I found out on Friday I wasn’t needed at work on Monday. Looking at the weather forecast and the DNR Fall peak color watch (which was at 50-75% for our area), I decided it was prime time for a Fall bike camping trip. Some might call it a S24O, but I don’t think mine version is a pure S24O since I’m doing it on my days off. I ended up with perfect conditions and some great pockets of intense color. Both days started out foggy and cleared to a vibrant blue sky. Temperatures were 60F-65F (16C-18C) and the low was around 45F (7C). Virtually no wind on the first day and light winds off Lake Superior the second day. Since I don’t care for hot weather, this weather was about as perfect as it gets for me.
New asphalt on the Munger Trail for a short section. I got a late start in the day. Check in time at the state park I had reservations for wasn’t until 4:00. I didn’t leave my house until 4:30.My destination was Jay Cooke State Park. Nineteen miles away the way I took. Sixteen miles of the 19 was on recreational trails.
First open view of the St Louis River as I approached the Park Office.
I arrived at the Park Office at 5:45. They close at 6. Not a big deal since I already had a reservation. But you can’t purchase a bundle of firewood outside of office hours. I almost never have a fire when camping solo. With no wind and cold temps, it was an ideal evening for a fire. I didn’t decide until I was in the office, but I did bring bungee cords to haul the wood just in case. I’m glad I did. What I didn’t bring was any type of fire starter. I improvised with one paper towel I had, twigs from around campsite, and handfuls of pine needles from the huge pine tree in the middle of the campsite. It worked.
When I camp here I like to arrive early enough to get in a walk down by the river before dinner and before dark. With sunset at 6:45 there was no time this trip. I set up camp, fixed dinner and had the fire. It was quite nice. The temp had fallen to 46F degrees by 10:00. I never got chilled with the fire going. It was a moonless night. It was pitch black away from the fire.
In the morning I woke to fog and my food bag still hanging in the tree where I had left it.
By the time I got the food bag down, started heating water for coffee and took the tent down the fog was lifting.
By the time I was done with my muffins and coffee, the fog was gone.
After breakfast I spent a few hours walking around the park and the St Louis River. The sun was so bright it made it hard to take pictures that weren’t overexposed.Here’s some of the better ones from my walk and ride home.
Here’s a link to the route I took home. It’s the same route I took to the park the day before.
Simply spectacular! Photos like that make me want to live in Minnesota. It might be a little early, but I hope we some color out in PA during our GAP tour. I expect it to, at least, be a little cooler than home.
It looks like it was a great outing, and I appreciate you sharing the experience.
Thanks. The colors are so intense and so brief. It’s was one of those trips that I planned at the last minute and all the pieces fell together beautifully.
Yeah, really, really nice in every way. Kudos.
Thanks, it was a nice overnighter. I only wish this Fall weather and colors would linger a few weeks longer.
I so love the north woods! Beautiful photographs and excellent adventure!
Thanks. I’m so happy I made the effort to get out. It was so worth it.