Monday, July 2, 2012

Backpacking to Beaver Creek

After spending Friday sightseeing and missing some pretty nasty weather, we were anxious to get our boots on and hit the trail. We were nervous too, as Lori and Lisa had never backpacked before. We'd made a poor attempt at doing some training, getting out twice in May with half full packs to kind of get a feel for how they fit and the distance we could travel. Let me just tell you, a half full pack is NOTHING like a completely full pack, and when I shouldered this bag I thought, "I have to go how far?!?"

In the world of backpacking three miles is nothing. People who do this often go 10 miles or more in a day. We however are not most backpacking people, and we were daunted. We put on brave faces though so Karin could take our picture.

Before the hike at the Beaver Creek trail head. Photo by Karin.

It was a warm day but not unbearable. I think we got out on the trail around 10 am, later than I wanted but it's hard getting four people together in any reasonable amount of time. We stopped several times, once for lunch and the others mostly to adjust equipment. 40 pounds was doing funny things to my equilibrium. I don't know how long it took us to go three miles but I'm going to guess around 2 1/2 hours.

Crossing Beaver Creek. Photo by Karin.

The trail's namesake creek is in a valley of sorts.  The campground is, of course, on the other side. The last climb, from the eastern side of Beaver Creek up to the campground, darn near killed us. We did finally make it, and found at the top a completely deserted campground.

View of Lake Superior from Beaver Creek campground.

It took us 15 minutes to choose a site. I think everyone was too tired to think. I was happy with the site we settled on.

Site number six at Beaver Creek.

We puttered around, setting up camp, then walked back down the dune to the creek to get water. Karin, the poor girl, was besieged by stable flies, biting flies that look much like house flies. She dove in the creek to escape their wrath. They don't seem to like me all that much.

Mouth of Beaver Creek at Superior

After we had dinner it seemed too early to turn in so we went for a short walk along the Lakeshore trail, which runs along Superior on the top of a ridge.

I waited around for the sun to set, and noticed scores of monarch butterflies sipping blueberry flowers.

 The sunset was well worth the wait, and the stable fly bites I got on my ankles.

Lake Superior sunset.

Next: Day hike to Trapper's Lake

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