First night in my new-to-me tent . It's a keeper!
My Rivendell MUSA cycling shorts transition superbly from cycling to hiking. They also would have made a wonderful swimming short if I had decided to risk the stiff currents in the river.
I had a great evening relaxing around this campsite. I don't know when I became a techy. But I came with a Nook eBook reader and an iPod touch. I finished the last 60 pages of one book and read the first 50 pages of another one. Then I listened to two podcasts on the iPod. Then as the sun went down I sat on the bench and listened to some Mozart violin concertos. I could still hear the sounds of the river through the earpieces over the music. Normally the sound of the river is all I need, but the Mozart seemed to enhance the experience on this evening.
After a good sleep, I had a leisurely breakfast with coffee from my Planetary Designs french press mug . I have a copy of Henry David Thoreau's Walden on my Nook. It was nice to sit under the large pines with the birds singing, the sounds of the river and read a few pages of Walden.
I started my hike out by 9:30. My pack was the lightest it's ever been. I've never been an ultralight backpacker, but I have been slowly purchasing lighter equipment over the past 7 or 8 years. Namely a lighter bag, pad, stove and mess kit, and now a true ultralight tent. It was great moving along under a much lighter pack. I think my current gear now falls within ultralight parameters.
I made it back to the lake and main park area pretty quick without much effort. This park is only 8 miles from Superior WI and gets a lot of day use. The picnic area and beach is very popular. I think the only reason they never see people arriving on bikes is because of the busy highway. Most people aren't willing to ride that stretch even though there is a 4-5 foot wide shoulder.
This park has the largest waterfall in Wisconsin and the 4th largest this side of the Rockies. Yet I'd never been to the other side of the highway to see it in person. I decided today would be a good day to view the falls with the river flowing so high. So I took the tunnel under the highway to get to the falls area.
This is where the river goes over a 165 foot drop into a narrow gorge.
This is the bottom part of the falls. I couldn't capture the entire falls from this viewing platform. I couldn't believe I hadn't taken the time to see these falls before. You'd never guess these spectacular falls were even here as you drive by on the highway only a few feet from the top of the falls.
The view to the valley as the Black River flows towards it.
Leaving the park entrance you can see Superior, WI and the hills of Duluth beyond it. It's practically all downhill from here.
Once in Superior it's only a matter of getting across the bridge and then two miles to home.
Another successful S24O. I was home by noon, yet it seemed more like 48 hours. I hope to do more trips this year. I'll let you know if I do.
As I write this on Saturday at 12:45 pm the temperature in Duluth is 56F/13C degrees with 20 mph winds, and on and off rain. Our cool weather comes back. I prefer this to 100 degrees on the heat index.