After backpacking with Laura for a few days (read about that trip here), it was time for our group trip, Wild Heart. This trip is a four day, three night women's backpacking trip and yoga retreat. While waiting for the group, I spent time at a diner, looking up the answers to questions about the area I had thought of the past few days. I also did some beachcombing to relax. Lake Superior was cold as always, but after I got past the numb feet I found a few great rocks. I usually have a good eye for fossils, but this time I also found an amethyst!
As the group of five women arrived, our tent city started coming together and I began making dinner: fish tacos. After eating and cleaning up, we relaxed around the fire a bit and started getting to know each other. The next morning while I made breakfast, Laura led the group in some yoga. We then spent some time fitting backpacks and making packing decisions. How many layers do you really need? Is this pair of shoes too heavy? Many choices to make.
Right as the final pack was put in a car... it started raining. Perfect timing! We caravaned over to Lake of the Clouds to check out the view. With the humidity and fog, the view was not far-reaching but was a little ethereal.
By the time we dropped off a few of the cars and got to our starting trailhead, the rain had slowed down to a fine mist. We brought our packs uphill to Summit Peak, the highest point in the park, crossing our fingers for a view. There was a fine view... of a fog bank! But the lookout tower was a great place to have lunch and change out of our rain gear. The group was perhaps a little dismayed to walk past the cars towards our path, but hey, it was a good warm up 😂
After our break, we walked through some stunning scenery including wetlands, a beaver pond, and incredible old growth forests. The group was getting used to their packs, but were still quite happy to reach the cabins! We had two small cabins (on either side of a river) and a campsite rented, and the group dispersed to get settled in. The Greenstone Falls area is beautiful, right on Little Carp River in a heavily forested area. After dinner, most of the group went to bed early to recover from the hike. The sunset through the trees was amazing; bright red light shifting everywhere.
As always, I was up early making coffee and breakfast. I wasn't sure how the group would feel in the morning, but they were all up quite early and excited to go on a long day hike. An excellent recovery! We planned a long out-and-back hike down to Big Carp River and Lake Superior. It was a beautiful walk, with much to look at. Highlights include a bear paw print, a gigantic chicken-of-the-woods mushroom, many horse hoof parasitic fungi, wildflowers, hemlocks, and a few toads.
One woman twisted her ankle on a root, so we did cut the hike a little short, but it was getting late in the day anyways so it made the most sense. We had lunch on the trail while she rested, and stopped at Big Carp River to take in the view before turning around. Getting back, we enjoyed relaxing by the river and cooling our feet before eating dinner and most importantly, a dessert of peach crumble, and chatting in a cabin with the woodstove lit while it rained. So peaceful!
Walking back on the final day was a time to reflect on the days spent in nature and on the new people we met. We had a great group of women to share this experience with, excellent weather, and a beautiful location.
Below are some more photos, some with captions. To be notified of future trips, please join the mailing list at the bottom of the page.