Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hiking the Northcountry (Steve Schon finally has time to leave his busy desk)

On a beautiful fall day last week a few of us decided to get in one last long day hike before the snow started to fly.  Nancy Piragis, Tobi Mackey, Sharon Svatos, 3 dogs and I headed out for the trailhead of the Snowbank/Kekekabic trail system off the Snowbank Lake road some 20 miles east of Ely.

Although not as warm as the week before and with a few light drizzles in the afternoon, it was still great hiking weather.  We started off through mixed woods and soon crossed a clear cut with great views of moss covered cliffs.  We also passed a huge beaver lodge with what looked to be lots of recent activity.

After about 4 miles we entered the Boundary Waters and headed south on the loop to Becoosin and Benezie Lakes.  There were folks at the first campsite on Becoosin and shortly after that we came upon a dead Bald eagle.  All that was left were some feathers and bones a few of which were sampled by our canine companions.

On the way back we checked out the short trail north to Pickerel Bay on Snowbank and came upon a fire ring that had either gotten away from someone or been left unattended with a large circle of charred ground cover and many burned trees.  It was a graphic reminder of what can happen to any of us when we are careless with fire.

While backtracking to our vehicle we again came across the large beaver lodge only this time there was a large beaver on top of it!  Of course I couldn’t get my camera ready in time to capture it before it ambled back into the water but did catch a shot of Buddy returning from his failed retrieval after getting away from Tobi and pursuing his quarry in the pond.  It was quite exciting for all of us on land and even more so for those participants in the water.

After 7 hours and aprox. 13 miles (at least twice as far for the dogs) we were treated to Nancy’s homemade pumpkin bars back at the vehicles.  Yes it was a tough job hiking on a beautiful day with 3 lovely women but someone had to do it.

Steve Schon

1 comment:

Cat said...

Oh, this sounds SO fun!

Color me jealous. :-)