Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sights on the SHT - 123rd - Hwy 210

Spent the morning helping to recreate a section of the old Mission Creek Trail that the Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon and Minnesota Voyageur Trail Ultra use for their courses. It's been 5 years since the flood that took out that section of trail and moved us over to an adjacent ridge line, resulting in the infamous "ropes course". We were able to connect the remaining sections of the old trail with a little bit of work with chainsaws, weed whips, cutting mattocks, hand saws and loppers.

After we finished up the trail work, I waited out a rain storm in my car while I changed into running gear and ate lunch. Then I headed to the SHT trailhead at 123rd Ave west with the plan to run towards Jay Cooke State Park for 1.5 hours and then turn around and head back. I made it about 2.5 miles into the run when I ran out of steam and decided to walk the rest of my planned 3 hour outing. I kept a pace brisk and made it to Hwy 210 (~ 4.8 miles) in just under 1.5 hours. After touching the road (an odd little ritual I have) I headed back to the trail head. About half way back as I was descending into a gully I heard crashing in the brush and looked over in time to see a black bear running off into the woods. All was well as s(he) headed off in the opposite direction I was going. Until the trail looped around. I spent the next few minutes talking out loud to the bear in hopes of not surprising it.

Seen along the way:
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail feeding on Orange Hawkweed 

You know it is summer when the wild strawberries are ripe!
One-flowered Pyrola (Moneses uniflora) aka One-flowered Wintergreen
Blackberry species
Pink Pyrola (Pyrola asarifolia)
Pink Pyrola (Pyrola asarifolia)
Old survey marker. 
I need to go back and take a closer look at this marker. It appears there may be some writing in the upper right hand corner. Theories I have so far: it's marking a section corner and/or it's marking a boundary of the City of Duluth.

Sulphur Shelf (sadly the camera bleached it out, it was a much more vibrant orange in person)
Found another patch of One-flowered Pyrola

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