I was back in the woods last week but in another part of Minnesota. This area is along the edges of the eastern section of the BWCA. It differs geologically and topographically from the western parts of the BWCA. The rocks are mafic igneous rocks, usually gabbro and basalt, meaning they are rich in dark minerals such as iron and magnesium. Formations of gabbro and basalt, and Precambrian red sandstones (some with ripple marks from ancient seas), shale, and conglomerates, banded iron formation chert, and graywacke are common. These rocks form thick beds and rise steeply from Lake Superior with an abrupt elevation change going from 700 feet above sea level to 2,000 feet in just a few miles. This makes for some strenuous walking which is made only worse by the dense forest under-story to fight through and hoards of mosquitoes and gnats.
Ignoring the biting insects I saw some great scenery and explored very old forests and cedar swamps. I’ll be heading back next week to continue where I left off. For now I am home again washing clothes, sorting through maps and GPS files, and planting my tomatoes.