SHT – Beaver Bay to Lake County Rd. 6

Hikers: Betsy, Stephanie, Maria
Total Distance: 24.7 miles
Days: 4 days, 3 nights

11 June – Beaver Bay Trailhead to North Beaver River Campsite
I left work around lunch time, picked up Maria, then headed to Steph’s where we would sort through our food and decide what would stay behind and what would come with us. After much dilly dallying, we were finally packed and on the road (~6pm?). We stopped at Bent Paddle (yay!) in Duluth (~9pm) so that I could pick up a growler and we could have some delicious food truck eats. I was incredibly happy to be having a pint of my favorite (as of lately) local beer, their Cold Press Black Ale, straight from the source before hitting the trail for a few days. Two hours later, we arrived at the Beaver Bay trailhead (~11pm) and began our hike. I had miscalculated thinking we would only have to hike about a 1/2 mile to the site, but I think it ended up being closer to 1 mile. We arrived at the campsite around midnight and found 1 tent set up, and one body sleeping on the ground outside in their sleeping bag. We found a nice spot for our tent, set it up quietly, hung our food (after a few attempts) and then settled into bed. Fell asleep to the sound of the rushing Beaver River. The stars were amazing!

12 June – North Beaver River Campsite to Bear Lake Campsite (7.2 miles)
We awoke a little after 8am, and our camp buddies were still sleeping. Scrambled eggs with “bacon flavored bits” for breakfast. And coffee (Starbucks Via) — very important. On our hike out, we passed the South Beaver River campsite, which looked way more awesome than the North one — slightly higher than the trail, and overlooking the river — good to know for next time. The hike to Bean and Bear Lake had some difficult and rocky trails, with lots of ups and downs. At one lookout, Maria found a frilly, flowery chair cushion someone had left on the trail, and promptly picked it up and attached it to her pack (the envy of all hikers all weekend!). A steep climb down to the Bear Lake campsites, where we discovered that the 2 (which we thought would be 4) tiny campsites were full. Hiked back up the steep hill to the additional sites in the woods and set up camp. We ended up sharing the site with 4 other parties – mostly dad/son combos (one from Maple Grove — pretty much Steph’s neighbors!), and then one couple, Will & Julie. Chili Mac and Chicken Teriyaki for dinner + wine! After dinner – a hike down to the lake to get water, and take a swim in our undies (with the people from the lake campsites looking on — whatevs, we didn’t care). Back to camp for dessert — vanilla pudding (amazing!) and hot cocoa. One camp buddy hung our food for us! People on the trail are the best! Bed around 11pm. 20150612_164257

13 June – Bear Lake Campsite to West Kennedy Creek Campsite + a little detour (12 miles)
Up early (~6:30ish). Biscuits and gravy for breakfast, plus some egg/bacon hash that our camp buddies shared with us. Left camp around 10:30am. Signed trail register (at Round Mountain?). Steep hike up Mt. Trudee, where we met two parties from our camp at Bear Lake (one a young boy – trooper!). Took a wrong turn at trail marker “B” and ended up doing 2 extra miles — which brought down our spirits – we were tired, feet hurt, etc., but we got back on track and made it to the Baptism River at Tettegouche State Park, where we stopped for a break. Lots of other people in this area checking out the falls. Steph’s feet were in rough shape, and we had a brief “what should we do” moment — quit? continue? We decided to continue, and we were glad we did.  We made it to West Kennedy Creek campsite around 6:30pm, where we shared camp with 3 other parties: the couple from the night before, two high school aged girls (who had one of the lake sites at Bean & Bear lake the previous night), and 2 (handsome) gents from the Twin Cities who shared their Coloradan whiskey with us. We had also decided to check out the East Kennedy Creek campsite, which was supposed to have 4 tent pads. A couple and their dog had set up camp there already, and despite the “4 pads” mentioned in the book, we could only find 3, and the 2 that were not taken were flooded. Mac ‘n Cheese with peas for dinner, and an apple dessert. The girls went to bed early and us older folks drank wine & whiskey, and exchanged stories — fun night! Ran out of wine! 🙁20150613_160457

14 June – West Kenney Creek Campsite to Lake County Road 6 Trailhead (4.5 miles)
Leisurely morning. Blueberry scones and lemon pudding for breakfast. The girls left a nice note for everyone. We left camp around 11am. Easier hike, and we had extra time before having to get to the trailhead for the shuttle at 3pm, so we took the spur trail to Picnic Rock, which was a great place for a little break; there were several large boulders in the shade that we could rest on at the bottom of a large rock cliff. Made it to the County 6 trailhead at 3 on the nose. Caught the shuttle — some confusion about the price of the shuttle, and now we know for next time. Much deserved dinner at New Scenic Cafe in Duluth. BEST MEAL EVER. Drove out to Park Point in Duluth to walk in the sand and dip our feet in the water.

