Deep In Tettegouche State Park

Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
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Trip End Jun 01, 2012


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Flag of United States  , Minnesota
Sunday, July 31, 2011

Minnesota's North Shore is endowed with millions of acres of national parks, state forests, national forests, wildlife management areas, forest preserves, national monuments, wildlife refuges, and state parks, and if you can believe it each has their own unique way of managing the land under their trust.  In my opinion, one of the more unique is Tettegouche State Park. Tettegouche is one of my favorite because of the endless outdoor recreation opportunities that abound within it's borders.  I have been traveling to this beautiful land for over 20 years and have hiked, camped, swam in the pools below the numerous waterfalls, cross country skied, gone trout fishing, rock climbed, toured the old logging camp, gone bird watching, biked and contemplated life as I sat on the high cliffs overlooking Lake Superior. 

Deb, the boys and I took an afternoon out to head deep into the park on a hike to the old logging camp that was built in the 1800's. The wood hewn buildings that make up the historic camp were built during the late 1800's and early 1900's, with a lincoln log structure for the remaining cabins, lodge, ice house and sauna interspersed with a few old water pumps that remain functional to this day.  One can either mountain bike, hike or cross country ski into the camp, with the opportunity of renting one of the old cabins, something we have talked about doing during one of our future trips up north.   A brief history of the camp reads that  Scandinavian loggers set up a camp within the middle of massive pine forests... after harvesting the forests it was sold to a group of wealthy businessmen who bought the property as a hunting preserve, years later one of the members bought out the others and willed it to the Nature Conservancy, whom in turn turned it over to the State of Minnesota, who turned it into one of the jewels in their State Park system. 

After hiking through the fern covered forests, over the steep and rocky hills, and through the lowland swamps we arrived at a clearing in the dense forest... with a handful of buildings scattered on the edge of Mic Mac Lake. The strong breezes blowing off the water kept the bugs to a minimum, so we decided to grab our lunch on the dock.  As I was taking pictures of a few of the old logging structures, I turned to find Deb with her sexy legs hanging over the side of the dock... cooling her feet in the icy water.  After munching our peanut-butter sandwiches, chips and apples we broke a few chocolate bars into jigsawed pieces and sat back and took in the serenity of the surroundings, letting our well earned sweet slowly dissolve in our mouths.  
 
The rest of our hike took us through squishy bogs, past rocky cliffs, around maple covered hills and over a very cool suspension bridge swinging over the Baptism River, just before it dropped 70 feet, creating a crashing waterfall on it's twisted route to the "Big Lake".   Our hike ended on the high cliffs traversing Gitchi Gummi, the Native's name for Lake Superior... breathing deeply and being very thankful for the preservation of this wild and beautiful enclave.    

After leaving the park we headed into Beaver Bay to grab a bite to eat... but were stopped by a colorful roadside rainbow of tables and tables of stuff for sale outside of an antique shop. We decided to stop and meander through a bit of history... as these kinds of shops are often filled with hundreds of years of living history left behind by the dead... a bit of morbid curiosity I guess. The "stuff" of the dead can tell many stories of those that lived in the area... I found many vestiges of Scandinavian mementoes, a connection to the mainly Nordic peoples that migrated to this "New World" straddling the Canadian border, as it reminded them of their European homeland.  
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