Monday, September 24, 2012

Bean and Bear Lakes Loop; Superior Hiking Trail: September 22, 2012

Happy first day of autumn!  What better way to celebrate the arrival of my favorite season than by going on a hike with my favorite person and my favorite dog?

The colors have been exploding up here on the North Shore.  I've been nervous about missing the peak - we've had the drought, then crazy rain.  We've also had widespread frost and a few light freezes...and a trace of snow.  All of these things can lead to unpredictable fall color, or a season in which you go to bed with the trees all green and wake up to cold wind and snow...and all the leaves rotting on the ground.

So!  We decided that we'd better get out there and see what there was to see.  My guess is that the area inland was at about 40%, good enough to take Joe up to the Bean and Bear Lakes Loop of the Superior Hiking Trail.

This post will be in three parts:  the first part is the one in which I babble (you're reading that part right now); the second part is some pictures that I took with my dinky camera (and some witty commentary); and the third part is just pictures that Joe took.  He's a great photographer and has a much better camera.  Just sit back and look at the pretty.

Joe vs. the Sign

The first thing that happened is that Joe tried to pose by the tilting sign.  He almost knocked it over.  The picture is of him catching it before it crashed to the ground...and Thunderdog laughing at him.  Hmm...I have a theory now about how all of the signs got tilted...

If you're really interested in the details of this trail, you can check out the hike I took here with Thunderdog in August.  In a nutshell: it is a 6.4 mile trail that starts in Silver Bay and goes way up onto a high ridge above two inland lakes (Bean Lake and Bear Lake).  In August I said that the trail seemed to be about 80% uphill and I didn't care if that was a literal impossibility because it was a loop.  This time it seemed that it was only about 75% uphill.  But that was okay - lots to see.

Ah!  Even Thunderdog is interested in the view.

It took us four hours of hiking and picture-taking before we got back to the car.  The wind was relentless - it was blowing in over the ridge, not out over it.  If it had been blowing out I would have been terrified the whole time.  It also rained a few times, and the temps varied between t-shirt weather and freezing-cold weather.  It was hard going, but it was worth it.  I promised that next weekend we would take two short hikes instead of one huge one.

And now, onto Joe's excellent pictures.  Enjoy!!

Me in a cloud of yellows and greens

Rocks, trees, sky, and sea
A riot of reds, oranges, and greens

Nature's fireworks

Total miles hiked today: (this park) 6.4
Total miles hiked (in 2012): 132.5

Total ticks today: Joe - 0; Thunderdog - 1; Elly - 0
Total ticks (in 2012): 49

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