Previous: Three Mile to Moskey Basin
Trail Miles: 4.3 Total Miles: 15.3
We woke up on Day 3 after a night of light rain warm and dry in our tent. The rain had stopped by the time I woke up around 8, though it was definitely wet outside of our tent. I read for a while as Andrew continued to snooze. While I was reading, a very aggressive squirrel walked under the vestibule of our tent and tried to get in! I saw his tiny paws scratching at the tent! I flicked them lightly and he immediately ran away. Yeah, I can be brave!
We weren’t looking forward to backtracking through the hardest part of the trail yet, so we had a lazy morning. Oatmeal and coffee was again the name of the game for breakfast. As we were packing up our wet tent, the girls we’d had lunch with the previous day passed by. We asked where they were headed, and one said that though they had planned to go to McCargoe Cove, based on the trail and the rain yesterday, they were headed back to Daisy Farm, which was exactly our plan! They left about 10 minutes before 10, and we left at about 10:05.
The first part of the trail was uphill, but relatively easy. It wasn’t muddy or rocky, just a bit wet from the rain the day before. We passed the trio of girls on our way up as they were taking pictures of the wildflowers.
There are a lot of wildflowers on Isle Royale in late spring. From orchids and lady slippers to dandelions and strawberries, it’s pretty cool to see the amount of color on the side of the trail.
Once we got to the rocky part, we slowed down a bit as the rocks were slippery and still damp. Of course, even though we were going slowly, I still fell twice. There is a reason I wear full boots above my ankles and use trekking poles. Thankfully, I didn’t get too muddy.
We got back to Daisy Farm before noon, and, like the day before, it was chilly, windy, and cloudy. We quickly grabbed shelter 13, which was a bit back from the lake but still had easy access to (and a view of!) the lake. We hung up our damp tent and washed some of our clothes and hung them up to dry.
Trail laundry is interesting. Whenever you wash on the trail, you should absolutely use biodegradable soap like Wilderness Wash. Not only do you need to carry less because it is super concentrated, but it’s also much better for the environment. Never wash directly in a water source, either! We grabbed some water in our kitchen sink (part of our kitchen kit) and added just a few drops of water. We were able to wash my pant legs (I have these convertible pants from REI), a few of Andrew’s shirts, and several pairs of underwear with just a few drops. If you do wash with soap, make sure that you dispose of your grey water away from your camp and water sources.
After settling in, we ate lunch at our picnic table. The sun peeked out a bit as we ate some summer sausage, pita, trail mix, and olives. I was a bit surprised at how empty Daisy Farm was! It’s a big campsite, but there was just one shelter reserved when we got in, and it stayed fairly empty for most of the day. I can imagine in the busy season, it could get a bit loud, but it was very relaxing and quiet when we were there. I would recommend shelter 13, where we stayed – it has a view of the water, but is set back enough where you’re not right on the lake. The site also has great water access.
We spent our relatively lazy day inside of our shelter – it was cold! I reread the entirety of The Martian, by Andy Weir. I forgot how much I enjoy that book! Around 5, we headed out to the dock to enjoy the sun as it came out.
The water of the lake was just as clear as it had been on day 1. I don’t think I’ll ever get over how beautiful Lake Superior is.
Unfortunately, there were no programs going on at Daisy Farm that night, but we headed to a picnic table shelter with the card game that we had brought, Antidote. I had backed the game on Kickstarter, and it is easy to transport and teach. It turned out that the three girls we’d been leapfrogging on the trails were in the shelter nearest the picnic tables, and we asked them to join us for a game or two. We learned they were from north western Iowa (relatively near Madison) and two of the three had been to Isle Royale before. Nicole, Megan, and Chelsea, if you’re out there, leave a comment! I’d love to see the pictures from your trip as well!
We played a few games of Antidode with the trio and talked about our plans for the next day. They planned to go back to Three Mile (much like us) and take the Rock Harbor trail, while we were considering heading up to the Greenstone Trail for a change of pace. We headed back to our shelter around 7 and made up some ramen. I love fancy and slightly-more-authentic-than-cup-o-noodles ramen, so we had packed some dehydrated corn and green onion, soy sauce, and spices to add to our ramen, and it was tasty!
We also made some JiffyPop popcorn that we’ve carried around without making for several backpacking trips, which was a fun treat after dinner and a bit of whiskey and chocolate.
There was a definite chill in the air all day. Andrew and I spent most of our day in our sleeping bags in the shelter! Our shelter was in the shade and a little dark, so we strung up a few battery powered lights to make it a bit more homey. As night fell, we read for a bit longer before going to sleep.
Continue to Day 4