Section hiking: The Superior Hiking Trail

Superior Hiking Trail Duluth K9 Sportsack

Overlooking the St. Louis Bay

My boyfriend, our two dogs and I recently relocated to northern Minnesota, the Duluth area in particular. Living by Lake Superior is honestly pretty cool – weather wise and opinion ūüėČ Today it was 20 degrees hotter up on the hill of Duluth than it was lake side! Anyways I’m sitting here in my new space created in our extra bedroom, I don’t know what to call it yet but I’m in love and haven’t left since yesterday (if you follow along with me on snapchat you saw before and afters) maybe I’ll do a post on it? Okay so I’ve been a little distant from the computer and I¬†thought I’d let you in on what I’ve been up to!

For starters Jax sliced one of his paw pads WIDE open it looks like a knife wound, not sure where it happened but it was somewhere on the trail. So with him down I have time to get things done at our new house like finish unpacking the last box and decorate. Also had to go get him a cone because its everything we can do to keep him from licking his wound. I also have had time to edit pictures and write posts – enjoy!

Superior Hiking Trail walkways

Walkways built by SHTA

The Superior Hiking trail is 326 miles (310 main trail, 16 spur trail) that goes from a remote Minnesota/Wisconsin border just south of Duluth all the way up to Canada along Lake Superior for most of the journey. I have been working on section hiking the SHT, currently trails in the Duluth city limits only. I’ve covered the Kingsbury Creek to Skyline Parkway at Highland Street – 3.2 miles climbing Kingsbury Creek which is FULL of different sized falls the entire way. Because the Spring thaw is happening its moving crazy fast – nothing to let you dog off leash near. Then the Skyline Parkway at Highland Street to Skyline Parkway at North 24th Ave West. This trail is 5.7 miles that continues to climb Kingsbury Creek and cross lots of other cute little creeks with mini falls and cascades and ends climbing up a portion of Keene Creek.

EXCEPT WHEN I HIKED THIS PORTION IT WAS MORE LIKE 9 MILES BECAUSE I LOST MY GLASSES TWICE AND HAD TO TURN BACK FOR THEM.

Superior Hiking Trail woods

In the woods on the Superior Hiking Trail

We skipped the next portion of trail that goes past the UMD campus and other road walks in town and went to Canal Park and finished the last half of the Enger Park to Rose Garden section along whats knows as the Lake Walk – a paved trail that starts at Bayfront Beach and takes you around 7 miles to Brighton Beach, however the SHT stops at the Rose Garden.

Superior Hiking Trail Duluth St. Louis Bay

Overlooking the St. Louis Bay on the Superior Hiking Trail

Superior Hiking Trail Lake Superior Lake Walk

Lake Walk along Lake Superior

This really is an amazing trail, I can’t wait to keep traveling along it to see what the north woods of Minnesota really have to offer! I wish I had the time to thru hike the SHT but I just can’t find it. I’ll do a more in depth post on each section later, yeah? Have you thru hiked it? Also working on section hiking it? Hiked one trail? I’d love to hear about it – leave it in the comments below!

Gotta get ready for work – happy hiking!

Mag

 

The Cliff Dweller

The Cliff Dweller

I found this little motel right on the side of HWY 61 in Tofte, MN and its worth posting about!

First of all its literally next to the highway so getting there is no big deal. Every room, I mean literally every¬†room has a gorgeous view. Also the doors face the road so every deck is water side.¬† We slept with the shades open because no one can see in and what beats waking up to only water and sky in the midwest? You’d think you were near the ocean the way you can hear the waves crashing all night. We took full advantage of our deck even though it was below zero all week – the sun was amazing. Perfect for an afternoon sandwich or a sunset bottle of champagne!

 

The owners of the motel are this really nice couple who bought the property and moved up from southern Minnesota. They have been restoring it themselves and doing a REALLY good job, the atmosphere is great. We told them of our diet restrictions (GF) and they made sure to have options at the continental breakfast for us – and they did! The breakfast room has tons of windows and a monocular for whale watching….okay ship watching theres no whales in Lake Superior.

 

 

The price is just right, the breakfast is included and not too shabby, they allow dogs and the rooms have amazing views. If you’re going on a vacation up north – maybe snowboarding in Lutsen, hiking Grand Portage National Park or just looking for a moose – Make sure you add The Cliff Dweller to your list of options for places to stay. This of course is all my own opinion but I think you’d have a similar experience to mine, GREAT!

Where should I stay next?

Happy hiking!

-Mag

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