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.
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 High Falls on 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! 🙁
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.
- Swimming in Bear Lake!
- Meeting fun campmates
- 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