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Pictured Rocks Trip Report, Part Two!!
Viewing posts 1 to 10 of 10 messages posted.
“We awoke to day three, had breakfast and hit the trail. This section of the pictured rocks national shoreline is the most dramatic and beautiful with lots of sheer cliffs and spectacular rock formations. We also began to see the first of the many waterfalls at the area has to offer. The water of Lake superior continued to be clear, but was tinted with various shades of light green and topaz, depending on the type of minerals that it was coming in contact with at the cliffs edge. Our ever-present nemesis, the mosquito, never failed to make an appearance and at times was more than just bothersome. I received quite a few bites and can say without fear of over exaggeration that the number exceeded 200. Most of the bug repellents that we tried didn't work very well and required reapplication well beyond the prescribed amounts. Our best defense turned out to be long sleeves and full-length pants. I even turned down the brim of my bucket hat to protect my ears and that seemed to work pretty well. Our next scheduled stop was Chapel Rock. I'm not sure how it got the name Chapel Rock, because it doesn't look much like a chapel to me. The trail couldn't seem to make up its mind, and changed back and forth from the top of sandy dunes to a mixture of hardwoods and pines. The ferns that I spoke about earlier were most always there along with a nice variety of wildflowers. As far as wildlife goes, we really didn't see very much. There was one animal however, that was in great abundance, the chipmunk. I don't think I've ever been to a place that had more of them. They were everywhere, and it seemed like you couldn't take a step without two or three of them jumping up and screaming bloody murder at you. I even had a couple chase me for aways. I can say that these were tamest chipmunks I have ever seen.
I got to Chapel rock, around 10:30 AM and took some pictures. There were a lot of people on the trail now and we probably passed at least 10. Athena was hiking with me this time, and we soon came to a new place called Chapel rock beach. This was probably the most picturesque of all the beaches we'd encountered up to this point, and had quite a few people there. A large stream cascades out over a series of smooth sandstone steps that makes a great place for the kids to play. Me and Athena set up and ate lunch there and spent some time with our feet in the water, just kicking back and relaxing. Athena went swimming right after Crash and Trout showed up. A couple boats pulled up with about five couples, and they'll set about drinking beer and just having a good time. Right after lunch, a very pretty national park ranger showed up. She came walking down the beach with a small pack dressed in her full national Park regalia. The guys at the boats decided they had lots of questions for her and she spent about a half hour with them. Their girlfriends weren't overly impressed and got all quiet and moody. I walked over and talked to her for about five minutes and asked her if I could take her picture. I actually got two shots of her. You can see them in my pictured rocks photo album. We were gonna see her again, actually two more times. After that we packed up and went back to the trail with the idea of making our next camp, a place called Mosquito.
This section of the trail has the most rock formations and views of the famous cliffs that gives Pictured Rocks National Shoreline its name. I took a lot of pictures and so did Athena. We stopped at numerous overlooks and were treated to a breathtaking vistas of the colored water and sandstone cliffs. The trail followed right along the edge of most of these cliffs. You need to be really careful here as the fall would certainly prove fatal. We continued down the trail, and marveling at the cliffs until we eventually came to a sort of sandstone shelf and met up with the Attila. He had passed us when we are on the beach. I have several pictures of this sandstone shelf in the album, check it out. More mosquitoes, more chipmunks and plenty of views, so many in fact that we actually got to a point where we were tired of seeing them, kinda. We passed the ranger girl again, a little way down the trail and said hello. My feet were getting pretty sore, by this time, and I had a couple blisters that I had been taping. Not much climbing on this trail, so not really sure why the blisters were such an issue.The afternoon was wearing on, so we made good time until we finally came to camp mosquito.
