Someone Lost Their Forty

A hundred-twenty years ago lumber was big in Minnesota. The forests in Michigan and Wisconsin were used up. Demand was not used up. Minnesota was next in line.

In an era where the natural resources existed to exploit rather than enjoy, most of the valuable trees in Minnesota were logged out and sent down river in a few decades. Except for a small stand now called The Lost Forty, where a few old growth pine still stand. This parcel was bypassed because of a surveying snafu sometime in the late 19th century & was never logged. It’s a window into the past, a hint of what a large part of the northwoods was like prior to European settlement.

The pine trees in the Lost Forty are big (for Minnesota). Not so big compared to places west of here. My reach is about six feet and I could barely hug half of one of the bigger trees. They are estimated to be 300 or more years old and up to 4 feet in diameter.

Binoculars for scale.
(I’d already eaten all my bananas)

As far as forests with big trees goes, the California redwoods and sequoia are impressive. I was most impressed though, with the Hoh Rain Forest in Washington State. Huge moss-covered sitka spruce and douglas fir. Ferns, fog and drizzle.

Surreal. I kept expecting Ewoks to swing from trees or zoom by on speeder bikes.

I’m solo on this trip – the destination of which is a State Park trail in a large swamp near Red Lake Minnesota. My spouse wasn’t enthused about a hike in a swamp during bug season. No idea why.

I also wanted to test some of the latest modifications before we head off on a longer trip. So far, new cabinet, bug screen and D-pillars are working okay. The ability to leave the rear cargo doors open allows a nice cross ventilation.

The down sides are that the rear cargo area is harder to access when the screen is down, and to keep the sewing simple I didn’t make any provision for opening or closing the cargo doors from inside.

In bug season, those should be fair tradeoffs.

3 Comments

    1. Yep. The 40 and bog have been on my bucket list for a while now. Finally got up here.
      Your post got me motivated. 👍

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