Steph & Maria @ Park Point, Duluth

Highlights…

  • Swimming in Bear Lake!
  • Meeting fun campmates

Next time…

  • Steph: new boots/shoes
  • Lighter food? Those breakfasts we brought were heavy.
  • Bring maps — not just guide book pages.

What we brought for food…

  • Chili Mac (Mountain House?)
  • Chicken Teriyaki (Mountain House?)
  • Mac ‘n Cheese + Dried Peas (Cache Lake) – forgot the tuna to go with it
  • Cream of Wild Rice Soup (Cache Lake) – didn’t use
  • Fryin’ Pan Bread Scones with Blueberries + Lemon Pudding (Cache Lake)
  • Scrambled Eggs with Bacon Flavored Bits (Cache Lake)
  • Vanilla Pudding (Cache Lake)
  • Apple Dessert (cache lake)
  • Starbucks Via
  • Fryin’ Pan Biscuits & Gravy
  • Fryin’ Pan Bread Scones with Blueberries
  • Lunches: jerky, hard boiled eggs, cliff bars, trail mix, apples/oranges

 

SHT – Britton Peak to Lutsen (My 1st SHT Hike!)

Hikers: Betsy, Uli
Total Distance: 18.2 Miles
Days: 4 days, 3 nights

29 August 2014
Took a half day at work, and hit the road around 1:30pm.
Stopped at the Superior Hiking Trail Association building in Two Harbors. Bought maps and a SHT patch.
Hit the trail from Britton Peak trailhead around 7:10pm. Trail was pretty muddy from rain earlier in the day. My dog, Kieran didn’t like walking on the wooden planks on the trail, so she walked in the mud/water instead.
Skipped spur trail to make it to campsite before dark.
Arrived @ Springdale Creek campsite around 7:50pm. Shared camp with a group of 3 and their dog – a 4 year old German Shorthair / Chocolate Lab mix. Dog’s owner was the owner of a soon-to-be-opened brewery in Uptown (which I’ve since enjoyed several times!). Campmates very kindly shared their liquor and leftover dinner (sausages) with us. Made spaetzle for dinner, and pudding for dessert. Hung food, then to bed around 11:35pm.

Britton Peak Trailhead

30 August 2014
Didn’t sleep well – Kieran woke me up at 4am to go out, and I was uncomfortable most of the night.
Breakfast: Blueberry Kodiak cakes with Hazelnut butter (because I forgot the syrup).
Left camp around 11:15am, campmates had left earlier.
Lunch at West Leveau Pond campsite.
Lots of mushrooms on the trail! Many parts of the trail were pine forests, and smelled like Christmas.
Hiked Leveau Mountain spur trail — the whole loop.
Stopped at Oberg Mountain parking lot for outhouses, and recognized the parking lot from skiing the previous winter.
Hiked the Oberg spur trail loop. I was tired and feet were hurting. Best views of the weekend, though. Also the busiest area so far; lots of day hikers. Rested at a bench after the loop, and Kieran fell asleep under the bench 🙂
Hiked 1.6 more miles to West Rollins campsite – piney forest, big shady trees – great site! No campmates this time.
Had camp set up by 6pm, relaxed in hammock. Red squirrels chirping.
Dinner: beef teriyaki, dehydrated corn. Dessert: chocolate pudding, dehydrated ice cream.
Tried to get a fire going, but the wood was too wet — gave up.

Mushrooms

31 August 2014
Kieran woke me up a little before 7am, took her out then tried to sleep more in the hammock. It was a little chilly.
Breakfast: blueberry chia seed Kodiak cakes with nut butters.
Hit the trail again just before noon.
Steep climb up Moose Mountain, nice overlook at the top.
Took spur trail to the gondola at Lutsen Mountain — civilization! There was a chalet with a restaurant, restrooms, etc. Had (trail) lunch at a picnic table near gondola lift. Lots of people waiting to ride back down. Filled water and disposed of trash bags.
On way out, found another overlook with railings — took some pictures.
Some hilly hikes to the next campsite, Mystery Mountain, but very enjoyable. Arrived by 6pm, shared site with 3 others from the Twin Cities. They offered whiskey — which was happily accepted.

1 September 2014
Morning: woke up to a thunderstorm and heavy rain — waited it out in tent.
Hiked to Lutsen ski resort to catch shuttle back to Britton Peak trailhead.

Poplar River

More photos here.

A New Home for my Trail Logs

I’ve been wanting a place to log my backpacking trips, so that I could remember where I’ve been and use it to help plan future trips. Just as sailors have ship logs, so should hikers have trail logs.

Since last fall, I’ve taken a handful of trips to the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) for some backpacking on the North Shore of Lake Superior. I suspect this is an activity that I will continue to do as long as I am able to — because I’ve (re)discovered that the woods are my happy place. I’ve logged each of my previous trips, the old fashioned way — with pen and paper — but will work on porting them over here, to the future.

So watch for my previous and future hiking trips (and maybe some other travels as well) to pop in here! I’ll add them as I find time.

3L4awgl

(Umm…he totally said that, right?)