Posts Tagged ‘taconite’

Stephen3lores

Stephen ready to embark from a beach at Tettegouche State Park.

 

“My previous four trips have been wonderful, but I’m especially excited about this one. People for years have been asking me, ‘When are you going to do the Big One?’ Well, here I go.”

 

And go we did. Stephen and I drove 10 hours to the rugged coast 50 miles north of Duluth, Minnesota. We spent a day sightseeing around Silver Bay, which included an unplanned return trip to Duluth to pick up a replacement for the VHF weather radio that had made it around four great lakes, but gave up the ghost just before the launch into Lake Superior.

 

gear

 

The breakdown: 138 pounds of gear, 65 pounds of boat, 50 pounds of food, 20 pounds of water, and the engine, 145 pounds of paddler.

 

Rockyandme

Rocky Taconite and Ruth

 

Silver Bay is a town built by a mining company and is the self proclaimed taconite capital of the world. They have a mascot; imagine our surprise at meeting Rocky Taconite a block away from our hotel. The giant processing plant on the lake shore rumbled night and day through our window. There, the iron containing rock of the Mesabi Range, delivered by train, is pulverized, heated and formed into small pellets of iron ore that are shipped to steel mills by great lake freighters. The Edmund Fitzgerald specialized in taconite shipping and was carrying a full load from the iron ranges of Minnesota in November, 1975.

 

fireworks

Moon and fireworks over the Mariner Hotel on the 4th of July.

 

The wind was up and the water rough, preventing his planned weekend departure, and I had to return to Petoskey. As we were saying a reluctant goodbye on Sunday, we saw our first monarch butterfly of the year. Monarchs were Verlen Kruger’s talisman, and as he was the canoeist who designed and built Stephen’s boat, this was clearly a good omen. On Monday, July 7, Stephen launched Seaweed into Lake Superior and began to head south to Duluth. From there he will make his way across northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the mouth of the St. Mary’s River near Sault Ste. Marie, roughly half the distance around this largest lake in the world. He hopes to complete his paddle around Superior in the summer of 2015.

 

Monarch