Hiking the North Shore 1

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.

One thought on “Hiking the North Shore

  • Abbey Gire

    I must say this is a very nice documentary of our amazing trip, but the “(terrified)” comment is not very well explained. So let me explain a little futher why I was, in fact, slightly worried of what we might find. Reese had informed us when he left with his “butt pack” of supplies that if he wasnt back when the sun was just over the trees (~8:30 pm), he was in trouble and we should find him. The sun was actually way past the top of the trees when we started our journey to look for him, so we were already a little worried that he hadnt returned. Reese had also tricked us earlier in the day so Chen and I were skeptical that maybe this was also a trick to see if we would go looking for him, and that he might be setting us up for a scare. As we were walking down this unfamilair path (thinking of the horror hiking stories we had heard earlier), I was leading the way and Chen chucked his apple core fiercly into the woods. Thinking it was something running at us fromt he woods it startled me slightly and Chen found the humor in the situation. A few steps later we found Reese’s map folded with the front side up laying very neatly in the very middle of the trail – like a sign for us to find. There was his map – but no sign of Reese. I think anyone might become “slightly worried” at that point especially if they’ve seen as many television shows where people leave items as a sign. Chen and I continued up the trail and not too much farther we found Reese enjoying the spectacular view of Lake Superior from a rock ledge, unaware that he had left his map for us to find. So there were a series of events leading up to the “slightly worried” state that I was in when we found Reese. Beef Jerky – signing out.

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