Day 1: January 2nd, 2016
How exciting is to be adventurous and spontaneous at the same time? Pretty amazing. Love taking trips and not knowing what to expect. And once you get there, you fall in love with everything around you. Bear Head Lake State Park sparked that crazy emotion of wanting to stay in this outdoor fantasy for life. And some day I just might. Located in Ely Minnesota, a friendly sign of the state park greeted us with a warm welcome. The roads were freshly covered with snow and the trees extended their powdery branches to greet us to the park. A beautiful drive in. The camper cabin could not be more excelling. The exterior looks new and well taken care of. Red Pine they call it. The inside was superb; all our equipment and backpacks immediately found their own place. Quickly, the warmest of blankets spread out on top of the mattress. The kitchen utensils where settled in their rightful place, and Joe started the outside fire immediately. Since upon arrival, we lost some day light and could not pursue the trails with our snowshoes. But the duskiness did not stop us from trying on our Tubbs. We pounced with our snowshoes on top of nine inches of snow that surrounded our camper cabin. We could not resist and had to try them out before hitting the trails. After settling in, we engaged in a game of Jenga and got up to 29 tiers! After warming up with hot chocolate, decided it was time to get some rest. For the next day was a full of hiking and adventures.
Day 2: January 3rd, 2016
Woke up to a toasty camper cabin. All the blankets where to the side of the bed. The only trouble I had during the night was going to a pitch black outhouse. The temperature was 0 degrees. So we took our time getting ready for our hike this morning, making a nice fire for our morning breakfast, and of course can't start the day without coffee. Nice thing about the camper cabin's they have electricity so we brought an electric water kettle for our instant coffee and oatmeal.
We visited the state park office to pick up an additional map of the park before heading out on our snowshoe hiking trip. There we encountered the park ranger and chatted for a little bit. We decided to extend our trip and reserved the cabin for one more night. While looking at the map, the ranger suggested that we stay off the lake for it hasn't been cold enough to be walked on. But of course, during our hike around the East Bay (beach line), we decided to test the lake. Crack is all we heard and quickly we got off the lake! The Club Trail took us around the main park and to the visitor center. There we took off our packs, snowshoes, and used the facility with running water. And after, hiked back around East Bay and to the cabin. Once we were back, we started a fire for our dinner. Had some peppermint patties and stayed warm by the fire for the evening.
Day 3: January 4th, 2016
Our final day here at Bear Head Lake State Park. Never felt so heavyhearted. These past days were so much fun and full of life. Being outdoors has been a blessing and full of self discovery. This is what I was meant to do. And having a confidant, a partner to share the same dreams and goals is an amazing feeling of gratitude. Woke up this morning around 8:30 and pulled out some coffee and my moleskine notebook and started journaling of our trip. Before Joe woke up, I looked out the window to see the sun poke through the bare snow covered trees and branches. I started to think and reflect about everything and what I really wanted to do in 2016 and it is to hike the north. Since we knew we were going on a 10 mile hike, we needed some calories. So we got dressed and headed into downtown Ely for a good hearty breakfast. The Taste of Ely restaurant was perfect. Best stuffed hash-browns (vegan style) in the state! We got back to the cabin and geared up for our hike. Packed our packs and off we went. The weather was perfect. Sunny and blue skies. After 2 miles in we started to de-layer, it was getting a little toasty inside our layers after layers. It was absolutely breath taking scenery snowshoeing into winter wonderland. The hike was easy until we reached the backpack camping route. There were high terrains and trees down on the trails. We had to do some climbing. It was challenging because we had snowshoes on. We tried to V-Log our excursion, however, it didn't quite work. If only we had taken off the cover of our GoPro H3, the audio would of been clear and easy to hear. It would of been super funny with the video! We were losing daylight quickly and had to cut our hike short. It was also getting cooler. So we only did about 6.28 miles. It was an incredible time and I can't wait for our next adventure!