Posts Tagged ‘paddling’

A Superior Week

Author: Stephen
Rain Day

Rain Day

 

On each of my previous trips, the first week was the most challenging. So far, Superior has been no different in that regard. Worries about whether I have the right clothing, enough or too little food, where I will stay, if I’m prepared for an emergency, unknown wind and waves… The list is endless. Then I push off, and what will be, is.
The cold water is scary. Water temps were in low 40’s where I started, which ruled out my daily bath. It’s in the low 50’s now, where I’m taking a rain day off on the Wisconsin coast, about 20 miles from Duluth. The mosquitoes have been happy to see me, but they’ve been manageable so far. The marshy island I stayed on in Superior, Wisc., two nights ago was loaded with American dog ticks. I’d encountered them a couple of days prior at a river mouth where I camped, and got a couple of bites, and had become very biased against them. As I got out of the canoe on the island, I said to myself, looks like this could be Ticksville. I was wrong, it was Ticktropolis. I survived without a bite, though, by stomping the grass flat around my hammock, tucking my pant legs into my socks, pulling my bug shirt on tight, compulsively brushing my hands across my shirt every few minutes, and dumb luck.

 

Thick with ticks.

Thick with ticks.

 

Thankfully, I haven’t encountered any on this beach I’m staying now. The rocky Minnesota coast was beautiful, though intimidating with its lack of landing spots.

 

Splitrock Lighthouse, seen on the first day of paddling in Minnesota.

Splitrock Lighthouse, July 7

 

The sandy stretches along this stretch of Wisconsin are a welcome change. The sun is setting over the lingering rain clouds, so I’m off to bed. Thanks to everyone for the warm wishes. If I have one regret, it’s not having said enough how much your support of my going around in watery circles means to me.

 

boisbrule

At the mouth of the Bois Brule, Tuesday, July 15.

 

 

Bathymetry map of Lake Ontario

Bathymetry map of Lake Ontario

July 14th, 2013, at 11:20 AM, Stephen launched his canoe onto Lake Ontario. During previous summers he has circumnavigated Lakes Huron, Michigan and Erie, in that order. Lake Ontario is the smallest of the Great Lakes in circumference, but much deeper than Lake Erie. Water from the four other lakes flows through the Niagara River and over the Niagaran Escarpment before entering Lake Ontario, so the lake is more than 300 feet lower than Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie. From Lake Ontario, the water flows through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic Ocean.

Stephen has done a lot of paddling along the islands and ridges of the Niagaran Escarpment on Lakes Huron and Michigan.

Stephen has done a lot of paddling along the islands and ridges of the Niagaran Escarpment on Lakes Huron and Michigan.

On the beach at Four Mile Creek State Park preparing Seaweed, the canoe, for departure.

On the beach at Four Mile Creek State Park preparing Seaweed, the canoe, for departure.

Four Mile Creek State Park is only a few miles from the mouth of the Niagara River, where historic Fort Niagara is open to visitors. We spent a day as tourists before he began his summer of paddling. This building, built by the French in the early 1700’s, is the oldest building still standing in the Great Lakes area.

The French castle at Fort Niagara

The French castle at Fort Niagara

Much too soon, it was time to say goodbye. Here is a parting shot of Stephen before he paddled away to the east. Bon voyage!

Day one on Great Lake number four

Day one on Great Lake number four