Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Forbidden Fruit

Once upon a time in Minnesota, there was rumor of a creek that precariously meandered through the most arduous private property along Lake Superior's North Shore. That river is the Forbidden Fruit.

John McConville on the big one

The put-in for this creek is located on a small dirt road with friendly and humble residents. This year we were lucky enough to chat with some of the locals. The folks we spoke with granted us access to the creek. They also warned us about the asininely private residence down stream.

yes it's cold! , Minnesota, forbiden fruit, Chris Baer,
yes it's cold!

The paddle into the gorge is infested with wood. Blind corners held logs and ice damns during our early spring assaults. Upon sight of the first major gradient loss, we exited river right. An amazing series of slides that directly flow into a 25-foot waterfall is the first major attraction.


The rapids following the waterfall are rather continuous, and offer a wild variety of very constricted boulder gardens with the occasional off-angle boof.

Moving down stream we quickly enter into the delicate private property situation. Stealth is your friend, moving quietly is key. To limit our local contact, we made a point of only paddling this section during the week and during the "mud season."

The rapid Cabin Fever is directly in sight of most of private property, and hadn't been completed until this year. John McConville probed the once log-infested landing zone and negotiated the very tricky lead-in firing up a rather smooth first descent.

John McConville, dialing in the first descent of Cabin Fever, Chris Baer, Minnesota,
John McConville, dialing in the first descent of Cabin Fever

From Cabin Fever down you are in the backyards of most of the "cabins" along the river. There are two more slides on the run that ought to be run blind, as to not interact with the local inhabitants. Charge in and start smiling. The water pushes you in a positive direction while sliding the last 300 feet to the delta entering into Lake Superior.

To finish the run paddle into Lake Superior (if the waves aren't too big), and paddle North or South to your desired less-illegal exit location.

Please do not attempt this adventure if you are not confident in your ability to run the slides blind, and/or to complete the entire run in your boat. Hiking out of this river and through the private property could be catastrophic to the next team of paddlers.


another adventure brought to you be Chris Baer


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