We began our vacation early Saturday morning -- we were on the road by 8:30 AM! We chose not to leave Friday night to save money on hotel, and also save ourselves the stress of having to drive in Memorial Day weekend traffic -- and it worked! We practically flew up north, with few complications. Our first stop of the trip was in Cloquet, MN for gas . . . at the only gas station designed by Frank Lloyd Wright!
After a quick stop, we packed back into the car and continued north towards our first hiking destination: Eagle Mountain! Eagle Mountain is the highest point in Minnesota at 2,301 feet, and the trail to the top was about 7 miles round-trip, mostly on rocky, root-covered trails. Difficult climbing, but worth it!
The mountain is actually located a couple miles in from the parking area, so the large majority of the hike is actually getting to and from the mountain. The trail passes Whale Lake, then continues to gain in elevation. Photos from the climb:
An "easy" section of the trail:
It's official -- we've entered the Boundary Waters!
(Dan was much more excited than this picture demonstrates, I promise.)
We thought this might have been a beaver dam:
Another shot of the trail:
This hike had the potential for some major ankle-twisting -- thankfully, we both wore our hiking boots.
We made it!
After hiking back down the mountain and back to the car, we decided we were well-deserving of a fantastic, delicious dinner. After checking in to the hotel, we headed in to downtown Grand Marais with the perfect restaurant in mind!