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Friday, July 10, 2015

Roses and More

To fill in the details from yesterday's post, Au Sable Light is located 12 miles west of Grand Marais and an hour's drive east of Munising.  Built in 1874, the light tower's base diameter is 16 feet with a height of 87 feet.  It is still operational, and tours are conducted for $3 I think it was Wednesday though Sunday.  It is only minutes from Twelvmile Beach campground where I am staying for two nights.  Two days of fighting the mosquitoes and stable flies is enough for me, not that I'm likely to find relief from mosquitoes anywhere within a day's drive unfortunately.  I keep forgetting to take a picture of my campsite, I'll make sure to do that this afternoon.

Wild roses along the path to Au Sable Light

If I keep moving I'm less of a target, but they always find me, even with long sleeves on and my natural repellent sprayed on the sleeves.  I got so many bites on my hands (that I sprayed!) that I'm feeling a bit discouraged at the moment so I took a trip in to downtown Munising's Falling Rock Cafe to escape them.  They have free wifi, books, coffee, sandwiches, soup and even ice cream.

Smooth Wild Rose?

The display of wild roses along the path to the light was pretty impressive, standing taller than the prairie rose I kept seeing on the Ice Age Trail.  Did I mention that the path is also part of the North Country Trail?  Unlike the IAT the NCT has easy access to camping and clean drinking water.  It also has shuttle services available for $20, something I'd consider doing to know for certain I'd have a ride for a longer hike.  I walked for awhile with a hiker named James who was doing his first overnight trip on the trail.  He was walking 42 miles in 4 days and took a shuttle to be dropped off so that's how I knew about the cost of the shuttle.

Wildflowers were more numerous on this section than other areas I've explored the last two days.  This little one below may be an invasive, I couldn't find it anywhere when I tried to research it.

The plant is only a couple of inches tall.  Anyone know what it is?

Past the Au Sable light you can continue on the North Country Trail if you like.  I went the half mile further in just to make my hike an even 4 miles roundtrip.

The trail was shady with views of Lake Superior popping into view now and then.

On the way back, I noticed tons of Coralroot.  It was tall and growing in groups but I had missed it on my way up because I had escaped the bugs to walk on the shore.

Always a glutton when it comes to hiking I also sampled the Sable Falls trail on the same afternoon.  I parked at the Grand Sable visitor center and the trailhead was in the parking lot.  It was only 2.5 miles roundtrip so why not?

There is a parking lot just a few hundred feet from the falls, but like I told the lady in the VC, what fun is that?  The beginning of the trail was loaded with tall Trillium that had lost its blooms, so I'm guessing the trail is amazing at the end of May or beginning of June.

Pyrola was fairly plentiful, something that's usually hard to find a lot of.  It looks like they've had a nice wet spring here and all the plants are loving it, though the waterfalls seems a little low so I'm guessing it hasn't rained hard in a week or two.

When I leave here tomorrow I'll head to the Lake Michigan shore of the U.P. and hope I luck into a site at one of the small county parks between Gladstone and the border.  Or maybe at JW Wells State Park south of Escanaba.  The weather in that area and in Door County looks good over the next week, so I'd like to stay in the region somewhere and escape the high heat and humidity southern Wisconsin is experiencing.

Maybe the wind will change direction and I'll get to enjoy a bug-free walk along the beach at my campground tonight and catch the sunset before I bid farewell to Lake Superior.  I can dream, right?

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