Fall backbacking on the St. Croix River

We (Steve Mikula and I) were hoping to take three days this past weekend and spend some time on the Superior Hiking Trail.  http://www.shta.org/ “The best layed plans….”

Fall rain cancelled Friday and it just seemed to far to drive four hours for a two day hike.  Steve couldn’t take Monday off, so it was looking like another weekend that didn’t happen (we had planned to hike the SHT the week before, perfect weather and great colors; but work got in the way!)  I remembered a write up in Backpacker Magazine http://www.backpacker.com/  talking about a 16 mile hike on the St. Croix River along the Minnesota/Wisconsin border.  After thumbing through 30 back issues, I found the hike; 16 miles in the Governor Knowles State Forest http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/StateForests/GovKnowles/ in Wisconsin.  After convincing Steve that we would not get shot by hunters, he agreed to go!

We started at the south end of the trail http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/StateForests/govKnowles/documents/Lagoo_Creek.pdf .  It seemed that the colors had passed (should have been up there the week before!)  But we had the trail to ourselves, not a soul in sight.  Some time near the river, some of it in the woods, all beautiful, a nice easy trek.  We started at 11, and made camp (#3) at about 3 o’clock ten miles later. Time to relax?  Wrong, time to gather wood, it was going to get cold tonight, below freezing they said!  We hauled logs, we hauled brush, we hauled small trees, all downed already!  But most of it was damp, and getting a roaring fire was work.  It

The St. Croix River

The St. Croix River

Another Governor Park in Wisconsin

Another Governor Park in Wisconsin

Hammock Camping

Hammock Camping

IMG_4808

The River again

The River again

not the river!

not the river!

seemed like we burned about 5 trees in all, but we got a warm fire going!  Tea, supper, chocolate bars, and time to hang in the hammocks.

I’m new to hammocks, but learning, steve is patient and willing to loan me what I need!  Down to 32 degrees that night!  But I was warm (too warm), woke up early, breakfast, coffee, and off we go.  6 miles to the car!  A wonderful day for a hike, lots of pics, and lots of scenery, my favorite of the two sections.  We finished up at 11:30 after starting at 9:45, the sun came out, we were tired and thirsty, but another great hike discovered.  I will be back to hike the north section, and to hike the south section again!

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