VIDEO & Trip Report... Thing1 goes to MN Frozen Butt Hang
Thing1 and I went to the MN Frozen Butt Hang. She had never been that far north. We had a great time getting there, being there and getting home.
I picked Thing1 up from middle school on Wednesday, and we headed north. We never tire of the wonderful views up highway 52, past Pilot Mountain, up the big hill on I-77 where you can look back at Piedmont NC from near the Blue Ridge Parkway. West Virginia was beautiful, but it never seems to fail that the north side of the East River Mountain Tunnel has bad weather. We went from a sunny day to heavy rain, and the rain persisted right into Ohio, where we found a room for the night.
On Thursday, we saw a lot of hawks. We made it all the way to my brother's house in Chicago. When we were near Gary, IN, Thing1 saw a hawk, a buck and several does... "I like this place!" she said. We took 90 so she could see the city. She liked the old churches and historic buildings, but not the rest. We got there at 3pm, so we had a nice, long visit. My brother gave us an old pair of traditional snow shoes that he used 40 years ago. We watched The Incredibles, then turned in so we could get an early start.
On Friday, we saw no more hawks. North of Chicago, they just disappeared. We did just what TZ and I did last year... watched the scant snow slowly become more prevalent, and wondered if there would be enough on the ground at Camp Miller. Turned out there was. Our route took us north from Eau Claire and across the St Croix where it was pretty small. We arrived at Camp Miller at about 5pm, and set up hammocks in the dark.
Thing1 and I were both warm in our PeaPods. She was in the SnugPod... Snugfit UQ inside a PeaPod. I had a Speer Top Blanket laid in the bottom of a PeaPod. Both of us had a Speer Top Blanket above us. In the middle of the night, we abandoned the hammocks, not because of the cold, but because Thing1 got claustrophobia... she couldn't stay warm without closing the PeaPod up until there was only a tiny hole. She did her best to calm down, but finally had to give it up. The next two nights she was fine, after Book loaned her another top blanket, a down coat, and a Molly Mac Gear canvas Hamarak sock. She left the PeaPod open.
While Thing1 stayed in the cabin and carved a spoon for Smiling Face, (Froz Butt Hang was on her birthday), I gathered sticks for our Ski Shoes. The ski shoes are 7' snow shoes made in the bush, Mors Kochanski style. We will finish the ski shoes here. We walked on frozen Sturgeon Lake and visited the Camp Miller goats and miniature pony. We saw lots of rabbit tracks, and Lone Tracker identified one set of cat tracks in the snow.
After we left on Sunday, we headed to Four Dog's place, visited with his mules and song birds, had a sauna, then a nice meal. We got up at O'dark thirty to get on the road.
It was snowing, and I missed a turn. It took us three hours to cross the St Croix river! The snow storm stayed with us most of the way across Wisconsin. We took the long route, south from Rockford into Illinois, to avoid Chicago. Down there, the cultivated fields extend from horizon to horizon, dotted with farm houses. The winds blew real strong, 40 mph or more! We holed up south of Indianapolis and got another early start. Thing1 completed the sanding and oiling of her spoon, then made incredible sketches, while we talked about nearly everything you can think about. The weather turned balmy in Kentucky, and it was in the high 50's in Tennessee. We made it home in shirt sleeve weather, although the evidence of heavy rain was everywhere.
Frozen Butt Hang 2013 Scoop: While at Four Dog's place, we discussed what we can do different next year, in the same general location. If Four Dog can arrange the details, you will not believe what a fantastic plan is in the works for January, 2013!