Welcome to thebackpacker.com
create account login
Pictured Rocks Trip Report, Part One!!
Viewing posts 1 to 4 of 4 messages posted.
Okay, me, Chin and Athena arrived at the campsite close to 9 PM. Trout had got there before us, and had paid for both the campsites in the permits for the next day. He had selected to sites located directly on Lake Superior, and we set about setting up our tents. One of the first things I noticed right away was the mosquitoes. They weren't real bad at this time because it was kinda windy, and also was rather cool. We set up our tents, and I went into the woods to look for some calendar though the fire. The mosquitoes were much worse in the woods, and I gathered up as much sticks I could carry as fast as I could. As soon as I got back to the campsites, I noticed that Crash and Attila had arrived and they were unpacking their automobile and starting to set up their tents as well. Me and Chin went and bought some firewood, and soon had a nice fire going. The sun hadn't completely set at this time, so we all sat around the fire, telling stories and talking about our adventure to come. Attila was drinking beer and Trout and Crash were having a contest to see who could talk the loudest. Athena kept trying to keep us at a moderate level volume wise, but all that did was make us talk louder. Turned out it was actually about 11:30 PM, and we decided we needed to get to sleep as soon as possible as we had a big day ahead of us. I slept okay, but the highway was really close to the campground and there was a lot of traffic noise. I woke up at first light, and took some pictures of the sun coming up over Lake Superior. It wasn't long before Crash and the others were waking up. I made some tea and packed up my stuff. Not long after that the rest of the crew began packing. We headed off to a little restaurant called Dogpatch, and had a really nice breakfast there. We were scheduled to meet the shuttle at 9:30 AM and of course, we got there way before that. We spent the balance of the time checking our backpacks, and goofing around. Me and Athena went up and took some pictures of Munising Falls. The mosquitoes were really bad up in the woods, especially any place there was water. We didn't spend much time up there and headed back to the parking lot. The shuttle finally arrived and we all climbed on board. There was another small group of two girls and one guy plus another single girl. The driver wasn't real sure about were he was supposed to drop everybody off at but that was okay because we knew. The ride up was rather boring, so some of us slept while others talked and checked out the landscape. I got some good pictures of Attila sleep in the shuttle. I talked with the single girl for a while. I asked her if she was going the whole way. Turned out she was only gonna go through about two thirds of it.
We arrived at grand Sable visitor center close to 11:30 AM. We took some pictures at the parking lot and then hit the trail. While the Rangers at the visitor center for was about a tricky turn about a half-mile down the trail. That was a good thing to, because we probably would've got lost. We really didn't see Lake Superior for the first two hours of the hike, most of the trail was in the woods and walked along the shore of a small lake. We did get to see some sand dunes, but didn't climb at this time. On through the woods we marched all the while swatting a slapping at the hungry mosquitoes, that turned out to be our ever-present companions for the entire 42 1\2 miles.
I finally decided to put on my head net and right away, took a general disliking to it. I just couldn't see very far, oh it kept the mosquitoes out all right, but I kind of felt like I was hiking through a tunnel. I soon decided I was better off without it. Our first destination on the trail was a place called the log slide. I guess it's a place where they brought the trees to the sand dunes, and then slid them down to Lake Superior. We got our first really good view of Lake Superior there. We ate launch, got some water, and hit the trail. By now we've made pretty good friends with the two girls in the one guy. Turns out they were from Detroit and were medical students there. The girls were kinda whiny and the guy, we ended up calling him Utah, spent much of the hike way in advance of his partners. Smart move!! The next point of interest that we got to was called Au Sable point. It was very beautiful in the water in Lake Superior was incredibly clear. Of course there were plenty of mosquitoes there, there was, very few places along the trail that had none of these little demons.
There's no way I can explain or even come close to describing just how clear the water was. Lake Superior is by far the clearest large body of water I've ever seen!! Makes you think he could just take a big drink of it, but we didn't. We took a lot of pictures there and spent time soaking our feet in the cold water. Something else we noticed was the incredible beauty and variety, of all the different rocks that make up the shore of Lake Superior. Almost any stone that you can hold your hand was polished as smooth as if it had been placed inside a commercial rock polisher. We got more water there and headed on to the lighthouse.
