As we approached the end of the Duluth Traverse, the trail winded us through pine forests of Hartley Nature Center.
As soon as we arrived at the edge of the water, we could feel the cold pressing on us. The air temp was 53 degrees, while it was closer to 80 on top of the hill. Wool jerseys were put on, and we pushed forward heading towards Two Harbors.
40 miles into our day we arrived at our remote camping spot, right on the water, stoked to be there taking in all the fresh air and crashing freshwater waves. The flat slate rocks were perfect for chilling on and drinking a few beers as dusk set in.
Camp was super basic, and primitive. Just how we wanted it.
After the sun went down, the strawberry moon rose on the east side of the lake. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect evening. I couldn't stop having fun with the camera, trying to catch waves as the broke in front of the moon.
Day two was a much mellower day in terms of mileage, but the plan was to take a snowmobile trail that led to railroad tracks that would eventually bring us right into Two Harbors and Castle Danger Brewery
. We made it to the gate where the snowmobile trail started.
A quarter mile past this sign the trail was covered with water. I thought it was rideable, but I immediately sunk up to my hub in mud. Thinking that the water might subside a little ways up, I hiked on higher ground through the woods to see how long the water went down the trail. As far as the eye could see, there was water. Instead of bushwhacking for 7-8 miles through a swamp, we decided to make a dash to Two Harbors so we could have a few beers and chill on the water.
The wind had shifted overnight and was blowing hot air in from the south. We capped off a perfect weekend with a growler of beer out on the lighthouse right over the water in Two Harbors. This is one of the places I look forward to every summer, because it is so serene and calming. With only a 2.5 hour drive from Minneapolis, it immediately feels like you are in a different climate and geology, as if you had arrived in Scandinavia. So awesome. I'm already looking forward to the next trip to this giant freshwater sea.