Friday, June 10, 2011

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Day 2



The morning featured a drizzling rain that came and went with enough frequency that rainwear stayed on. The lake would start out this silver-gray but later would shift to green.


I was falling asleep as I wrote the journal entry for last night. I was just wiped out and even the act of concentrating on creating an accurate and interesting journal note could not help keep me awake. I believe I nodded off three times before deciding it just was not worth continuing the effort. I haven't looked at those last few paragraphs yet but I am sure they'll be an interesting read that will benefit from a serious editing job. Hopefully tonight I will not have similar issues though I am tired and ready for bed as it approaches 22:00 and the sky rapidly (very it seems to me) darkens.

It was quite a bit warmer last night than the evening at Seeney but on the flipside during the middle of the night it began to rain steadily. I don't think I can call it a downpour but it was constant with just enough slackening now and then to give us hope as dawn shaded into morning that it would stop altogether sooner rather than later. I have no doubt that the bulk of the camp was awake long before any of us really began to stir and pack up what we could before breaking down our shelters. A little before 09:00 with the rain spitting at us we donned our packs and various forms of preferred rain garb (I believe we have 5 poncho users on this trip) and struck out for the Au Sable Lighthouse where a couple covered porches would provide us enough protection for a decent breakfast. We strolled through the now gray skied but richly red-brown and green forest past a somewhat quieter and somber Lake Superior and soon came to the lighthouse. In more pleasant conditions I would have taken time to wander the grounds checking out buildings and reading what I could about this historic (not used now) lighthouse. But the weather did not invite lingering about such things and once everyone had eateen we returned to the trail or the beach depending on preference.

The actual trail dives into the pine and birch forest and is definitely an easier stroll than the wilderness beach of Lake Superior. But the beach affords you views of the lake itself as well as the chance to find interesting rocks or peer at the now more exposed carcasses of shipwreches. At the outset I elected to walk the trail thinking slippery rocks did not appeal to me. A couple others joined me but most took the beach route. I wish I had done that too because while the conversations on the trail were fine I ended up missing the shipwrecks and couldn't take the time to walk back to them to see how they have changed since I was last here in 2000. When I did join the beach walkers I was rewarded by a reasonably easy beach stroll that only got a little tricky when having to trod over sandstone rocks and such and not slip or step into standing water (I failed the latter). The clouds were still dominating the sky but when it rained at all it was only a mere sprinkle and at that it did not last long. All things considered it was turning out to be a nice enough day. You might wish for more sunshine at breaks like our early lunch at Twelvemile but even that desire could be tempered as I sat in shade at Seven Mile creek when we stopped later in the day for a gear drying break and a second meal.













By mid-after oon the rain had departed and we shed layers. With the sun making appearances we took a break a little later at Seven Mile Creek to sit on the beach and air wet gear out.


By this time I am sure the temperature had risen to the upper 50s and when we were not on the beach itself we were sheltered by trees so there was little wind to whisk heat off of us. Walking through the forests today was different than yesterday. The forests were of pine and birch. I have to say that this forest was in its way really very pleasing. The colors on an overcast day such as this were really popping out. Mossy green seemed richer, the pine needles looked more lush, the reddish-brown of the forest floor seemed more vibrant in hue. When we would pass through a grove of hemlocks the darkness they brought forth was deeper and the quiet greater. We were still getting a feast for the senses even though the wildflowers of yesterday were long gone.












The photo on the left is from this year and the one on the right was taken August of 2000.








Nancy. While we never got beyond partly sunny most of the day an overcast day still can be quite enjoyable.


The last few miles to Trappers Lake, especially the last couple were also on forested trail. But this stretch of trail is in need of some tender loving care. Many blowdowns had to be negotiated. Trees or bushes with branches poking out into the trail at eye level were a common sights. I hope the person or people responsible for this bit of trail are able to do some work on it soon. Even with these impediments our slow group still reached camp around 17:00. We had taken our usual breaks to gaze at things along the way like the now really ruined ancient Plymouth that has been decaying in the woods for decades why it is there is anyone's guess as there is no track nearby Matt, Jen and Doug had arrived a couple horus before us and Nancy and Tim who had left the beach at Seven Mile Creek a good half hour ahead of us had increased that lead somewhat but not overly much. We had enjoyed our breaks as much as I am sure Matt, Doug, and Jen enjoyed the extra time in camp. Hiking styles vary and each has something to recommend it. Fortunately there has been enough of a breeze here at Trappers to keep the worst of the bugs at bay. To be sure Andy has picked up his large quantity of bites (I hope he was exaggerating the number because if not that is shocking). We all had a leisurely dinner and many people took off to bed before sunset. Even us last hold outs are all packed in for the night and I expect I will be the last to crawl under a sleeping bag as I am about to do.. This has been a fine day overall even if a bit moist. I do wish my digestive issues would go away. It does make me wonder what good those pills are for me, but this is more an irritation than a serious problem. I also have come to the conclusion that the Keen sandals need a bit more support in the heel or thereabouts as both my feet feel a bit sore and it can't be from pounding pavement as the trail when not sandy beach was excellent forest loam. Tomorrow we will have our longest day, about 12.2 miles (today was 11) to Mosquito Beach. I hope the weather holds.



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