Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Porkies Backpacking Trip

I got a little behind on my blog, so I'm going to enter a few things that have happened in separate entries...

Ahhh, the Porkies...
I love the Porcupine Mountains (upper Michigan). This is where I went on my first-ever backpacking trip when I was a senior in high school. It was for an Outdoor Education class. It was a tough trip for me - I actually think I may have had my Aplastic Anemia then and didn't know it. I had serious fatigue and figured I was just out of shape or something... but I came out of it with a smile and a lot of pride for making it. So I go back whenever I can. I just love that park.

So I went with Pam, Randall, and a few friends from Madison. We left the night of the Hairy Man contest... Pam almost didn't make it to meet us up there, because we had this TERRIBLE rainstorm in Oshkosh, and it flooded really really bad! Pam said she was driving through rapids on South Park Avenue! Adam even had a really hard time getting home. He ended up hanging out with another friend of ours, Heidi, at her apartment until he was able to find a route home around all the closed roads. Anyway, we eventually got on our way and missed the flooding excitement.

We got up there pretty late Thursday night, camped, then hiked in Friday. We were worried about the weather - it was supposed to rain and maybe t-storm. We brought a tarp to keep us out of the rain, KNOWING that if we brought it, it wouldn't rain and we carried the extra weight for nothing. Guess what? It worked! We saw no rain, and the only lightning we saw was far off on the horizon over Lake Superior Thursday night -- which was REALLY cool to watch. The rest of the weekend gave us beautiful weather. Blue skies and everything! I even hiked the whole weekend in shorts - it was wonderful. There were a ton of mosquitos which we could all have done without, but the rest of the trip made it worth it, in my opinion. Bug bites go away...

We camped on Lake Superior Friday night, and it was great to fall asleep to the sound of the crashing waves. Saturday we hiked through some fun swampy spots and practically sprint-hiked through a section of woods infested with clouds of skeeters. We all got a little irriated with them, and I know I threw a couple of curse words at them to make me happy... it was fun to swear at the bugs. So we trudged on and all met up at Mirror Lake where we set up camp. We even swam in the lake! It was just a beautiful afternoon. We hung out by the fire, ate some food, walked around... oh, and we found a pit toilet at the campsite next to us that wasn't being used! SCORE!!!! So it was a great campsite that I will remember for next time!!

Sunday we took a shorter hike out to the Lake of the Clouds overlook where we finished our perfect weekend of hiking. It was just a great trip all in all. Whenever I leave the woods I feel so sad because the trip is over, but so happy for the memories. It's like a super-mini taste of how mom and I felt at the end of our big hike. So happy to go home, but so sad to leave.

Follow this link to where one of our fellow backpackers, Josh, uploaded some shots from the weekend. He's really got some amazing shots!

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