Daily Miles: 12
Total Miles: 164
This morning we decided to get up at our normal time of 5:45am. That way, by the time we were ready to hike, we wouldn’t need our headlamps. We knew we didn’t need to do big miles today, so it was nice to sleep a bit later.
It was so warm and humid last night, that we had only the bare essentials for clothes on. That meant lots of sticky skin touching the hammock. It felt like our bodies were glued to the hammock fabric and it was actually hard to move around. Definitely not a good feeling. We also spent good chunks of the night without our sleeping bags on us….everything just felt too hot and clammy.
This morning started out with a named feature called “The Drainpipe”. It was basically a very steep climb by means of stone steps and wooden stairs. It continues to amuse us how someone feels the need to name this areas.
We spent awhile this morning walking above Bear Lake and Bean Lake. The trail stays high above these lakes, but the view is pretty iconic for this trail. It was a very picturesque view, so we can understand why it is so frequently used.
We started to see a lot of day hikers doing this loop around the lakes. We chatted with a few…mostly about the crazy weather. Luckily today was warm, but not as warm as the past few days.
We got to our road into Silver Bay just after noon. Our hitching luck wasn’t as good today. We tried hitching for at least twenty minutes…we were surprised when day hikers we talked to on the trail wouldn’t give us a ride.
We started walking towards town (at least three miles away), putting out our thumbs whenever a car would drive by. Luckily we didn’t even walk a quarter mile before a local couple in a truck pulling a tiny house stopped and picked us up. We got in the bed of the truck and it felt so good to have the wind on our faces.
We got dropped off at the grocery store (with a restaurant next door where we planned to eat lunch). Our resupply box was at a motel a half mile away, so while the guys shopped for resupply (Beardoh picking up some additions for us), SweetPea walked down to the motel, picked up our package and walked back.
When SweetPea was walking to the motel, she passed the “Welcome to Silver Bay” sign. Next to the sign was a statue of sorts for the town mascot…Rocky Taconite. Looking at the sign, we learned that Silver Bay is the taconite capital of the world. Now we just need to find out what taconite is used for.
We had a really good lunch at the Family Grille. With the air conditioning and the cold sodas, SweetPea had her wind shirt on in the restaurant…but it was great to feel cooled off.
After lunch, we sorted our food on an outdoor table. We had a few locals stop and ask about our trip as we were getting ourselves sorted in town. We definitely felt the Minnesota hospitality.
Trying to hitch back to the trail felt eerily similar to our experience coming into town. We tried hitching for about twenty minutes, then started walking while thumbing when cars would pass. Finally we got picked up by another local. He knows about the trail and understood how tiring it would be for us to walk the road back to the trailhead. We were certainly grateful for the ride.
Once we got back to the trail, we had just over three miles to our camp. With full bellies and the hot sun, it was slow walking. The first mile had a lot of uphill and was mostly totally exposed to the sun. We are so used to the green tunnel giving us shade…we were certainly feeling the heat.
Of course, we managed to squeeze a break into our three mile stretch. We had a great rock slab that was partially shaded, with views out to the lake. The last few days, the views of the lake have been so hazy that it just looks like a blue smudge on the horizon. Hopefully once the heat wave ends we’ll get back to nice views of Lake Superior.
Tonight we are camped at the East Beaver River campsite. The river looks very brown, but when we filled up our water bottles, the water looked descent. Beardoh laid down in the river to cool off, while SweetPea did laundry and took a wash cloth bath. It was nice to clean up and cool off a bit.
We have the campsite to ourselves tonight which is nice. It is a surprisingly noisy campsite (aside from the river itself), with a train track nearby and an ATV trail close as well. Hopefully the train doesn’t keep us awake overnight. We will probably all wear earplugs just in case.