Cabin, August 2023

The Cabin closed up for the next trip.

My usual summer trip was again the second one of the summer, following after the first May trip ever (for me). The trip ran from 11 August to 20 August. I had wanted to stay even longer, but things piled up so I needed to get back before classes started. The trip also was not completely solo! Overall the weather was good and the bugs were not too bad. It was a mixture of hiking and spending time with people.


Cards on the floor, again! Traditional shot of Krupnik.

I left Cleveland Friday, 11 August at about 4:30 pm. After a stop in Flint for a few supplies, I made it to the Cabin by about 1:00 am. Everything was in great shape from the previous trip. There were cards on the floor, again! The grass had grown (of course), the bugs were out, and it was a bit warmer, but otherwise things had not changed much. Opening up went quickly. After the traditional shot of Krupnik and some time winding down, I spent the night in the Cabin.

Much Napping

The Cabin.

The first two days was spent around the Cabin and involved a lot of napping. On Sat, 12 August I spent some time continuing the collection of dead wood from around the Cabin to build up a big brush pile for gentlemen's weekend. I rearranged the woodshed a bit, there are now only single rows of wood. I also set up the hammock near the creek, as usual, which I used for the rest of the stay. Around bed time it began to rain.

Harvey Creek near the Lucky Buck. Harvey Creek barely visible from bridge along big loop. Bridge over Harvey Creek. Trail along big loop. Big puddle along old 443. Not as big as usual.

Sun, 13 August I again stayed around the Cabin doing small tasks, collecting wood, and napping. In the afternoon I finally got out to hike the "big loop". Heading up McCloud Grade I discovered the Lucky Buck was actually occupied. I stopped by and chatting with Carey who was up doing some work on their camp and baiting for bear season. He left Monday morning to return later in the week.

Monday, 14 August

Marsh along McCloud Grade. Logging at the end of McCloud Grade. The North Branch of the Two Hearted river. Bridge over the North Branch of the Two Hearted river. Path on the east side of the North Branch of the Two Hearted river. Path around the southern end of the North Branch of the Two Hearted River. Lost headlight on the path around the southern end of the North Branch of the Two Hearted River. Field on the south west side of the North Branch of the Two Hearted river. C.O.P.S. camp.

After a bit of a late start to the day I finally got out for a more usual day at the Cabin. I was determined to complete the trip around the North Branch of the Two Hearted river that I first attempted on the previous trip. On the previous attempt I spent too much time exploring new trails that were dead ends near the river. This time I was more focussed on get around the river. The bugs were not terrible, but bad enough that I really could not stop moving. While moving and with a bit of a breeze, the bugs were only annoying. When walking slowly or stopping they came out in droves. This meant I did not stop much!

There was really not that much new to see; not surprisingly the woods are not that different on the other side of the river! I was able to hike some new trails and fill some in that go around the south side of where the river ends. I came back along the west side passing C.O.P.S. camp. I saw there were many side trails south of the camp that are not mapped; something I will have to rectify in the future. Overall it was about a 15 mile hike.

Calzones made at the Cabin.

For dinner I made calzones. The dough did not rise much, if at all, and it is always hard to know how hot the oven gets. Even so, they came out great. While waiting on dinner, I cleaned out the insert and moved the broken fire brick lining the side to the bottom. Since I was working on the insert I decided to get a small fire going. I could give plenty of excuses for doing so: it was a bit cold, it was an attempt to help the dough rise, it was to help air out the Cabin by getting air moving (i.e., the windows were open), and/or to help dry out the interior of the Cabin. All of the excuses are valid, but really, I did it because I wanted to and it is always nice to watch the fire burn in the insert.

Tuesday, 15 August

Marsh north of the Cabin. Broken and hanging tree north east of the Cabin, south of the Sucker river. New beaver dam. They are still working on it. New beaver dam. They are still working on it. Logging markings in the woods north east of the Cabin. Sucker river seen from a cliff. Sucker river seen from a cliff. Sucker river looking back at the cliff. Huge growth around a tree near the Sucker river. Bridge across the Sucker river? Bridge across the Sucker river?

Another day and another hike. I rarely hike north of the Cabin since there are mostly just rivers in the way and no roads that run north/south. Thus, any attempt to hike this way requires a lot of bushwacking and struggles to find ways across the rivers. This trip was no exception.

