3 days in the Porkies
We hit the road fairly late- around noon. You can't check in to your cabin before 3PM, so we figured that would be ok. Cruised east from Duluth through Superior, Ashland, and Ironwood, getting to Wakefield by 3. That's the turnoff for the Porkies, it's close to an hour to the ranger station from there. Finally feeling like we're getting somewhere, as aspen and birch along the road become sugar maple and hemlock, and the woods become open, with ferns and wildflowers on the forest floor. By the time we get to the ranger station, they have gone home, but our cabin keys are hanging from the board outside, along with another person's. We fill out our parking permit, and head for the trail head.
On go our backpacks, the car is locked, and we're off! The cabin we reserved is called Crosscut, and it's 2 miles back along a fairly level mountain bike trail, near Union Spring. A good trial run for my hubby's new backpack. It's pretty hot and humid still- close to 80- and I'm very glad for each item that I declared unnecessary while we were packing! I didn't weigh our packs, but they feel heavy. I contemplate taking a break at the halfway point, but then I'd just have to put the pack on again, so we forge onwards.
Finally see the cabin through the trees- hubby says "THAT"S it?!!". It's tiny...truly tiny. I was prepared, I knew it was 11x8, but hubby was not, being more inclined to let me do the planning and just go along for the ride. Still, it is shelter from the blackflies and mosquitoes, and a fairly comfy bed. We unlock our shelter and put down our packs and set about exploring our new home. Crosscut has a bunkbed along the back wall, a teeny tiny woodstove, a cupboard with dishes, pots and pans, and a counter with 2 stools. What is this under the beds.......drinking water! Holy toledo! There are 6 jugs of drinking water....what a jackpot. Usually you haul and filter water, just as in the BWCA....and I had been feeling a little discouraged at the prospect of hiking back to the last water we crossed- easily a mile.
Outside there is a very nice outhouse...walls, screen windows, wood floor. The fire pit has a picnic table and a comfy looking chair...very nice. Along the back of the cabin is a stack of firewood, ready to split. We relax for a while and hubby sets about splitting wood while I get dinner organized. Fat tenderloin steaks, a pouch of brown rice, and brownies...but how to bake the brownies? I am pretty addicted to my jello mold oven, and of course there isn't one. I settle on "baking" them in the big skillet. It works beautifully, and we are soon relaxing by the fire with coffee and brownies, stuffed to the gills.
The fire burns down, and we call it a day- in to the cabin and our sleeping bags. The bugs are buzzing at our screens...and off in the woods we hear wolves howling. What a perfect end to our first day.
these photos are of buckshot cabin- a very large and nice cabin that my son and I stayed in for his 18th bday.