To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Carp River to Agawa Bay

There were 11 inveterate backpackers along on this trip. We planned to hike the Towab Trail, an expert trail and all the trail reports I found said as much...and then some. Difficult and challenging were also used to describe the hike. I was prepared as best as I could be. This trip was about trying new things, difficult terrain, repelling, recipes for camp food...I know you're supposed to stick with what works when you go back country, but I just can't seem to. I always want to try new.

Some of us met up Tuesday evening just over the bridge in the U.P. at a small, primitive camp where we would spend the night before continuing into Canada on Wednesday. I rode up with a friend, arriving well after dark. Those who would be rendezvousing with us were already there, having pitched the tents and built a bonfire with which we were cheerfully greeted. I rather like the idea of showing up to camp and finding the tent set up so all I have to do is lay out my mat, fluff my sleeping bag and climb inside. I awoke early and ventured out to explore the area around the campground. Quiet, peaceful, pretty. Good choice.
Excited about our trip, we broke camp early and headed for the border for what was a mostly uneventful, but beautiful drive to Agawa Bay Campground on the Eastern shore of Lake Superior. Ahhh, I was going home.
The first thing I noticed about this beach was how red the rocks were...and no agates, I looked! And since I was here I had to swim, but oh, was it ever cold. Took my breath away when I tried to swim under water. Brrr.
Someone suggested a short hike out to the pictographs on Lake Superior. Apparently, we were given a tiny taste of what we could expect on the trail the next day.

The trail through the woods and to the lake was a beautiful change from what I'm used to hiking in Michigan what with the slots, steep terrain, rock paths and huge boulders that you know fell from up there. It's the Canadian Shield, it's rocky, but it was also incredibly green with moss, and ferns, and water dripping everywhere. It felt like a rain forest and I would keep that feeling all through the wet it was in this area. It was wonderful and wild--so beautiful! But still, the trail seemed easy enough...I really had no idea.
I believe there is a warning sign that read something like, "people have died on this trail, use caution." It's easy to see how that could happen if you were careless, especially if you foolishly ventured out onto the rocks during rough water. Being swept off with no way to get out of the frigid water would certainly be a recipe for disaster.
Tomorrow, the Towab Trail.

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