This turned out to be a very picturesque place and there were quite a few people there. We spent a small amount time taking pictures and talking to a man who actually lived at the lighthouse for part of the year. It was a pretty good example of a Great Lakes lighthouse, and had a lot of interesting displays. Athena was told by one of the lighthouse guides about a series of shipwrecks just down the beach from us. She decided to hike on down the beach and check out these shipwrecks. The rest of us decided to skip the shipwrecks and we headed on down the trail. After short while Athena rejoined us on the trail and told us that the shipwrecks weren't that big of a deal. She did take some pictures of them however. We continued on down the trail, and I was surprised how diverse the trees and vegetation were. There were several different types of ferns and a lot of wildflowers that I did not recognize. The ferns bear mentioning because of the sheer size of them, probably the largest ferns I have ever seen in my life. Some of which came well above my waist. We passed a car campground called 12 mile campground that had a creek and a lot of people. We were getting pretty tired about that time and were really looking forward to getting the camp.
Our first campsite was a place in the dunes called Benchmark. We set up, and I ate dinner, while some of the others opted for a stroll on the beach. The beach at Benchmark was very beautiful, and the water was extremely clear, so clear fact we could actually see through the waves as they broke. Chin pointed out that we were facing northwest, and that the sun would set directly over the water and we could expect a series of good sunsets for the rest of the week. Attila and I set up our fishing poles and tried to catch some fish. An interesting note here, the shores of Lake Superior, at least along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, are some of the most sterile beeches I've ever experienced. I couldn't see a single fish in the water and then there were very few birds. Just a few seagulls and occasional Canadian goose, nothing like you'd expect on such a large body of water. There certainly was enough solitude to be had at the east beaches. Only us and the other three people we came in with were the only souls within site. We didn't even see a boat for the first two days. Fishing turned out to be a bust, so we spent our time setting on the beach looking at the rocks and taking pictures of the sunset. Back at camp we built a fire, I played some harmonica and Attila played his pennywhistle. We all hit the sack early, and I for one, slept very well.
I woke up early, and the temps were quite cool. I rekindled. The fire and made my breakfast. Everyone was slow to get up, as we didn't have the same mileage to do today as we had yesterday. I decided that I was gonna spend the rest of the day by myself and hit the trail early. Our next campground was a place called Beavercreek. I'm a good time, stopping only for lunch. The trail began to take on a much more sandy appearance with a variety of pine trees and scrub brush. Much of the trail of this section actually follows the top of the sand dunes. It wasn't the easiest hiking in the world, but the really sandy places were few and far between. I passed a small group of older people that we thought were Germans, they had an awful lot a gear and were going pretty slow. I begin to see more people the closer I got to Beavercreek. Sometime after 2 PM, I decided to wait for the others to catch up and found a good place on top of one of the dunes. A fog bank was coming in off Lake Superior, and I could hear a ship's fog horn in the distance. The wind was picking up and I actually got cold. I put on some more clothes and kicked back to wait for the group to arrive. Crash was the first to show up and asked if I'd seen Athena and Trout. I had not, but I wasn't worried. I had eaten lunch on the beach and was pretty sure they had passed me. In a short time, Chin and Attila came up and we all headed for the Beavercreek campground. Athena and Trout were already there waiting for us.
Beavercreek campground is located just north of Beaver Lake, and has Beaver creek right on it. There was another wonderful beach, and a sort of a small estuary that was created where the creek met Lake Superior. Campsites were chosen and tents were set up. There are a few people camped at Beavercreek. We all went down to the beach and did the same sort of the stuff that we did the night before. Attila and I fished, but had no luck. The water the creek was much warmer than that of Lake superior. Eventually, we all ate dinner and set up around the fire. About this, noticed a guy come in with a backpack that looked rather heavy. He had a very determined look on his face, one that I've seen many times in the past. I said right away he was making a beer run, and I was right. Turns out he and his girlfriend had arrived early, but decided that the 2 gallons of vodka they had brought was not enough. So he went back and purchased an additional 12 pack of beer brought in. We also around the fire and talk with them while they their dinner and watched and watched him drink is 12 pack of beer and down a considerable amount of vodka. She wasn't doing too bad either, another couple was there and they were cooking cherry pies and meat sandwiches in an old device I used to call pie iron. They called it fudgy pie maker, whatever. We sat around and talked for a few hours and then went to bed early. The vodka couple, stayed awake until very late, making noise and chopping on some wood with a large machete. Eventually Crash yelled at em , and they made their way to their tent. The girl had to get the guy off the ground several times. Funny stuff. They managed to argue for little while and then finally settle in for the night. That's not to say they went to sleep, as the sounds emanating from their tent testified .LOL”
“Nice LONG TR Randall. Sounds like your camp mates had fun too! ;-)”
Oh yeah sorry about the poor editing, I posted the draft instead of the final. LOL
See ya later.
last edited: 7/05/09 11:08:26 AM”
<< back to Deam Wilderness page
Post a MessageIn order to post a response to this thread you must first be logged in. If you do not already have an account, you must first create a new account.
Ready to Buy Gear?
Great Outdoor Sites