In the transition zone between hardwood and boreal and along ancient volcanic ridges, the rugged and scenic Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) is a 310-mile path starting just south of Duluth and following the North Shore of Lake Superior to Canada.
At Hellacious Overlook, squalls move over Lake Superior then it’s one more high point until the end near Canada.
It’s all mist and drizzle through the mysterious Devil Track past seven creeks to a friend’s warm cabin.
A brilliant sunrise leads to a damp day and a wet plant “carwash” past Grand Marais, field-testing a rain poncho.
It’s rolling terrain through forest past mountains with views, then gorgeous Lake Agnes and Poplar River.
A glorious day past rushing Cross and Temperance Rivers and over the highest point, Carlton Peak.
An exposed Canadian Shield island on Sonju Lake is followed by wild Manitou River and glorious Horseshoe Ridge.
It’s one of the most difficult days from Tettegouche to Section 13 on high cliffs above Gitchee Gumee.
The views are superb of the big lake and glacial Bean and Bear Lakes below basalt cliffs.
The trail begins to feel like it’s arrived on the shore tracing both Gooseberry Falls and wild Split Rock River.
The trail provides like magic on a day filled with birdsong and my first big climbs.
It’s a fantastically windy day on trail through regenerating forests and gigantic ferns.
More lovely streams and forests before following a snowmobile trail through swamp.
The heat is nearly unbearable, but dozens of cascading streams and the lake walk make for a great day.
The bug net is on and the humidity gives me ‘big hair’ as I move from forest to exposed rock.
I leave right after presenting on New Zealand and enter dense bush filled with ferns and birdsong.
Blissful is reminded how hard hiking can be, but comes back to herself when surrounded by dragonflies.
Blissful begins to walk like a thru-hiker steeply up and down the Sawtooth Mountains.
Blissful dips her toe back into backpacking for a few days on the SHT, close to both home and roads.