Climbing Mt. Josephine

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Mt. Josephine summit sign Mt. Josephine is one of many peaks in the Sawtooth Mountains, this one in particular has a 1,342ft elevation and is in the village of Grand Portage, MN.  It takes just a couple turns off of scenic HWY 61 to get there. When the road comes to a “T” I highly recommend taking a quick right to see the Grand Portage National Monument before continuing north to the trail head. Its a super cool historic depot that used to serve as a fur trade center and played a part in Ojibwe history. If you have time to check it out its a great deal –  its free!

Grand Portage National Monument

 

The trail starts out fairly easy its a large path you’ll take for a 1/2 mile. Keep your eye out for the tiny little summit sign or you’ll miss your left turn up the mountain. Thats when it gets strenuous. You’ll gain 700ft of elevation in the next mile of short switchbacks. There is some random stuff like an old car body in the woods and a tree that looks like a toilet. tree toilet

 

 

How weird does it sound that there are mountains in Minnesota? They may not be as tall as the rockies but they share the same difficulties on the trail and offer tons of room for activities. Some people can live in Minnesota their whole life and never know that northern Minnesota has such places (cough cough my boyfriend). Not only are there mountains but there is Lake Superior which looks like an ocean and similar to the coast of Maine in my opinion. You get an amazing view of the lake from the top of the mountain, I was told on a clear day you can see all the way to the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin. We however chose to do the hike when it was below zero and partly cloudy so we had no such view. There is what looks to be remnants from an old house on the top and you can see in every direction.

 

Make sure you have good foot wear – since it was winter we made sure to have Yaktrax on our feet so we didn’t lose footing on the skinny trail. Also make sure you get the right size, mine are too big and they slide all over my foot, I still get great traction, they just have to be adjusted a lot. The hike is a little ass kicker but the views from the top are worth it. I’d love to see the North Shore from the top of Mt. Josephine in the Fall sometime. For now I’ll settle with February because I mean come on this is beautiful!

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Mt. Josephine

Have you ever been? I highly recommend it! All you need is to spare a few hours to take a 3 mile hike to see some beauty in Northern Minnesota. And I don’t know maybe bring some champagne and snacks and watch the sunset – make a date out of it!

Happy Hiking!

-Mag

 

New year, new blog

HAPPY FREAKING 2018 EVERYONE!!!

Is anybody else as excited for this year as I am?

Because there are big things happening with A Hiker’s Life – like BIG!

Let me start by saying I am sorry from the bottom of my heart for the lack of posts these last couple of months – my computer, where all of my pictures and info are, had Fireball Whiskey spilled all over it – no no not by me, I divorced that shit years ago. BLEH! However, while I’ve been saving up to fix my computer I was working hard behind the scenes of AHL to create content and really focus on the brand. I even hired a graphic designer who is a BAD ASS and we’re creating some really great stuff!

2018 looks like this:

  1. Fix computer
  2. Buy new camera
  3. Hike
  4. Revamp AHL site
  5. Hike
  6. Move out of Shakopee, MN
  7. Hike

My boyfriend and I have some creative idea’s up our sleeve – you may even see product so be sure to subscribe and keep your eyes open for my emails.

SO MANY GEARS TURNING!!

Thank you for your patience while I work out my kinks and get this site up and running!

Happy new year of hiking!

-Mag

YUMMY CAMPFIRE BREAKFAST BOWLS

 

yummy campfire breakfast bowls

You wake up to the sound of the birds, open your tent to the morning dew, fire up the jet boil and get some coffee going and…wait…not oatmeal?!

On a regular day I’m not much of a breakfast eater – yeah yeah most important meal of the day blah blah blah – okay I eat it when I need it. And when I need it I know, like when preparing for a hike.

You can only eat mush and bars for breakfast so many times, you know?

And if I can get at least one good hearty breakfast in while camping I’m going to.

So as long as you have a cooler you’re good to go with a “gourmet” campfire breakfast – (we’re talking regular car camping here not backpacking because the less weight the better, like who wants to lug a cooler around, really?)

Breakfast bowls are where my heart is – one bowl, one pan and done.

What you’ll need:

Eggs (they make that cute little 4 or 6 pack), potatoes, bacon, cheese, olive oil & seasonings of your choice.

You’ll also need a good fire and a cast iron skillet (super heavy not ideal for backpacking)

ready to plate

 

Get your pan hot, add the potatoes and go about your morning routine because potatoes take forever to cook. Once the potatoes have been turned and are starting to soften up lay the bacon down. When the bacon is cooked add cheese atop your potatoes and crack your eggs! We went with sunny side up because I love a runny yoke. Throw some salt and pepper on your eggs and potatoes, grab your camp bowl, load it up and enjoy your very own yummy campfire breakfast bowl!

…and watch out for that damn gravity when you crack your eggs into the pan…

 

What do you eat for camp breakfasts? I’d love to know I’m always looking for new stuff to try!

Happy Hiking (eating)!

Mag

Speed Hike

I had to share this awesome shot I got overlooking The Minnesota River Valley and Shakopee.

