Monday, June 25, 2012

Reeves Road to Dixie's Bottle Shop; Superior Hiking Trail: June 21, 2012

I'm not sure if it came through in my last post, but the deluge and its aftermath kind of shocked me.  Shocked me in the "I feel numb and helpless" sort of way.  We didn't get much damage up here, but it got me thinking about disasters...which got me thinking about things like Mad Max and Cormac McCarthy's The Road.  Obviously, this is not Thunderdome and there will be no roasting of babies on spits anytime soon.  However, my uneasiness was tough to shake this last week, and it was not made better by our attempted hike on Thursday, June 21st.

Once the rain stopped, we needed to get outside.  Many of the roads out of town were still closed, so we went up to the closest Superior Hiking Trail trailhead: Reeves Road.  We've been there before.  I thought that a nice little walk on some familiar terrain would do us some good.


This doesn't look good.

First off, we got to the trailhead and discovered that Reeves Road had a big hole in it.  It was washed out - although we probably could have jumped across it with a little dash beforehand, I decided that it wouldn't be worth the risk.  So we went off in the other direction - which follows Highway 2 for half a mile, and then turns off to the right onto the snowmobile trail.

It was actually kind of nice out.
If you look closely, you'll see the SHT Blue Blaze on the telephone pole.  It's like a big straight tree.

Walking along the highway wasn't that bad.  There's a wide shoulder and there were lots of pretty wildflowers to look at.  Sure, we had to contend with occasional traffic and trucks - but we were outside!  On a walk!  It felt good!

We reached the turn at Dixie's Bottle Shop, and went onto the snowmobile trail.  Almost immediately, Thunderdog disappeared into the grass.

You can't see me!  (we can, but just barely)

No foolin', the grass was literally up to my waist.  Not only that, but there were thistles hidden in the tall grass.  Their wicked little spikes clawed through the legs of my pants and my socks, making me wince in pain.  It felt like tiny needles - and they stuck in my socks so the pain continued as we tried to find the trail.

After about 30 feet it became apparent that we could not continue on the snowmobile path.  It was essentially a lake.  Thunderdog was in muddy water up to her stomach, and my feet were soaked up to the knee.  We turned around and got back on the Highway, filthy and frustrated.  This was new: a section of the Superior Hiking Trail that was, in my non-expert opinion, completely impassable.

But moooom, I like the mud!

We walked back to the trailhead.  Our trip was exactly one mile and sixty feet: one mile alongside a highway, and sixty feet of mud and waist-high grass.  This will not go down in the record books as the Most Fun Part of the Superior Hiking Trail.  I didn't feel that much better after the "hike" - I still felt kind of low and unsettled.  Thunderdog, however, was unperturbed.  She wears her heart on her sleeve (collar?):  when she's unhappy, she lets me know.  When she's having a fine time, she looks like this:

Muddy Dogs are Happy Dogs.

Perhaps I should have jumped into the mud up to my waist, too.

Total miles hiked today: 1 miles
Total miles hiked (in 2012): 56.2
Total ticks today: Joe - 0; Thunderdog - 0; Elly - 0
Total ticks (in 2012): 45

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