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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Mesabi Hike - Embarrass to Babbit


The title of this post fudges the contents a little bit. On August 12, 2009 we continued with our road walks, but stopped short of the actual village of Babbit that day. We were both in pain, and there wasn't a lot to see along the roads. As we spotted the cars each day we made a note (literally... we wrote them down) of some feature, even a road sign at each mile. We needed some way to mark our progress to keep ourselves going.

We made up a whole lot of word games on those miles, in addition to relying on old standards, such as Arthur went to Alabama on an Alligator to buy some Apples, Bob went to the Bahamas to..., etc, we invented quite a few of our own. We just had to keep our minds off our legs.

The only pictures I took on this day are of us sitting in the shade of the Mausoleum at a cemetery eating lunch. I think that's a statement about the scenery right there.

However, the next day was our day off. So this post is actually going to cover Thursday, August 13 as well. We spent it taking a tour of Embarrass History that didn't require too much walking. We were paired with a local guide who drove us to a number of sites around the county that were the best examples of the Finnish architecture and heritage. She explained that although they knew of almost 30 such buildings still standing, they were going to have the resources to save fewer than ten of them.

This is a house attached to a barn, a somewhat customary way of arranging things so that care of the animals in winter was easier.

Finnish house barn

We learned that there were many ways of fitting the corners of log buildings, and that each culture brought their own methods to the new world. Here are four different methods of joining.

log corner

log corner

log corner

Finnish cabin corner

It was this last one, the Finnish corner, that served as my education so that I could identify the local barn I found as Finnish.

Embarrass also holds the record for the lowest unofficial temperature recorded in the lower 48 states, at -64 degrees F. This was in 1996. Official lows in the township are -54 degrees in 2005 and -42 in 2013. Apparently the geology of the surrounding hills and the soil combine to draw the cold air into this valley. They are mighty proud of being cold!

Embarrass thermometer

We poked around the local museum, bought a book of local history, ate at the Corner Cafe again, and rested. Marie's leg was a lot better, and mine was about the same, but we were ready to hike the next day.

Hiking day 9, 16.1 miles, 144.7 total to date for this trip.

See Biwabik to Embarrass
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Ann said...

The different methods for joining the logs is interesting. The last two are very similar. I had to look closer to spot the difference.
I can officially say I would never want to live in Embarrass. I would not like the cold

Secondary Roads said...

I have been impressed by the strength and simplicity of the Finnish corner. It appears to be an excellent design.

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