This was the only campsite was actually back in the woods, the others were kinda only at the edge. I soon as we got there we saw our old friend, Utah, and he informed us the mosquitoes were really, really bad, so bad in fact. He wasn't spending any time back there at all. We soon found out that he wasn't exaggerating as those mosquitoes swarmed us to an extent that we had not yet experienced. We actually all put on our head nets were glad to have them. We set up camp amid the pines, balsams and spruce. It looked like it might rain, so I made sure everything was set up just in case. No fires allowed here, too bad, might have helped with the mosquitoes. We ate dinner swatting mosquitoes all the while. It seemed like a good strategy to go out on the beach, but this place didn't have a beach. Just a series of sandstone shelves that extended out into Lake superior. Anyplace was a good place as long as it was away from the damn mosquitoes. We stayed out there until it was close to dark. I finally had enough of the mosquitoes went back to my tent, zipped up and stayed there for the rest of the night. The wind picked up, and it rained kinda hard a couple of times during the night. It was really dark back there in the woods. The boreal forest is very dense and doesn't let much light through. I slept very well, probably the best of the whole trip.
Morning came early as it always does for me and the woods were dripping wet from last night's rain. The sun was out, however, and it made everything seem sparkly and new. I took some good pictures of the campsite in the morning and low and behold the dreaded mosquitoes had dropped off considerably. The rest of the group were up by now and did the morning thing. We decided we would all meet at Miner's Castle for lunch and away I went. Athena was close behind and Chin had already hit the trail and hour before us. We experienced more good views, creeks, waterfalls and cliffs. The trip took us down to a place called Miners Beach, and we had the enjoyable experience of walking through ankle deep sand for close to a half a mile. Sounds funner than it actually is!! I stopped to tape my feet up there and dump the sand out of my boots. Athena decided to go ahead of me so I was by myself for a while. I crossed another small creek called Miners River and the trail took some confusing turns right there. All you really had to do was make sure you kept the Lakeshore to your right and everything came out fine. After following miners river for a small ways. The trail headed up the second of the big climbs, only a 200 footer. At the top I came to Miners Castle. Athena was there waiting for me, and we had lunch on one of the benches that the National Park Service was so kind to provide. It is a very impressive visitor center there with bathrooms, water and a nice little store. The ranger girl that we had met on the trail was behind the desk at the store. So I took another picture of her. I also bought a cheap T shirt. Attila and Crash caught up with us and Crash and I went down to check out Miners Castle. It was a big disappointment, as it didn't look like a castle all. Come to find out that it looks like a castle from the water, but not from where we were. We waited around and Trout finally showed up and then we hit the trail with 6.9 miles left to go.
We let Attila set the pace for the 4 miles that it took to get the Sand point, our next rally point. We made the best time of the entire trip covering the four miles in approximately an hour and 10 minutes. The mosquitoes were really bad and chassed us the entire way, providing an extra measure of motivation. We passed a couple of other hikers along way and picked up a pair of sandals and somebody had dropped. The trail has more ups and downs here, but was one of the most boring sections of the trip so far. We only stopped in Sandpoint long enough to think about things and rest up, then we got back to the work in the end of the trip. Turns out that Chin had made the parking lot about an hour and half before us. Crash and Attila beat me and Athena there by about 10 minutes. We left a message for Trout, then went back to our original campsite and washed up for dinner. Trout soon followed and went back to the Dogpatch restaurant and had a good meal.
See you later
last edited: 7/02/09 1:29:50 PM”
“outstanding tr. thanks randall. glad the mossies didn't carry you off!”
“Randall - I guess we didn't talk enough about the mosquitoes. I had maybe TWO bites all week. I applied Ultrathon in the morning and wasn't bothered all day, even with short sleeves. Didn't have to reapply til the next day.
last edited: 7/02/09 9:39:55 PM”
I used that stuff and I did not have the same results as you, mine was a year old though.
See ya later.
“Nice report, thanks for sharing.”
“What trip reports. Mosquitoes are the state bird up in the U.P. They are usually so thick that you breath one in once or twice every day. But I wish I could have joined you for a great trip.”
“Memphis? Where the hell is Memphis?”
“It's a joke Chin!!
Chili will get it!! LOL
See ya later.
“My post was a joke as well. Not many will get it.
Hint: Joe Jackson”
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