Slog this Way: Finding a Special Swamp

This week’s mini-adventure had a few things in coming with the last one, including hot sticky weather, blistered feet, and that creepy feeling of being alone-but-perhaps-not-really-alone in the woods.

Happily, I did not see any bears.

I volunteered to take a look at a property for Keweenaw Land Trust to see what’s out there and make sure that the area isn’t getting mucked up by ATVs. But the bigger first step was to figure out how to even get there, as this 200 acres lies at the back end of a giant wetland and there aren’t any roads going to it. The presence of a power line that runs through part of the property, if not a great thing overall, at least makes in a little easier to get there.

Still, the recommended way to get there read something like this: Drive two miles until the pavement ends and the road crosses a major powerline. Enter the powerline at the giant gate that says ‘No entry. Landfill closed.’ Crossing private property, walk a little less than a half mile down the powerline and then cross a big wetland and beaver pond, either by walking over the beaver dam or walking as much as a half mile around it.

Since the gate and beaver pond needed to be crossed were so big, I tried another way. I rode my bike about 3/4-mile down the powerline. Although it started out flat, it got progressively hillier until I had to ditch the bike and drop down into the wetland. And then:

powerline
Yup– I had to go down there. And then up the other side.
There were some nice spruce-fir forests along the way.
There were some nice spruce-fir forests along the way.
creek
A mess of tag alder led to this nice little stream. (Grateful for: the water wasn’t too deep and my boots didn’t leak!)
hill
Then is was time to climb up the other side.
DSCN0213
There were some nice hardwoods at the top, providing a nice, shady contrast to the power line.
swamp
Back down the hill again, this time to another creek.
DSCN0194
I wasn’t feeling adventurous enough to cross this creek. Time to turn around.


And then I went back the way I came, up and down the hills a few more times.

I didn’t see much for critters, just a hawk and tweety bird that I couldn’t identify and a mallard (no bears!), so it was pretty uneventful.

But it was fun to be out and prove to myself that I can still  my way around the woods. Even if I did use Google Maps and the powerline to navigate more than I used a compass, I still used a compass. And I did not get lost—hooray!

Travel deets: Really? If you actually want to go here, let me know.

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