Today we had a hike of about 19 miles ahead of us. That’s a lot! The day began wonderfully. We hiked up to Bear and Bean Lakes, a very popular destination with locals and those that know the North Shore. The views were spectacular!
After the twin lakes, we hiked up to Mount Trudee, another mountain offering impressive views, then slid down the Drainpipe. O.K., we didn’t slide. The Drainpipe is a narrow, rocky chute that you have to walk down. There’s a wooden railing along part of it, but the railing is about shoulder high, and leaning, so it’s rather ineffective. Most of the Drainpipe you have to navigate on your own.
Once out of the Drainpipe, you enter Tettegouche State Park. Sounds great, but unfortunately the trails here were confusing and sparsely marked. We got lost a few times and probably hiked an extra half-mile or so. That might not sound like much, but it is when you’re hiking 20 miles and in tough terrain.
When we got out of the park, we had a 6.8-mile stretch left. It was nearing the end of the day, so we knew we’d be hiking until 7:30. Oh well, at least it was light. We just focused on putting one foot in front of the other.
This stretch of trail (around Wolf Rock) was actually pretty magnificent. But we were tired and couldn’t enjoy it as much as we should have. The route featured many sweeping views of Lake Superior and other spots.
About one mile before we reached the parking lot, we saw our car on the road far below. The trail led us past the car, so we knew we’d have to switch back at some point after descending from the mountain. We eventually did, but — as Ed said — it was a cruel move because we had to climb a bit before the final descent.
MN NCT miles today: 17.7
MN NCT miles to date: 172.2
Total SHT miles to date: 172.2
Total NCT miles to date: 458.8
Total NCT miles to go: 4,141.2