Cabin, August 2019

Trip Up

I left Cleveland around 4pm on Wednesday, 14 August. I stopped to visit family along the way before getting back on the road at 11pm. Driving overnight is very easy given that there really is no traffic. The drive up was fine and I arrived at the Cabin at about 4:30 am.

Arrival (Thursday, 15 August)

Usual (but smaller) pile of stuff near the center stanchion. Customary shot of Krupnik.

As has become standard, the Cabin was in pretty good shape despite not having been used for about 10 months. There was again the usual pile of stuff near the center stanchion, but it seemed smaller than in recent years. Getting the gas on, refrigerator fired up, plastic removed, and my stuff moved in did not take much time. After the customary shot of Krupnik I was ready for a little sleep.

Newspaper mouse nest in the cupboard. Small tree fallen over the driveway. Easiest rail road spike I have ever found, lying in the middle of the road right near the driveway into the Cabin. Eroding culvert near the Cabin. It gets worse every year. McCloud Grade.

I finished opening the Cabin after getting some rest. There was a small downed tree overhanging the driveway. Not enough to stop me from driving in, so I waited to clear it until the morning. I also fixed another gas leak outside the new kitchen wall. It must have been there since the new wall was put in. A quick look around showed that the culvert near the Cabin is eroding, as expected. It is not a problem, yet, but it is working its way into the road. Also quite near there I found the easiest rail road spike ever. It was sitting in the middle of road right near the driveway entrance. It is the only one I found on the trip. The grass was rather high, as compared to recent years, so some cutting was done. The mosquitoes also were more abundant than recent years.

Friday, 16 August

First fire in the new firepit. First fire in the new firepit.

I was rather tired and slept a lot. Further, it was warm most days limiting the amount of time I wanted to working very hard. One task I did undertake was digging a new fire pit and beginning covering the old one. The new fire pit is moved back further from where we drive in and closer to the creek. It should be more convenient.

Foil pack dinners of sausage and vegetables ready to be wrapped up. Foil pack dinners of sausage and vegetables ready to be put in the coals. Foil pack dinners of sausage and vegetables in the coals. Foil pack dinners of sausage and vegetables out of the coals. Foil pack dinner of sausage and vegetables ready to be eaten!

The new fire pit was necessary since the oven was out of service, thus I planned on cooking over the fire for a few meals. The first was a sausage and vegetable foil pack dinner. This worked extremely well: just wrap up the food in foil, bury it in the coals, wait about 45 minutes, and enjoy. The left overs were great with eggs for breakfast.

Screened in canopy set up where there should be a screened in porch ....

Due to the mosquitoes I also set up the screened in canopy in front of the Cabin where the should be a screened in porch .... It was quite pleasant, particularly given the heat of the days. The canopy got a lot use on the trip.

Saturday, 17 August

Despite the heat I hiked the "big loop", past the Lucky Buck and back around across Harvey Creek. It is a hike I have done before and there was nothing extraordinary about it.

Pita bread pizzas ready to be cooked. Apple stuffed with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, ready to be wrapped up for baking. Poor man's attempt at a "pizza oven". Pizzas on the grill. Pizzas covered completing the poor man's pizza oven. Baked pizzas. Baked apple.

I again tried cooking over the fire, this time some pita bread pizzas. I made a make shift pizza oven using a grill and the cover from the Weber. It was a rather poor attempt. In this case the top took too long to cook and the bottoms got burned. Though edible, I would not call it a success.

Of more success was the baked apple. This was an apple stuffed with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, then wrapped in aluminum foil and buried in the coals for about 10-15 minutes. This came out quite good.

Sunday, 18 August

This was a rainy day. It rained for much of the day, precluding too much activity. It unfortunately did not lower the temperature too much. Most of the day was spent in the canopy, reading, protected from both the rain and bugs. Just like a screened in porch would do, but without the convenience of being able to go back into the Cabin without stepping into the rain ....

Monday, 19 August

Marsh near the Cabin. Creek near the Cabin. Marsh near the Cabin. Barely visible (and quickly disappearing) old beaver dam on the loop. Barely visible (and quickly disappearing) old beaver dam on the loop. Old sign of beavers found in the woods near the Sucker river.

Despite the continued heat and rain the previous day, I decided to do a cross country hike through the wet grass. I headed north from the Cabin following the creek. I made it to the Loop and followed it to the old beaver dam. The dam has been disappearing year after year. It is now almost completely gone/hidden. The pond it had created it much smaller and crossing the creek is getting harder and harder since there is so little structure left to walk on. I kept along to the north up to the Sucker river. I did not find a good crossing place and the heat was annoying so I headed back to the Cabin.

Another attempt at pita bread pizzas and baked apple. Modified poor man's pizza oven. Baked pizzas from the modified oven.

