Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Day 5

May 29, 2019

My journey continues with my second hike of the year. I am hiking on the North Country Trail in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, along Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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I started my day having breakfast and enjoying my coffee on the beach, taking in the morning sunshine and the beauty of Lake Superior.

I break down camp, pack up all my gear, and get an early start on the day. My itinerary for Day 5 is to hike back to the Little Beaver Lake Trail Head, drive to the Mosquito River / Chapel Beach Trail Head, and then hike in from there to the Mosquito River Back Country Camp site.

It’s another perfect day for hiking – blue skies, cooler temperatures, and I seem to quickly arrive at the Beaver Creek back Country Camp site. I spend a few minutes exploring the area and inevitably end up on the shoreline of Lake Superior.

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On my return from the beach, while hiking back along the Beaver Creek, I come across one of the biggest log-jams I have ever seen. I am unsure if the log-jam is created by trees falling and being washed downstream to the lake, or if the log-jam is created by Winter’s ice pushing all of the debris upstream into the mouth of the creek?

A short distance later I cross over the creek on one of the most interestingly constructed wooden bridges. Basically, the bridge is built out of sections of logs, split in half and placed with the flat-side of the log face-down so that you actually walk on the round edges of the logs.

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I commented that “you never know what kind of treasures you’re gonna find on the trail”.

As I get closer to the trail head, the trail becomes increasingly more rocky in sections, wet as the rain finds its way to the trail and uses the trail as a path for run-off.

I return to the Little Beaver Lake Trail Head and parking area, unload my pack into the vehicle, and drive into Munising for a quick lunch and a cup of hot coffee. While off trail, I review the weather forecast and trail options for hiking into Mosquito River and hiking back out on Day 6.

 

I depart from the Mosquito River / Chapel Beach Trail head around 5:00 PM, and I as work my way down the trail, it immediately becomes more wet and muddy. I hike the next mile literally hopping from one bog to the next, up and over, zig-zagging left to right and back again, using any dry patch of trail I can find. And just as quickly as the bogs of slush appeared, they gave way to the dry, firm, packed trail I had been hiking on over the last four days. Even when immersed in the moment, it is difficult to believe that tomorrow will be my last day in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

I arrive at the Mosquito River Back Country Campsite, and set-up on, yep, campsite #1 again. The routine of pitching my tent, blowing up my air mattress, retrieving items from my pack and placing them inside my shelter – it all seems to be increasingly easier each time I do it. I make a quick cup of coffee, store my stove and food bag in the painted brown steel enclosure, then I make my way down to the beach just in time for sunset.

 

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Hike Data – Day 5 Part 1

  • North Country Trail 5 miles
  • Start: Marker 345.5 End: Marker 350.5
  • Garmin InReach:
    • Start 9:44 AM
    • Trip Time 2:25:15
    • Distance Traveled 3.18 miles
    • Average Speed 1.58 mph
    • Max. Speed 2.8 mph
    • Max. Elevation 777 ft

Hike Data – Day 5 Part 2

  • North Country Trail 5 miles
  • Start: Marker 345.5 End: Marker 350.5
  • Garmin InReach:
    • Start 4:49 PM
    • Trip Time 1:24:30
    • Distance Traveled 2.02 miles
    • Average Speed 1.43 mph
    • Max. Speed 2.95 mph
    • Max. Elevation 826 ft
  • Camp Site: Mosquito River  (food storage, water, no  fire ring)

 

 

– Kelly

blog: Ramble Afoot
vlog: YouTube Channel
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Appalachian Trail Conservancy Member #22027626
Pacific Crest Trail Association Member #98397
North Country Trail Association Member since 11-28-2018

Author: rambleafoot

Blogging my journey and adventures as I prepare for and attempt to thru-hike three of the most challenging long-distance hikes in the contiguous United States.

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