Last weekend, I spent five days in class. In a row.

Of course, the class was Backpacking and the five days were on the Lake Superior Hiking Trail trip we had been planning since the beginning of the semester, but then it doesn’t sound so much like hard work to spend five days in a row in class, now does it?

Things started out good on Wednesday night, packing up everything into gallon ziploc bags (for waterproofing) and then stuffing all of my belongings into my super cool bright orange backpack. After piling into a 15 passenger van, the ten of us and a mountain of oversized packs spent 4 hours in the car driving up towards Duluth.

It rained the first night, but just enough to make us all feel badass. You know, because only the really tough campers can stick it out in the rain. The next morning (and the rest of the trip) was fairly dry, warm during the day, and quite chilly at night.

We slept underneath tarps the whole time, which was surprisingly similar to sleeping under a tent. You know, just no walls, that’s all.

 

Most days we hiked between three and five miles, although on our longest day we hiked a rocky, rambling, nine mile trail. One thing that was absolutely amazing about our trip was the diversity of all the colors. There were sections forests with birches whose leaves had turned golden, others with the forest floor littered with purple and blood red maple leaves, and some sections with intertwined, scraggly cedars adding their forest green hues to the medley.

Our campsite locations were just as diverse. The first campsite which we stayed at was in a prairie next to a pond, while the following night we slept soundly on soft brown needles from the Norway pines overhead. Most of the campsites were near water, so we drifted off to sleep with the hushed roar of a river lazily floating to our ears.

Once we got on trail, it seemed like the whole class just clicked. Everyone got along great, we taught each other some new jokes, people did their assigned tasks without griping, and everyone was able to relax and enjoy themselves.

Before returning back to Minneapolis, we eat a delicious brunch at a wonderful restauant, whose name evades me at the moment. I did like that they had this sign, though.

In all honesty, this backpacking trip was excellent, and just what I needed to get my priorities in order. I missed classes on Thursday and Friday, but I found that I hadn’t fallen nearly as far behind as I originally feared. Instead of stressing all week, I got to reminisce about the spectacular weekend.

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