Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

3 days in the Porkies
by dogwoodgirl

Trip Type: Hiking
Entry Date: 07/27/2008
Entry Point: Other
Exit Point: Other  
Number of Days: 3
Group Size: 2
Day 2 of 3
Monday, July 28, 2008

Dawn wakes us with birdsong and sun filtering through the leaves. The cabin has windows all the way around, so you really feel like you are smack dab in the forest with just a roof and screens. I bop out of bed, earlier than I've been up since our last BWCA trip. I work nights, so I rarely see morning unless it's at the end of my day! The fire starts up easy, and coffee is ready soon. The only piece of cooking gear I brought with me was my trusty lexan french press- I just wasn't up for percolator coffee. Yes, I'm spoiled. I couldn't find any Nido, and broke down and bought a pack of "Mini Moos"- individual shelf stable 1/2 & 1/2 portions. Breakfast is sausage, eggs, and hashbrowns. It's my first time trying out dehydrated hashbrowns- they turn out great. We wash up the dishes, and it's off to hit the hiking trails. The packs are loaded up with water, trailmix, jerky, and our rain gear.

The area around our cabin has a lot of mountain bike/xc ski trails, so I'm thinking we can do a big loop hike. Most of the park has hiking trails only, and to do a loop takes a few days. We hike up to the west vista yurt, as the forest changes from sugar maple to hemlock. The Porkies have 2 dominant forest types- sugar maple/birch and hemlock/white pine/cedar. The yurt was about 3 miles from our cabin, and we stop to munch some trail mix and enjoy the view from the porch of the yurt, which is unoccupied. From the yurt we head off on the Overlook Trail, so now we are off the wide mountain biking trails and onto a narrow winding footpath. The trees just keep getting bigger, and we hike past the overlook. We pass a 2 small groups of hikers, but those will be the only people we see today. We head downhill, crossing the Upper Carp River, a tributary to the Lake of Clouds and the Big Carp River. The trail follows the river upstream to Trap Falls, where it intersects with the Union Spring Trail. We sit in the deep shade by the falls, then head back towards Union Spring. It's very cool at the spring if rainfall has been high- there is a floating platform built out over the spring and it bubbles up with considerable energy from the bottom of a clear, pale green pool. From the spring it's about 1 1/2 miles back to our cabin- we get back mid-afternoon and take a nap during the heat of the day. The loop was about 9 miles. I don't actually sleep, but read the cabin journal. I discover that there are bear claw marks on the back wall of the cabin- go out to check them out and yup, HUGE claw marks, some very fresh and unweathered. The cabin has had several incarnations, and 3 locations- first over at Presque Isle campground as a ranger office for collecting campground/parking permits, and most recently as a warming hut for X-C skiers.

We crawl out of the cabin and decide that coffee is needed, so build a smallish fire. Once we have some java in us, we decide that dinner now makes sense, and we'll do more hiking later in the day, when the bugs make sitting around the fire less enjoyable. Dinner tonight is Alessi Tuscan White Bean soup and garlic cheddar biscuits....yum.

We hike up towards the yurt again, but take a different trail- towards the downhill ski area. It's a steep climb towards the end, but the view is magnificent! From the top of the charlift, we can see out over Lake Superior...we munch on some trail mix and hike back to our cabin. A realatively short hike...a toatal of 4 miles. It's getting dark when we get back, so it's time for bed.