the spring of 1925, the sluiceway and gravel ridge washed out leaving a gorge 250 feet wide.

The catastrophe lowered the level of Bass Lake by 55 feet in ten hours. Bass Lake was reduced to about half of its original size and two small lakes, Dry Lake and Little Dry Lake, became isolated in the old lake bed. Approximately 250 acres of land was then exposed and available to the establishment of pioneer plant species.

This unusual phenomenon created geological and ecological events that must have been commonplace during the time of glacial retreat, which occurred in the area about 10,000 years ago.
There are also some pictures and a copy of a contemporary newspaper story.

Bass Lake.

Old shoreline in the middle of the woods. Note the odd topography and the cedar trees leaning way out over the "water".

Lady slipper, Minnesota's state flower. Hard to find, apparently!

Erin in a tree.

Some other pretty flowers. Erin ID'ed them, but I don't recall what they were (clearly not forget-me-nots).

There's a nice waterfall from Dry Lake to Bass Lake.

Top of waterfall.

Red squirrels are extremely adorable.