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Begins: Mar 21, 2012
Date: Tue, Aug 30th, 2011
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Appalachian Trail Map
We just got back from 8 days of vacation. Every year we have made it a habit to go up to Eagle River, Wisconsin for a week in August (give or take a day or two). Jess's family has a cabin up there on Meta Lake and it is generally a very awesome place to chill out. This year we decided to take our backpacking gear and spend a few days hiking and camping in the Porcupine Mountains over in the upper peninsula of Michigan.
The drive over from the cabin was a bit under two hours. Whole lotta nothing round there was the takeaway impression I got. Most of the trip neither of us even had cell service. She= AT&T, I = Verizon. We did stop at a little store and get some really freakin great homemade cinamon buns on the way in.
Michigan, for some reason does not believe in chemical treatment for water, so I lied and told the ranger at the checkin that I had a filter (we use aqua mira). Other than that little fib checkin went fast and smooth. The ranger was very helpful, and gave us great trail and bear activity info.
Day one, we entered the Lake Superior trail about 10:30. It was not tough, but it was a bit rocky early on and in a few patches. There were lots of great views of Lake Superior, obviously. The trail hugged the coastline for most of its length. We got drizzled on a little, but nothing worth pulling out my rain gear for. Jess wore her pack over for a while, but remved it when we stopped for a break at an unoccupied campsite. This was at around 3:30. Our original plan had us done hiking at 4ish, but we were wy short on miles so we decided to press on despite high winds, dak skies and clouds that threatened precipitation. Our map showed a high density of camping sites about two miles ahead and we wanted a site where we ould have a fire to dry Jess's ants that had got wet when we stopped on our first break by the lake. She was wearing her backup pair, but wanted the first pair competely dry and ready to wear again if needed. Since the map showed 11 sites we thought this wold be a good goal location.
WRONG. Taken. Taken. This site's taken. Every single site was occupied as we came up to it. I was feeling like Forrest Gump on the schoolbus. Only there was no Jenny to say 'You can camp here, if you want.'. The winds were getting worse, the sky was spitting rain off and on again, and it was no longer early. We started to consider stealth camping and doing without a fire - I had te stove so we coud do without a real site. But we WANTED a site. We kept moving and hoping.
About 6PM we were away from the arge group of sites, all of which were indeed taken, and had traveled another mile and a half but we finally found an open site. I had tied my left shoe poorly and could feel a nice big hot spot working up on the inside of my heel so I was ready to stop when we found the open site. Altogether, we did 11 or 12 miles. Nothing massive, but at leat it wasn't Florida lat mileage.
To be continued
The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is more than 2,175-mile long footpath stretching through 14 eastern states from Maine to Georgia. Conceived in 1921 and first completed in 1937, it traverses the wild, scenic, wooded, pastoral, and culturally significant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Learn more: www.appalachiantrail.org