Upper Minnesota wilderness gave us the opportunity to kayak and canoe in the Boundary Waters near Canada. Hiking trails were not as easily available as the water – so we switched to upper body exercise for two days. The temperature was in the 80s – perfect for watersports.

Another Midwest Hiker Blogger had mentioned the eight State Parks near Lake Superior above Duluth on the road to Canada. I had kept copies of her notes, and other bloggers for a few months before this trip. We headed through miles and miles of trees on MN Highway 1 through wilderness to the edge of Lake Superior. 

Stunning. Big. Dangerous. Cold. Beautiful blue. We walked to where the river we had followed fell into Lake Superior. On a warm August day, the large families were taking in the last week of summer before the kids, hopefully, went back to school during Covid.  

One of the sad things about Covid is the distance it is putting between people. Americans have always been so friendly on trails and now – masks, heads down, moving off the trails, not speaking, or even making eye contact because of concern of spread. It feels unfriendly and not American. 

 “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” I Corinthinans 10:11-12 NIV

Tettegouche was a beautiful State Park with waterfalls and warnings. Finally found the trail to High Falls and Two-step falls, and hiked two miles with a 570 feet elevation. A good sweat in humidity, but don’t get close to people. Don’t let too many people cross the bridge. Closed. Closed for social distancing. Sad signs everywhere. 

At the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, a couple asked the guardian attendant if she would take a picture. The guardian, with the antiseptic and sign-in sheet, said, ”I cannot touch your camera or leave my post.”  Geez. This is nuts and certainly not normal. 

At Gooseberry Falls State Park, the temperature started to drop. It hovered in the low 60s as we stayed near the water, a front came through, and a light rain drizzled everything. We walked the paths with many other people – all of us thrilled to be outside. Even with social distancing and restrictions. 

We stopped at famous Ruth’s Pies to try Pastees, (pie with meat).  They took our names and we waited 20 minutes for the restricted indoor dining.  Tables socially distanced, so they had much more take out business. We ate luscious Brambleberry and Apple Crumb pies  – eat when you can, as you never know where you are going to find restaurants open in the Wilderness.

What do you miss about hiking before Covid? What is better after Covid? How do you, be you behind a mask?

Leave a Reply