Destination: Potato Patch
Our hike to Potato Patch was 7.5 miles. No matter how many miles we did, the last 2 were always hard. But, again we had good weather. I woke up feeling the best this morning. The sound of the river and the waves from Lake Superior were soothing. We grabbed a couple shots of the cliffs after breakfast because the sun wasn't blinding yet.
We were on our way after using the toilet (which was very smelly but still better than digging a hole).
Amazing views the whole morning.
We reached Grand Portal. I wonder if it will end up like Chapel Rock someday?
Remember how I talked about being close to the edge?? *eek* I didn't let him go any further. :)
It was a little crazy how some parts of the trail had been re-routed because of a collapse....
We were thinking that Grand Portal was open, so when we saw the Arch later we knew we had gotten them mixed up. There are kayak tours you can take where you go through this rock. So cool.
By lunch we made it to Mosquito River and Mosquito Beach. There were more campsites here and another pit toilet as well (yay). The river emptied into the lake at the beach. It was peaceful.
We had the beach all to ourselves for a little while. Later, a couple kayak tours stopped for a break.
We would love to go back and do the tour someday.
We stayed here for a while because we needed to filter water. There was no water access at our next campsite so we needed to carry some in. We filled up the gravity bags..... and quickly found that we needed to unload a little. I couldn't believe how much weight it added to my pack and we had 3 miles to go. We emptied half of the water out of the bag I carried which helped, but we were tired by the time we finished. We could have brought less water, but it ended up being a perfect amount.
Throughout the week I could feel my little toe getting irritated and a bruise on my heel getting worse (not sure how I got that). The toe wasn't a surprise as I've had problems with it before. It gets pushed under my other toe and results in losing the toenail. I could deal with that. I would soon find out how bad the heel will get. But more on that later. :)
The mosquitos were increasingly getting worse. It had been a little bit warmer and we were getting away from the cliffs. With the pains, extra weight, and pesky mosquitos, we were very excited to find our campsite. No views here or anything special. We set up our tent and hid in the tent for a card game to get away from the mosquitos for a little bit. We were so irritated!
Josh started a fire while I got the rest of our gear setup. (I might do a post later with our gear list and favorites, we'll see.)
The past couple days we hadn't had cell phone service so I was anxious to check in with the grandparents. I checked every stop. Still no service here. Josh decided to check his and he had service. Joy. I immediately called my dad. Of course Jonah was doing just fine and the grandparents were having a blast. It lifted my spirits a little but made me a little bit more anxious to be done. I was ready to be home. I was a little teary when my dad talked about how he was taking more steps and chatting away.
We sat by the fire all night to keep the mosquitos away. The couple we rode the shuttle with showed up in the evening to set up camp. It was great company for the night. They were a fun couple and had lots of stories from previous hikes. They even shared a love for minimalist running and footwear. :)
We hadn't seen very many animals all week. It didn't take long by the fire to find that there were plenty of rabbits around. They were big and not that afraid of us. A friend that came here a couple years ago told us how bad the chipmunks were. Just after talking about how they weren't a problem, I was cleaning up from dinner and out of nowhere a chipmunk came flying out of the weeds and almost ran up my leg. It scared me! So that was our only encounter with animals (thankfully no bears).
We headed to bed just before dark. I refuse to go pee in the woods after dark so the last bathroom trek is before the sun sets! Our plan was to wake up at 5:30 to get an early start to our 9 mile hike. We wanted to try to be at the finish by lunch. One more sleep in the woods.