~Saturday, July 24, 2021~
Between the humid 4-mile hike yesterday and cooking in our 85-degree kitchen, I must have been whooped, so it was nice to sleep in a little this morning. There is quite a turnover of campers today, which is unusual being that it’s a Saturday. The staff place orange cones in front of the reserved campsites, so it looks like we’re in for a number of new neighbors. Happy to have such a sunny, clear day allowing us to see the amazing Lake Superior from our campsite. The campsites right near the cliff’s edge, also have these spectacular views but also have the advantage of hearing the waves below. You’d swear this lake is an ocean!!
Up for another hike day, but this time we have to drive to our trailhead, about 30 minutes away to the Summit Peak Wilderness area. It wasn’t until 15 minutes into our drive that we realized we forgot to bring in the awnings (rookie maneuver and definitely not smart). With moderate winds, we decided to chance it. 😝Before we got on the Summit Peak Loop Trail, we stopped to read a few interpretive signs. One in particular really caught our eye about forces of nature. Wind is the most common disturbance in this state park. Moderate wind will usually only topple a dozen or so already decaying trees. But once in a while a great windstorm will occur, blowing thousands of trees down. In June of 1953, a storm over Lake Superior moved in with such force that it blew down some of the largest trees in the forest of nearly 5,000 acres. The only eyewitnesses were 2 young men fishing along the Big Carp River who sought refuge in a small ravine. Shocked at what they were observing all around them, all they could do was wait it out, then share it with the rest of the world. Thank goodness they lived to tell about it. Can’t imagine what that would be like.
Only .9 miles to the lookout tower, we climbed the steps to the highest point in this wilderness area, 2,000 feet above sea level.
From this observation tower on a clear day, one can see the Apostle Islands, and Isle Royale from this vantage point. Unfortunately, we weren’t so lucky due to the haze. The panoramic view also brings tourists in the Fall with the forest’s stunning display of color. From here we continued on another 3 miles to Mirror Lake, an alpine looking lake,
but without the altitude. Along the way, we met several raised platforms that led us through beautiful scenery and dense forests. When we finally arrived at the lake, we found the perfect spot to have a snack and let Sadie swim. We noticed a sign for a 2-bunk cabin behind us, when sure enough, a father & son appeared behind us to enjoy an afternoon of canoeing. There are several cabins dotting the banks of the lake, each with their own canoe, fire pit and pit toilets. No matter the size, each cabin has a flat rate of $65.00/night. Reminded us a little bit of the High Sierra cabins we saw on our JMT hike a few years back. Now there’s another thing that’s on our bucket list…..touring all of the High Sierra camps where you have pack animals haul your stuff to each location while you hike or horseback in. When we arrived back to the car, Jeff and I both looked at eachother and agreed that this hike was one of our recent favorites. Great minds think alike I guess.
When we got back to the campground, thankfully we found our awnings were still intact. I think because our trailer was perpendicular to the lake we weren’t getting a direct hit with the wind. If we’d been parallel, the awnings might have been toast.
A beautiful sunset was in store, so we interrupted our dinner prep to go down to the beach, but this time we were hoping, without a swarm of flies. Yeh!!! They’ve left Michigan!!, but where did they go? Maybe the wind drove them away.😉 There were quite a few swimmers, a few raspberry pickers, and others just chillin’ on the beach. Of course, Sadie couldn’t resist another dip. I think between the 5-mile hike today and her swim, she was one, tired pup. Back to the kitchen and an unusual dinner at that. For me, a combo of maple-glazed brussel sprouts and leftover enchiladas and for Jeff, a sausage sandwich. Of course I tried pushing a few “greens” on him, but with a big aversion to brussels, he declined. I’ll still continue to work on him though.