Yesterday five other interns joined me on a great adventure to Minnesota’s North Shore to embark on a 16 mile backpacking trip. For having little to no experience, our group did extremely well. In fact, the trip went so well that I no longer consider us as interns but friends.
After driving 200+ miles to Silver Bay, MN, we setup camp at the trailhead parking lot. In the morning, we broke it down and had our packs loaded by 7:15 AM. Impressive.
Matt, Abbey, Danesh, Chen, Kristin, and I at the trailhead
Once on the trail, we maintained a hearty pace for several miles before we soon reached a large boulder. With great teamwork everyone scaled the rock. Tired of climbing rocks, we tested our hill climbing (and endurance) by hiking out of Sawtooth Valley. The vista at the top was refreshing.
Kristin and Abbey
Marching down the hill, the trail popped out along Hwy 1. From there, it was another difficult ascent. The hills in the region are challenging, not because of the elevation gain, but rather the absence of switchbacks. You might climb only 500 feet, but there’s no place to catch your breath. It’s just up, up, and up. So as soon as we reached level ground we took a lunch break.
The prolonged sitting tightened our muscles, but we pushed on through the discomfort. Quickly, the trees cleared, and we sat perched on a rock, enjoying the panorama.
One of first views at Lake Superior
After our break, it was an easy 1.5 mile stroll to our campsite. Upon arriving we talked to the previous night’s trip leader, and he informed us of a lake just off the trail. Excited to wash the dirt from our skin, we scurried up the water’s edge. Wasting no time, three us jumped right in, but within a few minutes Chen screamed, “Oh my god, get this leech off of me!!” Screams erupted and those in the water leaped out.
Later that evening we ate chicken and rice with a pineapples and cashews. The rest of the evening I ventured out to a overlook just 0.2 miles up the trail. After 1.5 hours of enjoying the goodness of God’s creation, I heard footsteps. Moments later, Abbey (terrified) and Chen (laughing) came out to where I was sitting. Apparently, my stories about the dangers of hiking alone and finding my map lying in the middle of the trail was enough cause for concern.
Chen watching Danesh drink the pineapple juice prior to dinner
Once the sun began her nightly slumber, the three of us returned home. But not without a little joke. Just before camp, I hid in the bushes and told Abbey and Chen to pretend that I was injured. Soon a convinced Kristin led a skeptic Matt and Danesh right into our trap. My sudden appearance caused Kristin to jump out of her skin and shriek. It was a comical end to a fantastic day.