Oberg Mountain Hike
We took a hike one summer in Tettagouche State Park (can't remember the name of the peak) which ended up being really buggy. We were driven away from the peak by nagging mosquitoes, yet the Big D got an awesome picture of me that he hangs in his office. I looked fit. Not so much these days where I mostly look fat, unless I'm wearing a tight shirt, then I look a little pregnant.
Jeez what a rambling about nothing...
Anyway, Oberg Mountain seemed like a good hike for us. It was a little over 2 1/4 miles to the peak and back. There were eight overlook spots on the loop around the peak. These mountains are old, mostly worn away to the granite core, and fairly flat on top. The days was overcast with rain and drizzle expected in the late afternoon. We packed up a lunch which D carried. I packed up my camera gear in my backpack camera bag and we took off.
We were debating between Carlton Peak and Oberg. Carlton Peak, we were told only has two overlook spots with the main attraction being the view of Lake Superior and it has the bonus of being right behind the resort where we were staying. Oberg, like I mentioned has eight overlooks, but also the drive to the trailhead takes you partway up the mountain.
The parking lot was empty when we started the hike. However, there was another family that braved the misty Autumn weather to hike this peak who we encountered while on the trail. We let them pass us and never saw them again.
This was our only map, the one hanging at the trailhead. Not that the hike is difficult, it just goes one way, but, I like to have these things around. We took the trail counter clockwise when we got the loop. Unfortunately, I didn't look at it much on my camera and so we were not expecting the length of last part of the loop from the last overlook to the trail leading down the peak. But, we took it slow and we made it, despite the fact that there weren't may scenic views due to the fog and mist.
The trails was beautiful, nonetheless. It reminded me so much of where I went to school in the Himalaya mountains. While walking up the mountain to school, the trail was often shrouded in a cloud. When we started this hike up Oberg Mountain, the woods were clear. As we got higher and closer to the peak, we walked into the fog.
The rock on the trail was a little slick, but, there were only a few muddy patches. The Big D took the lead. It was sweet, though, when he hit a slick or muddy spot, where he would stop and wait to give me a hand. This made the hike very romantic for me! I love this man! Of course, I kept stopping to shoot some images, so caught up in the ethereal quality of the fog around the woods. There was lots of pine and cedar, lots of green moss. The colors were spectacular.
The peak was completely covered in fog. The overlooks were sort of eerie as we couldn't see very far, but the fact that there was a major drop in front of us was obvious. At the overlooks that faced Lake Superior, we could hear the traffic on Hwy 61 and we could even hear the waves on the lake crashing on the rocks more than 1500 feet below. But, we couldn't see any of this. Some people would say that taking this sort of hike is not worth doing on such a foggy day. I'm so glad we did it. We had such a unique experience, an experience that made us view and appreciate all that was on the peak and not just the overlooks.
This foggy day also allowed me to think about the photography differently. I am always a little disappointed when I can't quite capture the scenic views in the way that I saw them. On this day, I had no such worries. I was enchanted by the mists. I was curious about what lay ahead on the path.
There were no bugs. It was not too hot. I would say that conditions were perfect!
I think that maintaining trails would be a fabulous job. One of these days, I want to do one of those volunteer vacations where we get to help groom the trails, either here in Minnesota or down in Moab, Utah.
Recently I read through Scott Kelby's digital photography guide. I was surprised at the number of pro tips that blatantly set up the shot. Nonetheless there were some really good tips. And, I kept thinking this was a great day to get different sort of shots, shots that weren't just vacation photography, but interesting moods in the woods.
We started joking about getting lost in the mists and ending up in some fairy land where time functioned differently. I reminded the Big D that if this happened, we were not eat or drink anything as we'd be stuck here for years and years. We'd come out of the mists and find it was twenty years into the future, or something crazy like that. Truly, the fog and drizzle made everything seem enchanting.
We eventually did find the picnic table at the last overlook that faced the lake, but we never stopped to eat. We snacked a little, but it seemed like the rain was going to start and we had no idea how long it would take up to finish the loop and head back down the mountain.
D found a grove of cedar trees on the trail and we lingered there for a while, feeling the energy coursing up through the trunks.
We made it back to the Jeep just as the rain started to fall harder. We went back to our cozy room, started a fire and ate our lunches. I was glad to be back before dark as I didn't want to chance another deer encounter. This was our last full day up on the North Shore and it was spectacular. We soothed our muscles later in the jacuzzi. We never made it the outdoor hottub, but that was OK, we certainly felt like we had done a lot on our babymoon.
I told D that the next time we hike up Oberg Mountain, he has to carry the baby. And for that, I just can't wait!