I decided to try pizza on the fire again. To avoid the bottom burning I modified the "oven" by putting foil on the grill. Unfortunately, this time the coals were not as hot. This means the bottom did not burn, but it also means it took a long time to cook the pizza. This was not a pizza oven! But the pizzas did come out fine. I cannot say the same for the apple. Since the coals were not hot enough, it did not melt the filling sufficiently. So, again, it was a partial success.

Tuesday, 20 August

Camp Delton. Cabin at Camp Delton. Old trailer at Camp Delton. View from Camp Delton (Harvey creek is down there). Harvey creek from the bridge on the "big loop". Harvey creek from the bridge on the "big loop". The bridge over Harvey creek on the "big loop". Open field of wild flowers. Small deer in the distance. Close up of the small deer. Another open field of wild flowers. Road on snowmobile route 433 running next to the open field of wild flowers. Another open field of wild flowers.

Despite the warm weather, I finally decided to go for a longer hike. I took the fork of 443 off McCloud Grade walking part of the "big loop" in the reverse direction than I usually take. I took a side trip to Camp Delton. I found it interesting that they have "Radisson Riders" sign from Kalamazoo hanging on the side. It is also in a very nice location overlooking Harvey creek.

The hike was mostly over known trails. I did encounter a small deer. Though it is far too common to see herds of deer in the city, it is quite rare in the woods where they are hunted. This one was clearly young since it let me get too close to it, pull out a camera, and take pictures of it. Even when it ran into the woods it did not go very far and I could still see it from the road. In the end it was about a 9.5 mile hike.

Wednesday, 21 August

Camp off Old Seney north of the Sucker river. Road north of the Sucker river. Road north of the Sucker river. Results of logging along the road north of the Sucker river. Sucker river from a campsite along it. Campsite along the Sucker river. Logging marks on trees extending into the distance found "deep" in the woods. Large caterpillar found while wandering off trail. Forest of precisely planted pines south of the airport. Sign ignored by people and shot up for extra insult. Stairway down to the Sucker river off Whitewash road. Unreadable sign next to the stairs leading to the Sucker river off Whitewash road. Sucker river as seen from the bottom of the stairs. Signs that people use the area near the stairs off Whitewash road. Butterfly on a flower. Close up of a butterfly on a flower. View along Whitewash road. Street sign for the Whitewash road - Airport road intersection. Edge of the Grand Marais airport. Close up of sign on the edge of Grand Marais airport. Logs stacked along Airport road. Grand Marais airport runway. Yellow runway markers can be seen. Street sign for the Airport road - Old Seney intersection. Fuzzy caterpillar along Old Seney. Field around the Airport along Old Seney. Approach the extremely nice and out of place looking bridge along Old Seney.

It finally cooled down enough to take a decent hike. I decided to take the road north of the Sucker river, then head north from there. I had only ever been on this road by starting north from the Cabin and crossing the rivers in between. This time I hiked up to the surprisingly out of place bridge on Old Seney and following the road from its beginning. I hiked past a cabin along this road up to the campsite over looking the Sucker river. From here I headed north to another road that I have partially hiked. This road ends abruptly so I again cut through the woods heading north.

From here I made it up to Whitewash road which I had not hiked before. There are many different types of forests you walk through to get there. One part was clearly planted intentionally since all the trees were nicely lined up in rows. I am not sure if it had the desired effect. All these trees were rather thin and quite a few have blown down over the years.

I hiked along Whitewash road which clearly gets a fair bit of traffic, though I saw no one. I did see signs of a bear that had also walked on the road. There were some interesting sites, including a loop in the road with a maintained stairway leading down to the Sucker river and a foot path at the bottom. I did not follow the path, unfortunately. There was also a place where people come and build fires, as was quite evident from the trash they left behind.

I ended up walking around the Airport to the north, past the turn off for the rifle range, then back along Old Seney. Again crossing the out of place bridge before getting back to the Cabin. This was a comfortable 13 mile hike over at least some trails I had not traversed before. To the north of the Cabin there are surprisingly few trails, unlike to the south where there is an intricate network.

Thursday, 22 August

Cabin locked up after another great trip.

All good things must come to an end. Of course it was another cooler day, but I had to head back. After closing up the Cabin I got on the road around 12:30pm. Again I stopped briefly on the way to visit family, breaking up the driving before getting back to Cleveland.


As always it was a great trip. Despite being a week, it felt too short. Of course I never went into town. Of course I slept every night in my hammock and spent most of my time outside, often in the canopy when at the Cabin. In reusable jugs I had brought up 10 gallons of nonpotable water for cleaning and 6 gallons of potable water. This was more than enough for the entire trip so I never even tried to use the pump and thus do not know the state of the well. It is something that still needs to be looked into.

Also as always, there were mice around but they did not cause too much trouble. When I left paper towels in the kitchen they would chew on them, and once when I left water in the bin in the sink one unpleasantly failed at swimming over night. Of more interest was a red squirrel that came in one day and I saw hanging around outside after that. Perhaps all the inhabitants are not just mice....

Finally, as always, I am looking forward to the next trip up.