South Beaver River Campsite
May 6, 2009
In the aftermath of the largest ice storm of my life, I got lost in Tettegouche State Park today but I took deep breaths and found myself. I know without a doubt that no one should hike this until it is cleared.
North Beaver River Campsite
May 16, 2009 with Phil
With no bear bag rope, we attempt to hang a bag with braided dental floss. It goes about as well as expected. This is the first time I have ever shared the Superior Hiking Trail with a friend. Little do I know that one month from today, Phil and I will be leaving for Maine to hike the Appalachian Trail.
Fault Line Creek Campsite
May 23, 2005
I keep pushing myself past campsite after campsite until I come to rest here, in the sunshine on the shores of a beautiful pond.
Beaver Pond Campsite
June 19, 2016
The forecast called for some thunderstorms, but only for a couple of hours, so I hike out from Cove Point Lodge this evening. The storms come, and they don’t stop. I have a quarter inch of water in my tent. I text Han, who offers to use a wormhole and his 4-wheeler to extract me. I wait it out and have never been so happy for my alarm to go off the following morning. I hike out in the dark until sun rises over the lake. I later learn that this storm killed people in the Boundary Waters. Perhaps I could make better choices.
Chapin’s Ridge Campsite
August 15, 2018
July 14, 2019
2019: Freshly-painted blazes greet me; bluer than any I’ve seen before. I’m grateful for those who love this trail.
Southeast Split Rock River Campsite
June 6, 2017
I’ve never had such an iconic SHT view from my tent.
Northeast Split Rock River Campsite
May 22, 2005
I kept intending to pull over but kept hiking.
Northwest Split Rock River Campsite
October 30, 2018
This is my final SHT campsite. I didn’t save it for last; it just happened to be the last. I carry out pie to celebrate and camp alone, as I usually do. This goal has been pushing me for the past three years; what do I do now?
Southwest Split Rock River Campsite
October 19, 2016
I suspect I will get very weary of the long, long spur trail from Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.
Blueberry Hill Campsite
September 5, 2018
There’s frost already — how can there already be frost? I wake up in the dark, hike down Blueberry Hill Road in the dark, and am mostly done with the Gitchi-Gami Trail before the sun rises. I see Orion for the first time this season.
Gooseberry Multi-Group Campsite
April 9, 2016
There’s snow and ice everywhere except a tiny patch where I set up my tent. I intended to go to Middle Gooseberry but giant river-heaved ice blocks had other ideas.
Middle Gooseberry Campsite
May 11, 2016
The ice has melted and green is beginning to show. It’s not nice enough yet to see anyone on the trail.
East Gooseberry Campsite
October 17, 2018
It’s a long haul on a work night, but I make the hike out and set up. This is a weirdly-situated campsite and I don’t love it. It’s so cold I am in pain. In the morning my headlamp battery dies completely, but I have to hike back to my car before sunrise. I strap my phone onto my forehead with the flashlight mode on. As I hike past Middle Gooseberry, other campers think I am a bear. I feel bad for walking out in the dark, but I am being as quiet as I can and failing miserably.
West Gooseberry Campsite
October 23, 2018
My second-to-last campsite. I could not bear the thought of hiking from the Gooseberry overnight lot yet again, so I park at Castle Danger although it is farther and more challenging. It is at least different. I am alone here, as I like it. I also like reincarnated signs and always wonder about their history. It’s bitter cold and my fingers and toes grow numb. I wake up at 2AM and shiver until 3AM. Then I give up, pack up, and hike out. Although I learned my lesson and have fresh headlamp batteries, I have the heebie-jeebies when I look out at the night. Because I have cell service, I play music quietly to distract my brain from the darkness surrounding me. I turn the music off as I near Crow Valley Campsite so as to not bother any potential campers. Then I turn it on again.
Crow Valley Campsite
May 16, 2005
August 17, 2016
2005: This is my first campsite on the Superior Hiking Trail. I have no idea what I am doing. I feel like I will never get to the campsite. I finally do. I filter water. It takes an hour to bear-bag my food.