Daily Miles: 13
Total Miles: 217
We had a really good stay in town yesterday. Having 24 hours off from hiking really helped us to feel refreshed today.
Yesterday, we scheduled a pick-up with the local “Dial a Ride” service for this morning at 10am. They would pick us up at the hotel and bring us back to the trailhead. We were glad to have that arranged, since it could be a pretty hard hitch back out to the trail.
It was nice to have a relaxed morning today. We hung out at the free breakfast for awhile and then we all took another shower before packing up.
We met folks in the hotel who were in the area because there is an ultramarathon on the SHT today. We just missed being on the trail with the race by about a day and a half. The race goes from Gooseberry Falls State Park to Lutsen. While it would be fun to see the racers, it does get old after awhile, as we would need to continually get off the trail so the racers could pass. This happened with us 5 years ago on the Tahoe Rim Trail.
We started hiking around 10:30am and we had a shorter day planned with the late start. The trail felt pretty flat and easy today, so the miles came quickly. One hiker told us today that the trail is pretty flat for the rest of the way to Duluth.
At one point today, we were walking through an underpass which was under a railroad track. We saw piles of small round pellets, which we figured was taconite…definitely resembled the head and body of Rocky Taconite, the mascot of Silver Bay. It almost looked like maybe a railroad car tipped over here, based on the amount of taconite we saw.
We saw several section hikers and two more thru hikers today. Our current count of thru hikers met on trail is now 6. Before starting the trail, we each guessed how many thru hikers we would see on the trail. Qball guessed 5, Beardoh 7, SweetPea 8 and JJ 12. We decided that whoever wins get a Blizzard from Dairy Queen.
We’ve learned a new bit of trail lingo during this hike. We’ve had two section hikers tell us they “were lashing” or “doing a bit of a lash”. We had no idea what the guy was talking about the first time we heard it, so we had to ask. Apparently “LASH” stands for “Long-Ass Section Hike”. So, when a section hiker used the term today, we actually knew what he was saying.
We got to the McCarthy campsite by 4:30pm, which felt very early. We are right next to a little creek with great water. It is an early night for us tonight…in our hammocks by 6:30pm.