Day 1 5-21
Ryan and I started from the beginning at 1030. We hiked north to the terminus took som pictures and headed back south to the parking lot. I grabbed some water from the swamp river and continued on. A muddy forest road was the trail for awhile, with a nicer, drier trail darting off for sections that would rejoin for more mud.
Pleasant cedar groves gave way to maple while climbing rose bush ridge. A stiff climb to the top was rewarded with a cool breeze; one of the best things of the day.
Ryan went ahead here, so we hiked alone for two hours and met again at a road crossing. The bugs had gotten worse so we kept on; climbing a ridge and hoping for another breeze.
We passed a solo guy hiking, then two guys, then two ladies an hour later; they were all going north.
Ryan took a break and carried on, down a hill to a rocky creek where I soaked my feet and washed some sweat and dirt off my face. This was the best thing of the day.
Another mile bought us to north Carson pond camp.
Full with six tents and at 8:30 everyone was in bed already. Rules are to share a site, so we set up in the weeds got some water and turned in. I’m writing this encased in mesh – safe from the bugs for the night.
We’re considering relaxing the mileage and staying in grand Marais for a night. We’ll see.
I’m hoping to just stay healthy, get fitter and get into the hiking groove. Good first day.
I’m writing this part later: camp was not all quiet. Not long after typing the above, four guys came back to camp from the bar and hiked in more beer with them too. They were pretty loud until another guy there asked to cool it. That worked; could’ve been worse.
Day 2 5-22
We woke up and got out of camp pretty fast. The other quiet guys were leaving so I got up and started packing. Everything was wet so I tried to hang a few things up as I worked at getting things together. My tarp was wet in both sides from condensation. That and wet socks went on top of the pack, and I hoped they’d dry out.
We walked about a mile out to cross the Arrowhead Trail, and discussed mileage option for the next camps. We elected to take a short day to ease into the miles, dry stuff out and rest up.
We stopped at the South Carlson site, which is really nice. Big, open, with dry ground in a pine grove, and a swampy lake edge. Both Ryan and I unpacked and hung stuff up to dry and had breakfast. After an hour or so we packed up now dry stuff and started walking. 2.5 more miles to Hazel campsite.
We passed a creek and hiked on a narrow gravel backcountry road. There was another break at a creek, filling water and then washing dirty socks.
We found the site, thankfully empty. The rest of the afternoon was sunny and breezy, so clothes dried and one could sit out without bug spray for a few hours at least.
As I’m finishing this at 7pm, there’s thunder in the distance.