At this point I'm really quite fine with being 2 paddling days short of completing the circumnavigation of Lake Superior. I think the pain in my right elbow is a result of weeks of using an altered paddle stroke to 'protect' my chronic shoulder problem I re-injured back at Silver Islet about one week into the circumnavigation. For quite a number of years I've had a problem with my right shoulder.. Call it some sort of shoulder impingement syndrome? Rotator cuff tendentious? or whatever. Perhaps the 8 day break at my house in Duluth was too long and then hitting it hard once I was underway caused the elbow problem. Of the roughly 58 miles left....only the final 16 miles from the Brule River to the Hollow Rock have I not paddled. Over the years of living up here I've paddled the miles from Temperance River up to the Brule River. I fell no compelling 'need' to 'finish'. Maybe I'll change my mind but maybe I'll look into shoulder surgery? Perhaps better late than never.....
This section started with Tettegouche State Park where I've guided many a kayak tour. Continuing for miles up the shore from Tettegouche the rugged coast is equally impressive and would have been every bit as deserving of being protected as a National Lakeshore like the Apostle Islands and Pictured Rocks so even though it is private property its worth paddling. I also paddled by the mouth of the Manitou River which I'd not visited for years. The waterfall and sea arch of the Manitou River's mouth make it a cool place.
I saw Sugarloaf Cove for the first time. It was my second stop of the day and where I had lunch. It was also slow and painful paddling the final 8 miles from there to the Temperance River. I wonder if I was even doing 2 mph? I had a 10 to 15 offshore wind but shoreline effect had it easily over 20 knots and the worst was after I paddled past the Taconite Harbor basin and had to struggle straight into a 20 knot plus headwind the 3/4 mile length of the east breakwater back to the protection of shore. That truly trashed my elbow as I had no choice but to hit it hard. I'm not one to hang around waiting to heal so I could 'finish' a couple more days, so it was easy to just decide to call it good..
... And it was a good paddle...despite the injured arm.
Posting this a day late.. Monday, July 23rd was my final day.
Heading out toward the Palisade Head... Right elbow hurting immediately
A sea arch at the head ...
...also at the 'Head'
If interested in taking a guided sea kayak tour to Tettegouche State Park contact Northshore Expeditions
Another Sea Cave at Tettegouche State Park
The Baptism River mouth
This used to be a sea arch but it's recent collapse created a sea stack...
I've never paddled by Shovel Point so early
The sea cave/arch at Crystal Cove
This sea cave near Tettegouche is about 70 feet deep...
Continuing on... A Water Trail mapped rest stop.. A bit of state land flanked by private property.. I took a pee break.
The cool little mini natural harbor at Fenstad's Resort
The water falls and sea arch at the mouth of the Manitou River make this a pretty special place. Guided kayak tours are offered to the Manitou River by Northshore Expeditions
Approaching Sugarloaf Cove .. The Cove .. Lunch at the interpretive center which was closed...Monday.
Paddling around the Taconite Harbor basin.. Protected on the outside.. Too windy for photos paddling back to the mainland 3/4 mile
The mouth of The Cross River.. Father Baraga's Cross .. Hoards of hot weather swimmers at the mouth of the Temperance River .. My gear, waiting to be picked up by Bryan Hansel