Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Day 4: The Duluth Lakewalk

June 3: It rained all night, but it stopped in the early morning hours and Blueberry and I were back on the trail by around 9:00am. It was a very wet and muddy trail!

Amanda dropped us off at the Becks Road parking lot where we were extracted about 24 hours earlier. The trail climbed up to Ely Peak with great views of the surrounding area. Almost immediately, my camera started suffering difficulties. The viewscreen was flickering. I didn't know if that was a problem that would affect the photos or just the ability to look at the photos, but camera problems are why I always carry a backup for these hikes and I stopped long enough to switch out the camera with my backup. It's the same backup I've been using ever since I thru-hiked the PCT in 2010!

The trail passed multiple scenic overlooks as it headed toward Duluth, and I took the necessary photos. Not just of the scenic overlooks, of course, but of everything along the trail. That's my job, after all!

And a few uneventful hours later, we arrived at the Spirit Mountain Recreation Area which finally connected with the segment we hiked our first day in Duluth.

Amanda picked us up, and being around lunchtime, we went out to eat at Perkins.

Later, Amanda dropped us back off on W Michigan Street--where Blueberry and I ended our first day on the trail--and continued our hike into downtown Duluth.

And the trail really does run through the heart of Duluth. It passes next to the aquarium which we had explored the day before during the horrible storm. We were delayed for a bit at the Minnesota Slip Bridge when the drawbridge went up to let a boat through, but continued on about five minutes later and passed under one end of the Aerial Lift Bridge--perhaps the most famous landmark in the city.

We detoured off the trail a short ways to take a closer look at the Duluth North Pier Lighthouse, then followed the Duluth Lakewalk along the shore of Lake Superior.

Blueberry was hiking a little bit ahead of me--I was going slower to take photos--and one person asked Blueberry if he was an SHT thru-hiker, which pleased Blueberry to no end. I was baffled how anyone would recognize Blueberry as a thru-hiker. He was slackpacking, was wearing both a skirt and a scarf and did not--so I thought--look anything like a thru-hiker! And somehow, that observant individual didn't seem to notice that I too was a thru-hiker. Baffling, I tell you!

We read all of the plaques and signs along the walk about historical notes of interest, and it was interesting, so that slowed us down.

When we reached the Rose Garden, the trail headed inland away from the lake once again and we followed roads and trails through parks until we arrived at the Hartley Nature Center late in the afternoon. We were done for the day!

Amanda picked us up and we made a few quick stops looking for a place where I could buy a replacement for my ailing camera. We stopped at Wal-Mart, but they didn't have the camera I was looking for. Then we stopped at Target, and Best Buy, and a local camera store and struck out at all of them. Looked like I'd have to order it online or have Amanda buy it somewhere else and mail it to me on the trail.

Then we headed to Sammy's Pizza for dinner. Our waitress saw us looking over maps of the Superior Hiking Trail, figuring out what we'd be doing the next day, and told us that she had thru-hiked the SHT herself. I asked her a few questions about it, but she didn't seem to have any advice we should know. We asked her about the possibility of seeing a moose--Blueberry had never seen one before and was anxious to see his first one. She assured us that we were all but guaranteed to see at least one on the trail. I hoped so, but wasn't entirely convinced we'd be tripping over moose either.

Living the good life!

Blueberry admires the view from the top of Ely's Peak.

Blueberry goes crazy with his fancy new skirt!

After the rain all day yesterday and most of the night, the trails were muddy! Super muddy!
The Spirit Mountain Recreation Area was a great place to reach--it finally linked our hike from the beginning of the trail to the section we did our first day out!
After lunch, Amanda dropped us off where we stopped at the end of our first day of hiking where we immediately crossed I-35 into Duluth.
This scenic train looked like it would be fun to ride, but maybe another time...

That's the Aerial Lift Bridge in the distance, a major landmark of Duluth!

Blueberry shows off his fancy new skirt. This doesn't look like a thru-hiker, does it?

Duluth North Pier Lighthouse

The trail really does run right through Duluth! Look! There's a waymarker!
Those geeselins were so adorable!!!!

What?! Say it isn't so! (It's not... you can just walk around that little section.)

Lake Superior holds about 10% of the world's fresh water supply! I found it very weird to be looking across a body of water so wide that I couldn't see the other side... and it's fresh water! It's so unnatural!
The best part of the Lakewalk... no mud!
Lief Erikson statue

Blueberry shows off his hiking muscles!

Blueberry found this (working!) relic of the 20th century.

That sounds like a terrible trail!!!!

We finished the day's walk by the Hartley Nature Center--although the nature center itself was closed when we arrived.
We took this photo because we thought it would be hilarious to add it to the People of Walmart blog. Which I haven't done, but I really should once I think of a good explanation for it! =)

Charging our phones at the KOA. =)


GG said...

I'm missing seeing your shadow photo-ops.
Looks like it must have been a touch chilly. Bb's wearing his Lj under his skirt.

Mary said...

That cat left home because he didn’t like wearing a bow tie!