Clingmans Dome Sunrise & Hike From Clingmans Dome to Newfound Gap - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Well, 2017 to this point had been a quite unusual year for us for many reasons. We hadn't hiked nearly as much as in years past, and I needed to get out. So the plan was an early morning start to watch the sunrise from the Great Smoky Mountains highest peak, and then an 8-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park wasn't on our "must see" list of National Parks, but we were in the area and we do want to visit as many of the National Parks as we can. So, we made this one-day trip and enjoyed three of the park's highlights.
I did a little early morning walk before we had to get our packs together for our ferry pick-up to take us back to Grand Portage. It was a peaceful morning before the noisy boat arrived. At the end of this post, we have some final thoughts on our first experience at Isle Royale National Park.
Today was a relatively short hike to our last campsite on Isle Royale. Along the way, we had a beaver encounter, and we watched otters at our destination. I caught a couple of pike at a small lake, and we had a wonderful evening. I think I need to plan more of these backpacking adventures.
Today we hiked half-way across the island and set up camp at the Lake Richie campsites. We didn't see much in the way of wildlife, but it was a nice hike and a beautiful evening with a lake view.
The boat ride from Grand Portage to our drop-off point on Isle Royale was no fun, but once we got off the boat and got settled, we immediately started enjoying this back-country adventure.
Isle Royale National Park is one of the least visited National Parks in the United States, which automatically makes it attractive to us. It's also difficult and expensive to access, but we were going to make it happen starting tomorrow. And we were going to do it via a three-night backpacking trip to enhance the wilderness experience. This post includes some information on the logistics of getting there and our planned hike.
It wasn't our intention to take two guided fishing trips here in Voyageurs National Park. The first was a month ago - Fishing Lake Kabetogama With A Guide - Round 1. But through some mis-communication and scheduling issues, I sort of ended up with commitments to two different guides and didn't want to cancel on either of them. We had fun both times, but we have to say our Round 1 guide was the winner.
It was a beautiful day on the lake as we visited a garden of rock sculptures, enjoyed the scenery, and spotted eagles and loons.
Well, we rented a pontoon boat and made a 50-mile round-trip from Kabetogama Lake to Kettle Falls. It was a beautiful day with nice scenery on the lake. But it wasn't without incident and we had to just go with the flow.
We love to fish, but we're southern bluegill and bass fishermen, so we decided to get a guide to help us out with walleye and pike fishing in this huge northern lake in Voyageurs National Park. That turned out to be a good idea, and we had a successful day.
Day 3 - The End of Our First Backpacking Trip - Cruiser Lake Trail - Voyageurs National Park - Minnesota
Well, today ended our three-day, two-night backpacking trip out in the wilderness of Voyageurs National Park. I call it a successful "experiment", and we'll do another trip later this summer.
Our first night out in the wilderness in Voyageurs National Park went well. Today, we hiked back to Agnes Lake for another night of camping. It was a beautiful, peaceful night as we had a campfire and listened to the calls of the loons.
Day 1 - Our First Ever Overnight Backpacking Experience - Cruiser Lake Trail - Voyageurs National Park - Minnesota
After all these years of day-hiking, I wanted to start getting out in the back-country more and stay overnight in peaceful natural areas. So, we bought a bunch of fancy, expensive, light-weight gear and scheduled this three-day, two-night trip in Voyageurs National Park to test ourselves and our equipment. This post is Day 1 and includes a lot of extra details about our gear and processes once we reached our destination.
We were working in northern Minnesota this summer (2015) about seven miles from Voyageurs National Park. There are two visitor centers: Kabetogama Lake & Ash River. Kabetogama Lake is closer, but today was our first trip to the Ash River area.