Over Memorial Day weekend I went on a 2 night backpacking adventure along the Superior Hiking Trail. I was going solo which meant that I could hike at my own pace, take lots of pictures if I wanted to, stop and linger or push through. I had a lot of fun. I talked with a dude from the Superior Hiking Trail Association at the Outdoor Adventure Expo to get some ideas and he suggested that I hike from Castle Danger to Beaver Bay – 30 miles. That seemed reasonable enough.
I was planning to do a bike shuttle – drop my car or bike at one end and drive/ride to the other and hike through. I compared elevation, etc and chose to drop my bike off at the Castle Danger trail-head and drive to the Beaver Bay trailhead. The elevation change looked pretty equal, but the first several miles from the trail-head were on the road until it connected to the Gitchi-Gammi Bike Trail. So it seemed like a good idea to ride that fresh! As I was planning I had this nagging feeling that 30 miles might seem too short for 2 nights…
Saturday morning I got up early, finished packing, loaded the bike and hit the road. I stopped at Tobies for an excellent cinnamon roll and drove the Castle Danger trail-head. There was no place to lock my bike in the parking lot, but I found a road sign across the street that would work. I decided to take my front tire off and used my u-lock through both tires and the frame onto the street sign. I left the water bottle full on the rack and headed out. I made it to the Beaver Bay trail-head loaded up and hit the trail by 10am.
I was hiking from North to South and the trail guide is written in the opposite direction. This didn’t really create any trouble, but it was important to remember as I stopped to look at it and read the descriptions. I also needed to remember to stop and look in 360 degrees throughout so I didn’t miss any epic views! I accidentally left my hiking pole in the car and didn’t realize it until 1/2 mile or so in. I probably should have gone back for it, but oh well!
I hiked for quite a while before I saw anyone and then saw several people before lunch at the Beaver Bay campsite. This was also the first chance I had to try out my new UV water filter. It seemed to work well as I didn’t get sick!! It was a lot faster than either a hand pump or iodine tablets and didn’t taste nasty like iodine does!! Throughout the hike I did reflect on how relatively easy it was for me to use this $70 device to drink water any time I wanted and how hard it is for some people around the world to access safe water. It made me very grateful for all those who have supported my fundraising efforts for clean water in the Congo and served as a great reminder that I need to keep up the work of raising $50 to provide clean water access for life. You can do that here.