Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Superior Hiking Trail: Crosby-Manitou to Caribou River Wayside

Warning - this is another post full of pictures! Enjoy a tour along the SHT (and boy do I have respect for the runners who did this during the night!):

Bridge over Manitou River

View upriver

Manitou River

Horseshoe Ridge

Porter, SHT blue blaze and fall colors

Coral fungi - sp(ecies) unknown

Amanita sp.

View into fault line valley - Horseshoe Ridge area

Climbing out of fault line valley

Unidentified mushrooms

Looking back towards Finland (MN)

The Miller (my best guess at species)

more 'shrooms - near Horseshoe Ridge campsite

Cup fungus sp.

Even more mushrooms!

Caribou River falls

Caribou River falls - upriver view

Lake Superior from viewing platform above the Caribou River

Porter enjoying the Caribou River

Still with me? ;->

It was a beautiful day. Temps in the upper 50's. Sunny, a little breeze to cool you off after a steep climb. Lots of perfect lunch spots - sunny outcrops of rock with good views.

As you may have noticed - this hike was all about mushrooms. I brought a field guide to mushrooms with, but it stayed in my pack all day (why do I bother?). What I really needed was my "Geology on Display: Geology and Scenery of Minnesota's North Shore Parks" by John Green. Lots of questions about the geology of the area, and even though I am "retired" from naturalist work, a lot of the hikers recognized me from previous hikes and wanted to ask questions.

So, to quote Professor Green:

"The upper valley, and most of the park's area, is underlain by rocks of the Beaver Bay Complex. These rocks were intruded as several separate bodies of magma into the slightly older volcanic rocks. All of the bedrock was formed during the development of the Midcontinent Rift system about 1.1 billion years ago. The volcanic rocks in the lower section of the park are dominated by two rock types: basalt flows, most of which have ophitic texture; and rhyolite..." "...the large ridges just uphill from Highway 61 are made of ophitic and amygdaloidal basalt." "Also in this section is a layer of distinctive, reddish breccia which contains pieces of various types of basalt (mostly) and other rocks, in a finer-grained matrix. This same deposit can be seen at the Caribou River Wayside... where it forms outcrops in the river bed near the trail, and bluffs just below the dramatic Caribou Falls. This particular breccia was probably deposited as a large mudflow. Caribou Falls itself is localized by a large, northeast-trending fault, the same one that crosses the Manitou River near the highway but is less accessible. Several basalt flows can be seen in the rock face down which the river tumbles at Caribou Falls" (pg 41)

Tomorrow is another NMTC run - Hawk Ridge. One plus mile uphill at the start(steep at times), then rolling and one plus mile of gently trending downhill for the finish. This weekend is the Wild Duluth Fat Ass 100k/50k. Will I see any of my readers there?


SteveQ said...

I'll be at the Glacial Trail this weekend. Still wondering how I miss all the beauty on the trail you see (oh right; I did that section at night after running for most of a day).

Chris said...

Lovely photos! And I hope you had as wonderful a day in Duluth as we did here.