It began hiking along the Sucker river with a stop at the new beaver dam. It is hard to tell how much progress has been made on it, though there were new branches in place so the beaver's are at work. Near the dam I found a relatively safe way across the river and began the trip north. Along the way I crossed a couple of known (east/west) trails that run back to Old Seney. After making it to the gully where Whitewash road ends (see below for more on this gully), I came across an unknown (to me) hiking trail heading south along the Sucker River. Originally I had planned to continue north, but here was a new trail to explore and map. It followed the Sucker river, ending around a high bluff over looking the river. This was a nice location, but still left quite a bit of bushwhacking to get back to the Cabin. The trip back again required finding a way to cross the Sucker river. Though there are many downed trees, I did not deem many of them safe for crossing so it took awhile to get across. Eventually I found one that worked well enough. Fortunately it was not too wet in the woods so some of the marshy areas were passable. I ended up on McCloud Grade near the Lucky Buck. The total trip was only about 6 miles, but it was a lot of work.

Wednesday, 16 August

McCloud Grade. Fancy bridge on Old Seney. Sucker river as seen from the fancy bridge on Old Seney. Outhouse (and shower) at the Seney Bridge Hunt Club camp. The Seney Bridge Hunt Club camp.

There is a camp near the fancy bridge on Old Seney that is unnamed on my map. I finally hiked out to fill that gap. I discovered it is the Seney Bridge Hunt Club. It is a nice camp, with a nice outhouse and outside shower! There are actually two building markers off Old Seney, but I only know of one camp along the road. Something to go back to on a future trip. On the hike back Carey passed me on his return to the Lucky Buck after being away for a few days.

Vittoria, Bill, and Frank were on their way up. Despite getting a reasonably early start, they must have stopped a half dozen times. I ended up going to bed before they arrived! I got back up when they pulled in around 10:30 PM.

The Rest of the Trip

With the arrival of others, the events changed. Thursday was a "work day". I had a couple of telecons which I took from the Cabin, while Vittoria went into town to work. Afterwards we headed out to Sitka Lake to visit some property (see below for a more complete description) and then, for some reason, went into town. I really will never understand ....

Sign for the Grand Marais airport. Frank near the Sucker river, off Whitewash road. Path through a (seasonally) dry, sandy gulch. Could the Bronco make it through? Sucker river off of Whitewash road. Old beaver dam across the Sucker river off of Whitewash road.

On Friday Vittoria had more work to do so Bill, Frank, and I took the Bronco for a little test drive. We went out Whitewash road around the airport, past the rifle range, and along the Sucker River. The road ends in a seasonally dry, sandy gulch. Frank was convinced we could drive it, Bill and I were not so sure. Given this, we chose not to be too foolish, at least not immediately, ....

Sitka Lake. Sitka Lake. Plant along Sitka Lake. Lots of water bugs (barely visible) in Sitka Lake. Snake in the woods near Sitka Lake. Ruined camp near Sitka Lake. Railroad axle in the woods on the other side of McCloud Grade. Ruined railroad car in the woods on the other side of McCloud Grade. Ruined railroad car in the woods on the other side of McCloud Grade. (There is a chipmunk in the wreckage at the middle of the photo.)

After returning to camp we went back out to Sitka Lake. There is a parcel of land for sale including the lake. This seemed odd to me since the land is (1) owned by the lumber company and they are "not interested" in selling such small lots, and (2) the land is under the conservation easement so there is "nothing" you can do with it. It turns out that there was a camp on the lake, meaning that some building would be allowed, though still highly restricted. We discovered the ruins (which have been added to the map). Bill, Frank, and I hiked around the lake through the woods. Vittoria tried to follow a road around the lake, but apparently it ends at some point. I will need to explore this myself. While the others returned in the Bronco, I hiked back on the trails south of McCloud Grade going past the old railroad cars. (Which are not actually railroad cars, see Gentlemen's Weekend 2023.)

Frank with the big dead tree we pulled down.

Despite everything that had been done, Frank still was still full of energy so he cut down a dead tree. Of course it fell the wrong way and got caught in the tree next to it. A basic use of physics with much effort allowed us to pull it back in the opposite direction so that it fell in a clearing. Frank began to process tree but there is more work for him to do!

Brad arrived with his Bronco and a bit more knowledge of using it. We took his out to "get it dirty" and see some of the area. We also went back to the dry gulch. As seen above, it wasn't smooth, but it was successful. Afterwards they again went into town. I hiked back through the woods. It was less than a couple of miles and mostly just due south, but since there are very few roads up there I had to wander through the woods and find a place to cross Sucker River. It took quite awhile to find a place to cross.

Everyone but I left on Sunday. I stuck around for one more day, leaving on Monday, 21 August, ending yet another great trip to the Cabin.