Two hikers pose before a trailhead in Jay Cooke State Park.
Today’s start was Jay Cooke State Park, and I thought we were going to have a warm day, if gray, and no rain. Instead, it rained until shortly before we started. This meant the trails stayed super water-logged and muddy. Not only that, but on this, Day 2, the big climbs and descents started. So we slipped and slid all day long.

Still, there was a lot that was enjoyable. We saw a lot of beautiful wildflowers once again. There were a lot of quaint creek-crossings on boardwalks, although some of the “creeks” seemed like raging rivers and featured waterfalls. Since it was a Sunday, we ran into several trail runners and others on outings.

Highlights After Jay Cooke

The highlight today was climbing to the top of Ely’s Peak. The views were pretty cool – almost 360 degrees – even though it River flowing under a trail in the woods near Jay Cooke State Park.was gray and cloudy out. The winds kicked up about the time we arrived, though (15-20 mph / 24-32 kph), so it was rather cold.

I have to remember to eat more while I’m hiking. Normally I’m pretty good at gauging what I need, but I must be expending more energy on both the mountains and the slip-sliding on the mud. I keep having little mini crashes where I can barely move, and all it takes is eating a few nibbles of food and I’m good to go again.

As the day was winding down, the sun suddenly popped out. We caught a few awesome glimpses of downtown Duluth and Lake Superior’s St. Louis Bay, I believe. I can’t wait to see the views tomorrow, with all of the sunshine.


MN NCT miles today: 16.4 (26.4 km)
MN NCT miles to date: 32.7 (52.6 km)
SHT miles to date: 32.7 (52.6 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 319.3 (513.9 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 4,280.7 (6,889.1 km)

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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