Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pictured Rocks, Lakeshore Trail, May 2012

We have finished our Memorial Day weekend annual hike along the Lakeshore Trail in Picgtured Rocks National Lakeshore. Everyone is heading home now we're perhaps an hour below the Bridge back in the LP). It was a very good trip and I'll have a lot more to share once I get everything sorted and (with luck) get additional photos from others.

We had very good weather throughout the trip. It drizzled a little bit one morning and sprinkled two evenings. The last day, especially in the afternoon, was wickedly hot. Lake Superior was surprisingly warm, which isn't to say it was actually warm, when I had to wade in to fetch water (a camp bucket proves its worth yet again).

While this year did not reveal the explosions of wildflowers that we saw last year many flowers were in abundance for those who could spot them: nodding triillium, star flower, Jack in the Pulpit, ladyslippers (pink and some yellow), and many others like violets and forget-me-nots. Unfortunately, unlike previous years, the trail is in dire need of some maintenance. On the first two days from Grand Marais (Sable Dunes) to Trapper Lake we encounters blowdowns in great number. Many were simple fairly easy step-over-the-log types but quite a few were massive blowdowns that you had to skirt or carefully climb: big chainsaw jobs. I don't think these are all particularly recent blowdowns so for wahtever reason trail maintenance seems to be lagging behind the need. But dealing with blowdowns can be thought of as part of the charm of doing a multi-day backpacking trip. You just deal with it.

Lake Superior showed herself in many moods and colors. We saw many shades of turquoise particularly when walking along the high cliffs between Coves and Grand Portal Point. We also were able to get good looks at a couple of the shipwrecks which is always a treat. As you can see the sandstone rocks showed their colors quite well at times too. The time we spent on the rocks at Mosquito Beach at sunset was time very well spent.

The waterfall is the one at the Grand Sable Dunes at the start of the trail. The sandstone rocks are at Mosquito Beach and the sunset shot was taken there too. The campsite photo that features my Trailstar among others was our spot at Trappers Lake.

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