MN Fall Northern Hang 2012
I had a great time at the fall northern hang. Even though participation was low this year it was great to get out in the woods with fellow hangers. The trip started Friday. I arrived at Crosby Manitou State Park and parked next to Madhob's truck...I figured from the Iowa plates it must be him. He wasn't around but I saw his pack sitting in the front seat so figured he'd be around shortly.
I started getting my gear together and a short time later Madhob arrived back at the lot after a little hike out to the site to check it out. We got our things together and headed out to campsite 10.
It's a nice hike out to site 10. We took the Yellow Birch and River Trails out to the site. It was about a 2.5 mile hike. Weather was cool and cloudy. We each picked some trees and pitched our hammocks. A short while later Watertones arrived and she got her hammock shelter set up. We sat around and chatted a bit wondering if anyone else was going to show up.
It started to get dark and in strolled Stairguy. It was raining lightly when he showed up. He had his super overstuffed Speer Polar Pod with and we all drooled in envy over that impressive bit of kit. It was too wet to start a fire and deadfall wood was pretty scarce as the site was pretty much picked clean. We sat around in the dark with a little candle lantern as our fire.
We then saw a headlamp down in the distance on the trail and were surprised to see AJ arrive. AJ got his rig set up and after a short while we all turned into the hammocks as it started to rain pretty steadily.
After a great night's sleep we bid farewell to Watertones and AJ as they just stayed for the night. We hiked back to the parking lot.
Madhob, Stairguy and myself decided to make a hike south on the Superior Hiking Trail to Sonju Lake. Madhob and I left first with Stairguy following a bit later. Madhob hit his stride and left me in the dust as I was hiking at my own pace to take photos and some video footage for my YouTube channel.
I arrived at the first Sonju Lake campsite (North site) and noticed from the trail a campfire and what sounded like a group of people down there. I didn't want to barge in so I figured Madhob had continued onto the South Sonju site farther up the trail.
I arrived at the South Sonju campsite and didn't find Madhob. I decided to hang around in case he might come back. About 45 minutes to an hour later Madhob arrived without a pack. He had stopped at the North Sonju site where he had found two couples camping at the site. After conversing he decided to run back and grab his pack so we could camp at the South Sonju site.
We got our rigs set up and awhile later Stairguy arrived. We broke out the stoves and cooked up our vittles for the evening and chatted awhile. It got pretty chilly out there fast and it was still wet though but no clouds in the sky. Deciding a campfire would again be a futile effort we all turned in for the evening. We heard wolves howling in the night and had a little critter running through camp. It raced under my tarp several times in the evening. Probably a little chipmunk or something. I woke up around 6am to find my tarp covered in frost on both sides and my water bottles with a bunch of ice in them. I had a Cliff Bar for breakfast and got packed up and said farewell to Madhob who was up early as well.
I got on the trail and started back. I took a wrong turn on the trail shortly after the North Sonju Lake campsite and found the little spur trail had led me to Sonju Lake Road. Not the official spur trail that goes to the Sonju parking lot but a different one much sooner. I decided what the heck and hiked the road. It was a neat morning with heavy fog and I thought maybe I'd see some wildlife along the road. I didn't see any but saw loads of wolf tracks and wolf scat on the road as I hiked. I hiked past the Sonju Lake parking lot up to the point where the trail crosses the road near Aspen Knob campsite and then got back on the trail back to Crosby. Taking the road shaved a lot of time off the hike back and surprisingly my legs didn't feel too bad from hiking on the road as my previous past experiences hiking road proved to be.
All in all it was a great time and I look forward to more hangs with fellow HF members in the future.
Here is the group shot I took Saturday morning before leaving Crosby Manitou. I'll be posting a video on my YouTube page soon. Unfortunately I didn't shoot much video of the group as our time in camp was really pretty short each night before we turned in. The video will be more like my other solo videos following my hike and so forth.
MN Fall Northern Hang 2012
Thx for the TR. Tough nut regarding the damp firewood.
Getting out of the hammock in to AM can be difficult indeed.
Once moving, hiking in fog can be interesting if you listen and live in your head.
Maybe a winter hang at Copper Falls State Park by Mellon...
Sorry I could not be there.