News & Stories

Anwatin 2016 Summer Trip to Tettegouche State Park

The boundless energy of middle schoolers is always an inspiration, so for this summer’s team trip, we went big and voyaged northward to Tettegouche State Park, where we camped for two nights last week. We launched our adventure on Wednesday morning from Theodore Wirth Park, and drove up to the Mission Creek mountain bike trails just outside of Duluth. It had been a bit rainy on the way up, but the trails looked good and the sky cleared, so after a picnic lunch we hopped on our bikes and into the woods. The trails were wonderful and had an abundance of naturally rolling and curving features. The exciting (or at times a little scary) parts were the wooden bridges, and occasional patches of wet clay that created a sliding effect. But we all made it out, fairly muddy but smiling. The girls were back first and went a little further down the road to the St. Louis River to clean themselves and the bikes off. The boys had an eventful-sounding detour that may or may not have involved some river crossing, but they too made it back in good time.

From there, we ventured on to our group campsite at Tettegouche, and set up tents. Dinner was make-your-own quesadillas, and Nico and Victor made us a beautiful campfire to grill them on, and manned the flipping station quite effectively. We snuck in a sunset dip in Lake Superior before bed.

Thursday was a big day. We woke up, fueled up with some oatmeal and fruit, and hit the road back to Gooseberry Falls. From there, the younger team members mounted their bikes, and the older crowd clipped on their rollerskis, and we took off together on the paved Gitchi Gami trail toward Beaver Bay. Our route was about 14 miles, followed Lake Superior, which allowed for some dynamite views, and happened to be fairly hilly as well. What happened at least a few times was that I would bike ahead, see a large, curving downhill and I would go back to warn the kids to proceed with caution, and they would proceed to cruise down the hill in a tuck no problem. Unfortunately, there was a rather treacherous hill before Split Rock Lighthouse that we had one skier, Emily, end up flying off the trail on, with some big scrapes to the knee. She was very brave and a good sport about missing out on the remainder of the ski. Once we arrived in Beaver Bay, we ate lunch and rallied back up for part two of our day’s journey: a hike on the Superior Hiking Trail. Coach Mary lead the sixth grade ladies on a loop around Bean and Bear lakes (7 miles), and the gentlemen went with Coach David and me from Beaver Bay to Silver Bay (6 miles), playing along the river rocks along the way, and then some of us continued on for another 6 mile loop. At the end of the day, we again found ourselves swimming in Lake Superior and sitting around the campfire eating dinner.

Friday morning, the group stayed in the park and hiked to High Falls and Two Step Falls, before packing up and heading back to the Cities. It was great to spend time with so many incoming 6th graders as well as the graduated kids that are heading off to high school: Emily Kral and Tome Vang to Patrick Henry High School, Doua Thao to Robbinsdale Cooper, and Charlie Grabow and Henri Nguyen to Minneapolis Southwest. It was also a pleasure to see leadership coming up through our incoming 7th and 8th graders.

We will continue summer practices through the next few weeks and then kick off the school season in September. We’re looking forward to another eventful season!

Coach Allie