Mr. Otter cleaned himself of leeches, perhaps, on the dock and was soon joined by his pal who also had grooming chores.
hike blog

IRNP, Day 7 McCargoe Cove to Moskey Basin, 9.8 miles

If leeches ate peaches instead of my blood, then I would be free to drink tea in the mud!

Emilie Autumn
Mr. Otter cleaned himself of leeches, perhaps, on the dock and was soon joined by his pal who also had grooming chores.
Mr. Otter cleaned himself of leeches, perhaps, on the dock and was soon joined by his pal who also had grooming chores.

I’m up early as the sky begins to lighten. I eat as I pack and wonder if maybe going forward in my backpacking ‘career,’ I forego a stove altogether. I really don’t need it and it adds bulk and weight. 

Stuffing the kitchen in Blueberry (my new Granite Gear pack) I realize I left my pot, filter and water bottle down on the rocks by the dock. The foxes are such thieves, I hope they’re still there. 

I’m awake before anyone and it’s dead quiet, even on the dive boat. I see a bit of bright blue tucked into the rocks, and the kit is right where I left it. And what a gift to come down here since I see the magical sunrise at the end of the long cove, perfect reflections of the boreal forest in still water turning orangey-yellow. 

Sometimes you just have to jump right in.
hike blog

IRNP Day 6, Todd Harbor to McCargoe Cove, 6.2 miles

True, the sun and the wind inspire. But rain has an edge. Who, after all, dreams of dancing in dust? Or kissing in the bright sun?

Cynthia Barnett
Sometimes you just have to jump right in.
Sometimes you just have to jump right in.

Rolling thunder wakes me with flashes of light like so many strobes. I feel scared as the wind picks up and wonder if the enormous birch behind my head with branches only at the top will stay standing. I pop out to poop and pee before it rains. 

No rain hits until it’s light and it’s only a sprinkle, so I pack up and get started on the short walk to a bay with shelters. I liberate three spiders with bulbous bodies and stringy legs who spent the night huddled under my pack’s lid. A slender black fox with a bushy striped tail visits for handouts. 

The trail heads up through dense woods. My rain pants protect me from the wet overgrowth. I catch glimpses of small islands off this main island, all uninhabited except for their native creatures. 

I walk straight into a refreshing wind and think about the pipe passed around last night. I’m not against smoking, but like headphones on the trail, I don’t see a need to alter my mental state while hiking and prefer to be completely alert and in tune with my surroundings. 

Right now, my surroundings are threatening and expectant. I hear thunder to the north and south, growling like a warning. It’s so dark when I walk through forest, I can barely see where to put my feet to avoid the mud.