At the Trail Head
Eagle Mountain in Minnesota was high point #6 for the kids and I, and High Point #7 for DH. It was a 7 mile hike and most places online say the difficulty of the hike is about the same as Harney Peak, South Dakota, which we hiked last summer.
I guess that is accurate. The DH and I were both in better shape for hiking this year than we were last year, so it was easier on us in that way. I have never hiked on such a rocky trail, though. And when I say rocky, I mean the trail was full of big rocks that you had to step from rock to rock–like crossing a stream, only no stream. The rocks were close together, but we had to watch every step carefully or twist our ankles and fall.
Cutie Pie was almost 5 years old and hiked much better than she did last summer in South Dakota–She motivated herself without much input from me for 2-2.5 miles before insisting on being carried. When the trail got very steep for the last mile, she climbed willingly. The DH carried 18 month old Baby Dumpling until Cutie Pie needed help. Then 13 year old Blueberry Pie carried the baby and DH carried Cutie Pie. I got out of packing an extra baby, since as you can tell from the picture, I was carrying one anyway.
We ran out of bug spray as I was applying it to the kiddie pies that morning, and the mosquitoes were fierce on the mountain. DH and Blueberry Pie swell a lot when they get bit, and they were really suffering. We bought more bug spray that evening, but the mosquitoes were never as bad as they were that day on Eagle Mountain.
We stopped at a Lake about halfway up to enjoy some scenery and have a snack. Some of the picture files on my computer seem to have become corrupted, so I no longer have those pictures of the lake.
Here we are at the top of Eagle Mountain. Blueberry Pie is letting us all know how hard he has worked, packing a baby halfway up the mountain.
While we were hiking, we passed several groups of other hikers. Often they had on sweatshirts or t-shirts that gave away what state, or at least what college they hailed from. It was really fun for me to know where people were from, and I’ve decided to get a Missouri t-shirt so people can know where we are from when we hike high points. I learned that the Minnesotan phrase of choice when greeting strangers on the trail is “How’s it goin’? “ This seems a little more friendly than the Missouri phrase of choice, which seems to be, “Hey.”
The day was fairly cool and I wore my most comfortable and most favorite maternity pants every– my old army maternity BDU’s.
First off, these sweet pants have pockets, a rare thing for maternity pants. Second of all, they stay where they are supposed to stay and do not require constant pulling back up when I am hiking, walking, and moving around. A second rare thing for maternity pants. Thirdly, they are very comfortable and fit me perfectly, something I have never encountered elsewhere in maternity pants.
I don’t wear them very often outside my house, because cammo isn’t really my style. But I knew they would be the hands down best choice for this hike. I have a dark brown maternity shirt that is about the color of those old army t-shirts and I was feeling like a fashion genius in my hiking boots, brown shirt, cammo pants, and pig tails.
The DH seemed a little like he didn’t love my look, which is funny to me since he loves his own uniform so much.
As we were on our way back down the mountain, we passed a family who were just starting. The father and son were a little ahead and hiking in pretty normal, adequate hiking clothes. Behind them came the mom and little daughter. The mom and daughter were blinged out for a trip to the mall. Jewelry, cute hoodies, and sparkly manicures to match their sparkly flip flops. As I passed them, I was thinking to myself maybe I should have worn some makeup or something a little more girly–perhaps I had gone too far to the practical side in my choice of ensemble for the day
About 5 minutes later, I wanted to go back and warn that mom and little girl that there was no way they could make it up the mountain in flip flops. The flip flops would rip apart on those rocks and they would end up having to walk the rest of the way bare foot. I wondered if they had actually planned this hike, or if they had just been driving by and were like, “Hey, look, the highest point in Minnesota, let’s hike it. Sounds quirky and fun.” I really have no idea what they were thinking, and women who are that sparkly are very intimidating to me for some reason, so I didn’t go back. (Plus I was ready for the hike to be over and didn’t really want to add to my fatigue just to go back and try to talk sense to someone who thought hiking a mountain in flip flops was a good idea.)
To be fair, we have been on 4 high points that would be doable in flip flips: Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Michigan. It is possible that there are several out east that would also fit in this category. So maybe that family was from one of those states.
After our hike, we went back to camp and ate something yummy and easy to cook, possibly it was Spinach Parmesan PastaRoni and fried Zucchini.
Then we went drove a little ways down from our campsite to the shore of Lake Superior and relaxed and let the kids play for as long as they wanted.
Baby Dumpling thought it was hilarious every time someone threw a rock into the water
Pumpkin Pie finds a perfect rock.
Cutie Pie cannot possibly narrow her collection down to one perfect rock.
Tamale Pie posing for the camera.
Baby Dumpling tries out rock throwing.
DH has as much fun as the kiddie pies.
I found this friendly little leech attached to Pumpkin Pie’s pinky toe. After she was done freaking out and able to stand still, I pulled him off. Blueberry Pie and Cutie Pie went immediately into the water and got their own friendly leeches on purpose. After pulling the third leech off Cutie Pie, I announced that I would not remove any more leeches, so they had better not “catch” any more. Pumpkin Pie remained grossed out by the leeches for the entire trip. A point that Blueberry Pie capitalized on by “just happening” to mention the word leech constantly.
Cherry Pie shows the perfect skipping rock she has found.
We finished off the day with hot cocoa around the campfire. It was a good day.