Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Temperance River and Carlton Peak

Temperance River
 On our final full day, we decided to do another hike but longer than our previous ones. This one was also along the Superior Hiking Trail and required us to drop a vehicle off at one end prior to driving to the other end so we didn't have to do the same section twice. We started our hike along the Temperance River where as we were becoming accustomed too with this trip, was full of hordes of people. Also as expected, as soon as we got away from the well groomed trails and the waterfalls near the main road and everyone's cars, we had the place mostly to ourselves.

Our youngest daughter did okay for the most part but for awhile in the middle of the hike, we finally had our first real crisis of the trip. The weather had been mild on the previous days but on this day it was up into the low 80's. Not bad if you are hiking and can catch a breeze here and there. But for a nearly three year old sandwiched in a pack with only her head and shoulders sticking out, it can get pretty hot. We ended up making very slow progress for awhile and letting her out to cool off wherever the trail was relatively flat. At one point however, the trail started heading up the steep rocky sides of Carlton peak while she was out of the pack and that little girl decided hiking was her best option. With lots of grunting and baby talk, she hiked for a long ways up that mountain with help from me to get her over the really difficult parts. I could see her coordination improving dramatically from the first day of hiking we had done. I was so proud of her.

Temperance River
 From the direction we were hiking, we were taking the longest route to Carlton peak so when we got to the peak itself, we did start running into a handful of people coming from the nearer trail head on the other side. But compared to the hordes below near their vehicles, I wasn't complaining. When we finally topped out on Carlton peak some 1500+ feet above sea level, we shared it with another couple for a few minutes and then had the place to ourselves for the next couple hours as we soaked in the views and ate lunch. At one time the forest service used to have a fire lookout tower on top of this peak but modernization and the slimming down of the Forest Service has led them to get rid of most of the towers and instead just use airplanes after lightening storms.

View from Carlton Peak
From the peak, you could see out over Lake Superior and in the distance spot a taconite loading facility off in the distance. Using my zoom, you can see the facility below at full zoom. Taconite is a low grade iron ore which gives these mountains their name (i.e. Iron Range) and it still mined in places though I have never spotted a mine yet. It is also the same substance that the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald of Gordon Lightfoot fame was hauling when it sank become the largest such vessel to do so on Lake Superior.

Eventually we heard quite a few people heading up the trail from the short side of our route and decided to let them have there time so we packed up and headed down the trail. As with the other places we have hiked along the Superior Hiking Trail, the way was loaded with raspberry bushes full of ripe fruit so we took it slow waiting for our oldest daughter to graze her way down the trail. We all helped in the grazing to some extent. 

In the evening another bicycle ride along the shore was completed along with one last swim and a couple soaks in the resort hot tub before we officially called this vacation a success. The following morning we packed up and drove back home. 

Taconite loading facility on Lake Superior


sage said...

Hiking along the Temperance River sounds like a metaphor for a sober life :)

Vince said...

Given where you were and with all the miners of iron in the area I'd say Temperance was a naming somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Lovely landscape all the same.

Ed said...

Sage - Never thought of that but I agree.

Vince - I don't know much about the history of the area. Whenever I visit areas, I typically try to buy a book on the history but wasn't able to find one this time. I should probably head over to Amazon and fix that.

ErinFromIowa said...

Good job on the hiking kiddos! :)