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. 

hike blog

IRNP Day 1, Windigo to Hugginin Cove, 5.1 miles

Getting the "Leave no Trace" lecture Covid-style.
Getting the “Leave no Trace” lecture Covid-style.

Delay is never denial.

Lailah Gifty Akita

We’re up at the crack of dawn since last night’s party got a bit out of control and now we need to clean and pack before leaving Karen’s beautiful home right at the edge of the water.

Karen is a follower and a friend I have yet to meet who so generously gave me the run of her empty house on rocks above Lake Superior. She’s one bad ass gal, climbing Colorado 14ers into her 70’s. Karen is my heroine.

This vacation of hiking, kayaking, cooking and lazying around was desperately needed. But now it’s time to say goodbye as we busily vacuum, wash dishes and organize a week’s worth of garbage and recycling. Richard is grumpy without coffee. Sorry, smackles, it’s already packed.

The airport isn’t far, just up the hill where we pass our favorite field laid out like a table cloth, billowing out to the massive lake below. Round hay bales sit at odd angles like watchmen of the seemingly endless horizon. 

This time though, after a week of glorious weather, we pass it under soupy skies, our height revealing just how dense the fog is sitting low on still water. 

And just as you’d expect, the news isn’t good at the tiny Cook County Airport where one masked gentleman informs me the planes were grounded for two days. Just as the words leave his mouth, Isle Royale Seaplanes phones me to confirm what we expected – weather delay, though she cheerily promises to call each hour with any “developments.”