Morning dawns very grey and ominous....it really looks like rain. But, I'm in serious need of some java, so I get the fire going and sit back under the tarp. Just hoping for the best I guess. Once I have a nice big fire going, it starts to rain- of course! Hubby retreats to the tent with Stella, and I admire our tarp once again. It's really worth it's weight in gold! The pans over the fire protect it enough to keep it burning good, and coffee is soon ready. The rain finally quits, and we emerge from our shelters. Breakfast is hashbrowns, eggs, and bagels toasted on the fire. Very satisfying....my hashbrown dehydrating experiment worked perfectly.
The plan today is to do some serious hiking- head over towards Crooked Lake and just see what we can see. It's still very grey and rainy looking, so seems that I will get to see how good a job I did reviving the waterproofing on my rain jacket. pretty soon it starts to rain again- not as hard as earlier, but enough. We hunker down under a big pine on the portage between East and West Bear, and watch the rain on the lake...very pretty once you give up on the thought of a sunny day!
The woods here are ancient....loads of big hemlock and rotted, moss covered logs with new trees growing out of them. The UP gets a lot more moisture than the BWCA, so the forest type is not that similar. The rain gradually stops, and we hike along under skies that slowly become more blue. It seems like mushrooms just spring up after these rains! There are so many different kinds...very cool.
We get almost all the way to Clark before heading back, and see one hiker and a kayak across the bay on Crooked. Feels like we have the place to ourselves. Hiked about 8 miles, roughly. It's a beautiful sunny day now, picture perfect. Hiking back towards camp we suprise a pair of big birds along the shore- heavy bodied like a goose, with mottled brown and white feathers. Not sure what they were....a mystery. Dinner is Alessi Tuscan white bean soup with cheddar garlic biscuits and coffee. We sleep very well after our hike!