Hike 22 - Steamboat Point

After a long day and a half drive we finally made it to the Big Horn mountains in Wyoming. Our first stop was a hike, one that Jesse did the year before, and he prepared me that it was short but steep. I could do that - steep would be a challenge, but it was short. How hard could it be? Lolz. In reality, I huffed and puffed my way up this mountain. Headache slowly creeping up , heart trying to beat out my chest, but I made it with a number of breaks in shaded spots and sips of water or Gatorade.

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But I made it.

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My 9 year old led the three of us. She and Jesse seemed fine even though she would later express how hard it was. Neither of them seemed to be breathing as hard as me which leads me to believe that I’m not made for these inclines. I suspected this when we were in Utah and I dragged behind the pack, also huffing and puffing away. I don’t do well in high altitudes, in heat, in pushing myself too hard, but I know that I can do this at my own pace.

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Hike #: 22

Trail: Steamboat Point

Location: Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming

Trail surface: dirt, rock - very steep

Date: 8/25/19

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In retrospect I can recommend this hike. Just make sure that you take it at your own pace as the view will be worth it when you (eventually) get to the top.

*Also my rating is probably more reflective of how I handle these hikes than an average person.

Jo: ★★

Jesse: ★★★★

Riley: ★★★

Hike 21 - Silverwood Park

Twenty years ago or so, I hung out at Silverwood park, a former Salvation Army camp, a couple times and I have to say, it’s like a completely different place now. In fact, I keep second guessing myself that I was really there so long ago. During my first visit, I only remember that there was a parking lot and a beach and nothing else really to see. Not long after I went back and explored a bit more by walking around the trails, but it was being worked on so trails and trees and fields were all torn up.

Last year I attended a wedding here and was blown away at the transformation. It’s hard to imagine that it was once so disheveled as it looks as if it’s been this lush for hundreds of years. Even though it was cold at that time, I knew I had to bring my family back to explore the trail at some point in time.

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Hike #: 21

Trail: Silverwood Park

Location: St Anthony, MN

Trail surface: paved, with a few offshoots of dirt and wood chips.

Date: 7/21/19

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The trail here is mostly paved, which usually results in a less favorable review (or authentic feeling hike), but there were a few trails of wood chips and a bridge that took you onto an island. The park was very well maintained which is mostly the case in the Minneapolis area, but this one seemed especially well taken care of. Plus, there were butterflies everywhere and that just added to the overall ambience.

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An additional plus was that there were random sculptures along the trail (there is a walking tour online where you can learn more about each artist and their work). Riley can sometimes get bored on these walks so she seemed very appreciative of these points of interest… but so did Jesse and I. It felt very thoughtful to add these artistic touches in a way that wasn’t too disturbing to the nature around it.

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As I mentioned above, this one was a winner for us. There was a lot of established trees, clean trails, interesting things to see, and it was a pleasant day.

Jo: ★★★★★

Jesse: ★★★★

Riley: ★★★★★

Hike 19 - Wolsfeld Woods Scientific Center

As I mentioned in my last post, there was a hike we attempted in May, but the trail was flooded so we came back in June. I was ok with that since Riley and I went on our own the first time and really wanted to bring Jesse back. Wolsfeld Woods one of those places I would have never found if not for this challenge. The trail head sits off a church parking lot about 20 minutes from home. The woods is named after the family that used to own it - while much of the land was used for farming, this section was kept as a maple syruping operation that continued from the 1880s into the 1940s. It’s now one of Minnesota’s scientific and nature centers.

Initially, Riley and I enjoyed the trail. It’s well shaded, and it would be the perfect fairy forest. Part of the trail is well maintained and other parts are in terrible shape. While we were able to find a way to get in 2 miles worth of walking, we weren’t able to complete the loop due to water. We decided to come back later in the summer with Jesse when it had dried out.

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Hike #: 18

Trail: Wolsfeld Woods Scientific Center

Location: Long Lake, MN

Trail surface: Dirt, rocks, leaves, mud

Date: 5/25/19 and 6/29/19

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When it wasn’t raining this summer, it was hot. I don’t do well hiking in the heat, but I thought this would be the perfect trail to explore in late June since it was so shaded. I was wrong. So very, very wrong. Between the water and the shade and the heat, this was mosquito central. I don’t think I’ve been swarmed by so many mosquitoes at one time. We were heavily covered in bug spray and put on multiple applications as we walked. Jesse finally just held the bug spray instead of putting it back into the back each time we were done with it. After the hike, we jumped in the car and cranked the AC on the way home - effectively sealing us into an area where I grew woozy with the smell of too much bug spray.

The upside is that we made our way around the loop and all agreed that this would likely be a wonderful trail in the fall (if they fixed/built bridges and cleaned up the trail some), but we were all a little scarred by the bug situation so we aren’t in any hurry to return. It’s a shame too as we all agreed that the trail has soooo much potential, but rating is based on our experience there.

Jo: ★

Jesse: 

Riley:

That’s right, there are no stars next to Jesse and Riley’s names, although after the May hike with just Riley and I, she was willing to give it a 2 at that time. This was definitely a trail of potential, but reality was that we were absolutely miserable. I would like to give it credit for all the trees and that it was very solitary (on each hike we briefly saw one other set of people). One day, we’ll go back in the fall if our memories of the bug attacks ever fade.