Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Assorted Pictured Rocks highlights
As we hiked up the hill to Potato Patch on day one of our pictured rocks hike we noticed a pretty substantial patch of THIMBLEBERRIES. The patch here was not quite ripe, but we did find one or two that were bright red and ready for eating. A bunch of years ago i camped in this particular campground and had a huge bowl of thimbleberry oatmeal! Thimbleberries are a species of plant very sensitive to air temps above 80 degrees and are therefore found only along cool stretches of Lake Superior shoreline.
As we hiked along past Chapel Beach and Chapel rock we finally came to the beautiful spray falls. Imagine what this tiny little river must look like in spring (say early May) when the 200+ inches of snowfall fills its tiny riverbed. It must be a huge eruption of water over the cliff's edge!
Filtering water at the lakshore's edge is a fact of life on a backcountry hike in the UP. To be honest, I bet you could get away with drinking lake superior water when you're 20 miles from the nearest town, but why take a chance?
Where else can you get 6 foot waves, 65 degree temperatures, and 20mph winds on August 9th? 12 mile beach, that's where.
There is something so elemental, so primitive, so soul quenching about sitting by a fire after a long day walking. Its the perfect end to a perfect day after a big meal.