Monday, May 21, 2018

Porcupine Mountain Backpack--Post

I have not posted lately since I was backpacking the Porcupine Mountain State Park last week.  I have not backpacked for many, many years.  Plus, I did not get to train very much.  However, my friend, Helen Riley, and I had a great time!  We backpacked around 15 miles in three days.  That gave us time to relax at our campsites, which we were both happy to do.

I drove to Marquette the night before so Helen and I could get an early start driving to the Porkies.  Thanks to Jimmy for a great shrimp dinner!


Following Helen into the park.  We used two cars since our entry and exit points were on different trails.



The park staff neglected to tell us that the south boundary road was closed.  We had to drive all the way around the highway, which added quite a bit of time to our drive.


We hiked in the Pinkerton Trail.


With pack and camera I carried 42 pounds.








There are a lot of boardwalks which help you to get past the muck....


Bluff above the Little Carp River....



Heading down to the campsite....


Mouth of Little Carp on Lake Superior....


Late lunch....



Hill behind our campsite....









Dinner was salad with cooked chicken on top and rolls.  Helen did a great job organizing all the food!



The hook pole you use to hang your food was TOO short.  The first night I successfully hung a pack and bag (both with food) on the first try.  I was not so lucky the second night.


Fiddlehead ferns....




Main section of the Porkies....


Sunset the first night...





Sunday, May 13, 2018

Grand Marais Beaches are WIde Open

A couple of days ago I went on a long beach walk.  The only remaining snow is at the bottom of the bluff.  The beaches are wide open!  There is also extreme evidence of erosion caused by big wave storms.

Looking east from First Creek....


Looking west from First Creek....


Erosion has exposed massive layers of clay....


Looking west from just east of Sable River....


Sunset last night form my house....


Saturday, May 12, 2018

McCormick Track Adventure (west of Marquette)

On the way home from the Cuyuna Gem and Mineral Show, I stopped by Marquette to visit with friends, Helen and Jim.  Helen and I did a six mile, very rugged hike in the McCormick Track.  On the nine mile drive into the trailhead, Helen saw two Moose; I saw the second one. Previously I have only seen one other moose in the U.P. wild.  The hike was a huge challenge since there were many sections of the trail we had to post-hole through deep slushy snow.  Other sections of the trail were flooded, which caused us to have to scramble up, over, and down rock cliffs.  We may have been the first hikers on the trail this year since we didn't see any footprints.  It was awesome.

The "paved road" you drive from US41 to access the white deer lake trail is not in good condition.  But it is a necessary drive to get to the trailhead.



I tried to get a photo of the moose, but the camera (which was on automatic) focused on the raindrops.  In the blurred photo below the red arrow points to the moose.





We walked the McCormick track trail, not the North Country Trail that goes through the same parking lot.






Rock cliffs are everywhere....


Scary river crossing.  The current was quite fast.  With my bad ankles I was very tentative, Helen was like a mountain goat.




Beaver activity....




Although the McCormick track was saved from loggers, there are not a lot of big trees along the path due to the swampy ecosystem, but there are some.


After a tough three miles we finally reached the area where the McCormick family had their houses and other buildings.  Just the foundations remain....




One of the houses was on the island....



View from lunch view...







We hiked the trail shown on the bottom left of the map (yellow line).