Rolling with It

Latergram: #38hike of my 52 Hike Challenge

Some days you just have to roll with it. Hopefully when you do, life gives you something better than you expected. Like the rescheduled hike this last weekend. One of the Women Who Hike MN members set up a hike for Saturday morning at Frontenac State Park, just south of Red Wing, MN. Sadly some pretty severe weather had us rescheduling at 6:30 a.m. the morning of the hike.

We opted to move our hike to Sunday. All would have been fine had I read the time of the hike correctly. I was multitasking when I updated my calendar and missed getting the time correct. I found myself four hours early. I’d driven over an hour to get there so I decided to hike solo anyway.

This was my third trip to the park, previous ones having been in the fall and winter. I decided that spending time enjoying the trail was going to be my mode of movement. After so many hot days I was going to take time to stop and smell the flowers. Or at least take pictures of them.

Six miles later I had seen parts of the park I’d never visited before. If you want to hike the Hiking Club trail, it’s an easy start from the parking area near Old Frontenac Overlook. The trail follows a stair case down the side of the bluff to the Pine Loop trails before meandering back up to Eagle Point, past the cart in campsites and back to the parking lot. I also opted to take a hike out about a half mile on the Prairie Loop before heading back to pick up the Hiking Club trail.

I took pictures of all manner of flora including my favorite at the park, sumac filled with their summer berries. The park is graced with a couple of large stands. I find sumac endlessly fascinating no matter the season. The twisting branches, the tiny bundles of fuzzy berries that dry and cling to the branches in winter, and the leaves that go from bright green to deep red as the seasons change.

I’ve never been much good at knowing the names of the flowers I’m looking at. For whatever reason the information doesn’t stick. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the beauty of them. This time of year it seems that much of the color in wild flowers comes from the tiniest of blooms. Purples, pinks, yellows and whites were sprinkled everywhere along both the Hiking Club and Prairie Loop trails. With the abundant rainfall lately the park is lush with greenery and berries. Moss densely covers most of the rocks in shaded areas.

Then there were the mushrooms. Many varieties but some, because of their location were hard to photograph. I try hard to not leave the trail unless absolutely necessary so that means that there are times when I might not get a photograph of what I see. I love the variety of them you can find in one park.

The view from Eagles Point includes Lake Pepin/Mississippi River and Old Frontenac.

There is so much to see in this park and I look forward to going back again. You really can’t go wrong with a trip there.

GEAR: Columbia Women’s Arcadia II Rain Jacket, Vasque Talus Mid UltraDry Hiking Boots, Marmot Kompressor Pack, Dueter Dirtbag, Kula Cloth, Leki Lhasa Lite AS trekking poles. Want to know more about my gear selections? Head on over to Gear & Gadgets.

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Copyright Ruth Wikoff-Jones, | No Use Permitted Without Prior Permission

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