I was excited for my trek into Ely today. First, it would cap off this little jaunt on the Kekekabic Trail. Second, it would be mostly a long road walk, which was a welcome thing for me after the tough Kek. And third, when I finished I’d drive to Wisconsin’s Pattison State Park to meet my husband, Ed.
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Last night’s camping went well. I heard a tiny bit of traffic on nearby Snowbank Road, but that was it. No critters, no rain, no wind. I got up in the dark this morning to ensure I’d have plenty of time to reach my car in Ely, then get to Pattison before it was too dark or late. It was a little difficult finding my bear vault, but I got it, had breakfast and broke camp.
Gee, I apparently pitched my tent at precisely the right spot yesterday. For as soon as I left my camping spot, the landscape once again became filled with boulders and dense undergrowth that would have made camping nearly impossible.
Making My Way to Ely
The weather was brisk this morning – about 40 F (4.4 C). Luckily, my heavy backpack kept me warm. I reached the western terminus pretty quickly, then hiked out on Snowbank, a gravel road.
From there I quickly hung a right onto Hwy. 18, which led me into Ely. There wasn’t a huge amount of traffic, and the hills weren’t too bad, so I was able to hike about 3 mph (4.8 kph). I reached my car, which was parked at the Kawishiwi Ranger Station, around 3 p.m. and got to Pattison before dark.
Ed and I are on a mission to hike every mile of trail at every state park in Wisconsin, and Pattison is pretty out-of-the-way from our home near Madison. So this will be a great way to knock this park off our list. Part of the North Country Trail goes through here, so we’ve been here once before.
Not sure where I’ll be hiking next!
MN NCT miles today: 19.2 (30.9 km)
MN NCT miles to date: 447.6 (720.3 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 1,805.1 (2,905 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 2,794.9 (4,498 km)
This is the Sea-to-Summit sleeping bag liner I love. It’s great for either warm nights when your quilt/bag is too warm, or cold nights when you need some extra warmth.
I’m also using this Garmin inReach Mini to keep in touch with my hubby, since cell service is almost nonexistent.
And, finally, the bear vault.