On April 28th Jon and I headed to The Superior Hiking Trail to celebrate nature and backpacking and our new jobs at REI. We got a crashpad at planned to hike, climb and savor everything the area had to offer. It was nothing but sunshine and blue skies. I carried the crashpad in and Jon took charge of the 80lb backpack! We weren't sure what to expect as far as snow and ice were concerned, but pretty much right away there was snow. Not a big deal, but it did make climbing difficult.
There was beauty everywhere. Up high, down low and everywhere in between.
Starting off very enthusiastically. No one would suspect that pack weighed so much with how fast Jon was moving. This trail started right away with crazy elevation gains (for MN ;) ) and it was a little tricky to maneuver around with the crashpad strapped to my back.
Most of the wildlife we saw on this trip were of the bird variety. We had one very rad experience where we were able to watch a handful of hawk/eagle/bird of prey birds (damn, gotta step up my bird game) take off from a cliff-side nest and circle prey. Truly amazing.
All of the trees were bent from the harsh conditions. Unfortunately many have been broken or uprooted.
There were many variety of mushroom out. This was my favorite. If I could share all of them, I would. But that seems like something for a different post :)
Trekking very carefully along side a cliff. This is a very rocky part of Minnesota. So stunning.
There wasn't a ton of wildlife to see. It was mostly birds and rabbits. We were spooked twice by pheasants leaping out of the brush and saw a couple more strutting around. While I love animals and especially photographing them and being in silence with them, I would rather have a trip like this than come across a bear or other predator. So no complaints here!
"Up at dawn, the dewy freshness of the hour, the morning rapture of the birds, the daily miracle of sunrise, set her heart in tune, and gave her Nature's most healing balm." -Louisa May Alcott
We really were not able to do much climbing. But it was fun to give it a go and once the ice melts more, we know this will be a fantastic spot. The boulders and cliffs provide every type of climbing you'd want to play around with.
On our second day we went for a big hike. It consisted of much bushwhacking and a lot of snow. We were very lucky to catch sunshine most of the way and even were able to make use of a latrine when we passed a camp site. That's always a very exciting situation :) We passed four people total during this hike and that was lovely. 99% of the time we were totally alone in the silence of the forest.
The overlook of section 13. Absolutely gorgeous. It's such a great reminder of how incredibly small we all are.
During the hikes, we often ended up in wetlands. This is one of my favorite landscapes. Everything is so alive- even the things that look dead. There is life everywhere. Color everywhere. And peace and stillness.
This was a spot we went to a lot. This photo was taken during sunset while we ate dinner. I believe I had oatmeal and Jon had ramen. The sky lit up in flames for us and it felt like we were the only people in the world.
And of course, we acclimated back into the real world with a stop at The Duluth Grill. Smoked salmon omelets and curried kale for both of us.