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Superior Trail Day 6 – Cascade Lodge | Average Hiker

Sunrise in front of Cascade Lodge

October 2, 2023

I was up early this morning, and it was still dark when I left camp, sneaking out the back side of the campsite, so I did not wake up other hikers. Although it was cold, my anticipation of a hot breakfast at the Cascade Lodge restaurant completely overrode my senses. I barely registered the cold temperatures as I hiked down alongside the river.

The walk down to the lodge was not difficult on what appeared to be old ski/frisbee trails. Before leaving home, I mapped out the route on Gaiagps and came out where I expected on the back side of the resort. I made my way past the cabins and out to the main road before turning left to head over to the restaurant to check the hours. About half an hour early, I bundled up in my puffy and sat down to wait.

Looking across the road, I watched the sun rising above Lake Superior and walked across the street to watch the orange orb rise slowly over the lake. Funny, I often find the best images in the least likely places. This sunrise across the street in front of the resort was one of the most beautiful I had seen on this trail. Lake Superior was relatively still, and the morning sky glowed softly with the light cast by the orange sun. Burrowing into my jacket, I sat down on the grass and emptied my mind of everything but the image in front of me. It was beautiful.

Breakfast was good, excellent if compared to a trail alternative, and once I had finished, I headed over to check in at the office. The host was super friendly, and I waited in the lobby while they called the cleaning crew to clean my cabin next since the guests had left. I was checked into my room by 10 AM!

The usual town day chores followed check-in – resupply box, shower, wash clothes, etc. The lodge had my box and a washing machine and dryer for me to wash my clothes. These amenities and a restaurant with good food made this a perfect resupply stop.

The only wrinkle in the whole stay was the thermostat. The heat locked at 84 degrees, and I did not notice until after hours. I tried opening all the windows, but the heat in my tiny cabin just cranked up, and before long, it felt like I was in a sauna. I ended up inflating my pad and sleeping soundly out on the porch. Honestly, I probably slept better than I would have in my bed since I was already adjusting to my firmer mat.

There are two things that always change on long hikes for me. I generally find I begin to sleep better in the woods on my sleeping pad. This is because I adjust to the firmer pad and prefer it to a mattress, and even with earplugs, the street noises often keep me awake. I’ve found over the years that I take fewer and fewer zero days on long hikes and am fine with a “nearo” where I can eat a few good meals, do my chores, and head back out.

Secondly, I begin to dislike tap water. The chemical taste is much more distinctive after weeks of drinking creek or spring water. I often fill my bottles in town and empty them when I come to the first stream or spring, where I can refill them.

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