Hiking Club Trail #6
Date: October 8, 2017
Location: Frontenac, MN
Length: 2.6 Miles (Hiking Club Trail), + 2.5ish on and around Upper Bluffside Trail
Difficulty: Easy: (HCT) Parts are paved, prairie portions are wide mowed sections, small hills, the section that goes through the woods is slightly more difficult, narrow paths, roots, loose gravel.
Cumulative Hiking Club Miles: 16 of 197
Lets face it - it is October, in Minnesota... Winter can show up at any minute. So everyday that has good weather from this point forward needs to be used wisely!!!
This was a gorgeous fall day. The yellow glow of the sun off the drying up prairie grass, the bright red leaves of the sumacs against the blue sky - it doesn't get much better!
This trip also marks the first for my Mom since possibly the Canada trip I wrote about earlier. As I mentioned she is legally blind - which doesn't necessarily stop her, but she has this fear that she is slowing me down and causing me to see less... Does she slow me down? Sometimes. Does she cause me to see less? Not really, by slowing down I like it allows me to see more. You know the small details that I miss by moving through a place too fast.
She can usually see if you point things out and they are close enough to her, to make it fun for her and the exercise is good for everyone. Plus I find I can bribe her to come along if I can find a good restaurant to eat at on the way home - which usually has us ordering food to go and eating it in some parking lot because the dog comes along on all these hikes (she has patches to earn too!).
The HCT went smoothly as long as I pointed out the roots and made sure she was not walking right along the edge of the cliff. It didn't get sketchy until we got to the Upper Bluffside Trail - that trail is highly shadowed because of the tree cover, the path is narrow and has a lot of tree roots, on the edge of the cliff over looking Lake Pepin - Great views but my Mom doesn't see much in the shadows... We brought her over there to see the In-Yan-Teopa landmark (which we didn't end up seeing this trip because it was just too challenging bringing her through that part of the trail so we were just focusing on getting to the end of the trail). In-Yan-Toepa (means rock with opening) as named by the Dakota Indians, is a giant rock on the edge of the bluff, is believed to have religious importance to American Indians (see a photo below from a previous trip to this park).
We got out of the woods headed back to the car and headed to The Smoking' Oak Rotisserie & Grill - it's good I recommend it! We at our BBQ in the car and headed home.
I'd like to come back to this park in the spring for the Bald Eagle migration...