Porcupine Mountains Wilderness Trail Journals 05/27/02

Monday, May 27th

Well, the tree stayed up and the night went by smoothly. We were up around 7:30, and left by 9. We passed Lily Pond, which had a nice reservable cabin. The trail ran right through its “yard,” and then down some steps & over a bridge. There was a canoe with the cabin – it’d be one of my top choices for renting. We headed on up the Little Carp River Trail. At Mirror Lake, some people were just leaving their cabin, so we stopped for awhile when they were gone. Used the outhouse & washed up at the sandy boat launch. We felt pretty refreshed & ready to go. The trail turned into hardwood forest, and it was pretty easy going.

After a mile or so, we had to make our decision – head north on the North Mirror Lake Trail (about 2.5 miles back to the car), or head east on the Government Peak Trail? We thought of beer & cheeseburgers to the north, more hills and sore bodies to the east. After a few minutes of deliberation, we chose east – Government Peak. The walk was moderate for awhile, still w/its ups & downs, though. It’s also a lot less traveled, I think. When we were back on the Big Carp River Trail, I stopped counting people at seven or so, and there were quite a few more. I think we only passed 3 & a dog on Gov’t Peak. It was quite a haul to the top of the hill – elevation at the top says 1850 – Andy’s GPS said 1886. Not sure what the elev. at the stream beforehand was – forgot to check. We rested for a bit at the top & moved on.

The trail was in rough shape in many places – huge downed trees, very much mud. I think the Park should try to make more of a point to people about staying on the trail. There’s a lot of people stepping around mud puddles, making a huge wide track of mud & ripping out moss & plants. Eventually we made it to Trap Falls, and then to the campsites. No one else has shown up yet – maybe everyone has headed home after the long weekend.

I think the hardest part so far was the walk along the Little Carp River Trail, from Lake Superior to Greenstone Falls. There were 2 river crossings and many high ridges to cross over. They were very steep, and the trails were usually washed out, with only tree roots to keep you from slipping. And, I don’t remember going down many – only up! After getting to the top of each one, I’d say, “This is rugged!” – joking about how the brochure talks about the Porkies being rugged.

Oooh – my only “injuries” till now have been a blister on my toe & some scratches. Now, noticing that my hips have been hurting, I took a look and I have a long, thin blister running across the left one. Note to self, make sure pants don’t have any stitching or buckles around hips!

We’re camped in a nice spot – the lower of 2 sites on Upper Carp River. The site is banked up from the river, and the sun is setting behind us, up on the hill.