MN River Valley, Shakopee

#nofilter

There’s something about the purple flowers, Jax in mid stride and the eerie clouds that makes it look so still and beautiful – or that fact that it was about to down pour – just trying to look at the bright side over here!

Some times you can sneak in a pretty little hike before the rain takes over and get yourself some peace and quiet. The woods are different just before a storm.

Happy hiking!

-Mag

 

CARMODY 61

Carmody 61, Two Harbors, MNWho doesn’t love fish tacos? Okay I know some people don’t but I ON THE OTHER HAND LOVE THEM.

It was hot, we had just hiked through Jay Cooke State Park, we were thirsty (for beer) and hungry. We drove through Duluth – you come up and over this huge hill that drops you into a mini city in northern Minnesota – One of the prettiest sights in the state if you ask me. I’ll post on this some other time because rn we’re talking tacos.

A ways up from Duluth on 61 is the town Two Harbors, we decided to stop at a bar we noticed on the side of the road. We left the exhausted dogs in the truck with the A/C blasting and pulled up to a picnic table on the patio. The bartender came out right away and I asked him for a couple of waters with no ice for the dogs in the truck – his reply made my day – WELL GRAB YOUR DOGS AND BRING THEM ON THE PATIO I’LL FILL A DOG BOWL FOR THEM – yes I found a place in Minnesota that lets you have your dogs on the patio with you (they’re rare here) so it was awesome!Carmody 61 tacosWe ordered beer from the local brewery Castle Danger and my boyfriend ordered the Korean BBQ tacos and I the Fish – I believe it was Tilapia – I knew I should have written it down damnit. To say the least the tacos were unreal. The beer equally refreshing. The dogs happy as can be under the picnic table with their water bowl enjoying lunch with us.IMG_1019It was one of the best road side stops we’ve ever made – SO if you find yourself in Two Harbors, MN be sure to stop and try some tacos – that’s not even their specialty though so if you’ve had their other food, do tell!

Happy hiking (eating)!

 

-Mag

Gooseberry Falls State Park

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After stopping for a lunch date at Carmody 61 my boyfriend and I decided to go to Gooseberry Falls State Park in Two Harbors, MN and I HAVE to share it with you! It’s also known as “the gateway to the North Shore” because it’s borders meet up with Lake Superior. Its like this cute little paradise tucked in the woods way up north.

You can almost always count on there being a few people here and it was PACKED. Partly because it was a Friday in July – peak vacation season – and partly because it was almost 100 degrees outside and 90% humidity.

It was SO F****** HOT why wouldn’t we go cool off at some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Minnesota?

The parking can be tough as the lot provided doesn’t compare to the amount of traffic during peak season, so like us you may end up parking on the road and having to walk a little bit. The Joseph N. Alexander Visitor Center has all your normal provided information on the history and resources, interpretive displays, nature store. There’s even a couple Electric Vehicle charging stations – a new addition this year.

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After you get your fix of information and memorabilia there is a short walk to either the Upper Falls or the Middle & Lower Falls. They practically bring you to the same place it just depends on if you’d like to overlook the waterfalls or be at the base. Depending on the time of year and recent rainfall the middle area of the waterfalls can be completely underwater. We got lucky and the water level was just right for me to stand in the mid point and take fun pictures in what would be an underwater passageway!

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BRING YOUR BIKES! There’s 15 miles of paved trails. If you’re familiar with the Gitchi-Gami State Trail  (you probably aren’t unless you’re Minnesotan) there is a 2.5 mile section that runs through GBF. The trail connects GBF to the town of Beaver Bay and has access to Lake Superior and campgrounds. There is standard campsites ($15-23/night) all the way up to the option of staying in a yurt ($50-65/night).

**This park is extremely handicap accessible (so much so that MN residents with physical disabilities get 1/2 price camping rates Sunday-Thursday)**

There is 20 miles of hiking trails along the Gooseberry River and 15 miles of groomed xx-skiing trails, 2 miles of snowmobile trails and you can snowshoe anywhere!

Some day I’ll make it down the tree lined trail to see the Fifth Falls but time did not permit it this trip (also I NEED to see this place in the winter time).

Some cool stuff about GBF is that it started showing up on explorer’s maps as early as 1670. It has also been determined by Geologists that about 1 billion years ago the earth began to split allowing lava to flow out which can be seen at the upper, middle and lower falls (or under my feet in the below picture).

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Remember your swimsuit, towel, SPF and some sort of water shoe!

Have fun & happy hiking!

-Mag

DOGGIE ZIPLINE

IMG_0713You know that rule in every campground that’s just so obnoxious? The one about how your dog must be on a leash no longer than 6ft at all times – SO INCONVENIENT

Well you see there’s a way around it! Here’s the super long list of supplies you’ll need:

A long ROPE (mines 30ft) and a CARABINER

Tie the rope between two trees at your campsite. Use the carabiner to attach your leash handle to the rope. Get a cozy harness for your dog and hook ‘em to their leash – WAHLAH! Doggie zip line.

You may now go back to your regularly scheduled camping life hands free of your dog.

Happy hiking!

-Mag

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