Sunday, October 17, 2010
Log Creek Arches
This employee gave me some vague information and drew a few lines on my map that followed the park boundary for a bit. She also put a mark on the map that to me suggested the location of the arches. So with my newly gained information I set out to find the fabled Log Creek Arches. I crossed the Kettle River, made a left on Banning Boundary Road and set out on foot on some recently mowed snowmobile trails.
I followed the grassy trails to near the point marked on my map but found nothing resembling an arch or even an outcropping of sandstone. I followed the park boundary back to the car and drove back to the information center. Luckily, there was another employee there when I returned and he gave much better directions.
I returned to Banning Boundary Road and followed my new directions to a sandstone gorge unlike anything I've seen before in the state of Minnesota. In fact, the gorge here looked like something someone unearthed out of the Red River Gorge in Kentucky and transported to Minnesota on a large flatbed truck. There were sheer sandstone walls, rockshelters, and yes, some arches.
When I had heard about the arches I had no idea what to expect. I couldn't even find any photos or information about them on the internet. I figured they would be some really small potholes that had eroded through a layer of sandstone to form a small arch. I was pleasantly surprised then the arches I found were quite significant; larger than some of the ones I had hiked to in the Red River Gorge.
I spent quite a bit of time walking along the sandstone walls and on some ledges searching for arches, inspecting the rock shelters, and inspecting the few inscriptions I found in the soft sandstone seeing if they could be petroglyphs.