Oh man - the last day? Already?
Breakfast on our last island day = hot oatmeal topped with dried strawberries, honey and brown sugar. It was DELISH. I was tempted to make another package, but with one eye on the choppy Lake Michigan I was remembering that we had to pack two extra days of food just in case the ferry couldn't cross. Now was probably not a good time to start eating my extras.
While watching the lake, I happened to glance down and saw this HUGE Eagle feather. According to The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, it's against the law to even touch or move an Eagle feather, so I settled for this photo just to show the size. Impressive. Easily longer than two of my feet. There were a few smaller feathers nearby as well. I'd be curious to know if they showed up at the same time as all those coyote tracks.
Enough stalling though - it was time to clean up camp. We had a goal of being on the trail by 11 in order to catch the afternoon ferry. This is my tent without the rainfly. I was fully planning to keep my pack under the rain fly in the vestibule, but I had plenty of room inside of my tent. I ended up using my pack as a headboard, which helped to keep my pillow (aka: jacket) in place. It's a freestanding tent, and it was pretty slick to be able to hold it upside down to shake out all the sand before I packed it up.
Almost time to kick off my camp shoes and put the boots back on. But first - finish my coffee....
Done. The garbage I had to carry out was only just more than half of a gallon size Ziploc.
Now I could sit back and watch MaryKay finish packing up. I was keeping her on schedule. We hit the trail, as planned, at EXACTLY 11.
We may have gotten sidetracked by 11:03.
Enough stalling. We got back on the trail lined with all the pretty greenery.
We were on the trail for about twenty minutes when we bumped into the rest of our bunch. Until then, we had no way of knowing if we were in front of them or behind them.
We came to a fork in the trail, and I believe it was about 50/50 on who thought we came in on the left trail and who thought we came in on the right. As both trails went to the same place - it wasn't too worrisome, and I'd been kind of curious about the trail the ranger had described as 'prettier, one man wide instead of two, more obstacles and more poison ivy' so I didn't press the issue. We were also way ahead of schedule, so we had time to work out the obstacles.
Lots of pretty greenery.
And lots of hurdles and obstacles. But pretty!
A few more twists, turns, narrow passages, greenery, hurdles, peeks at the lake and before we knew it - we exited the trail by which point we were all in agreement that, yep - we had taken that other trail on our way in.
At the end of this trail, there were old buildings and homes to wander about.
And then we had the dock in sight.
Packs off, garbage disposed of and snacks in our belly - we then enjoyed a fellow backpacker singing and playing her ukulele while we waited for the ferry. She was self-taught via youtube.
I wandered a bit, curious what the path to the north side and the campground looked like. I didn't bump into the campground - but I love this barn.
A bit further, I decided that I probably best stop here before I got too carried away and missed the ferry. I am curious though. Another time.
The ferry was running late, and something about this picture cracks me up. We did a timer photo with all of us in this shot too - but mine focused on the pavement right in front of the camera. Alas. This'll do.
With the ferry running late, Mary pulled out her Qwixx game and I jumped in on the second game once I watched the first one. I'd never played before, but felt like I was catching on and winning when the ferry pulled in and now we'll never know. wink
It had been jacket weather waiting for the ferry, so we were surprised to climb to the top deck and find how hot it was. Perfect for island viewing. The ferry ride to the island was an hour, but back to land is 2.5 hours as we swung by South Manitou Island on the way back to drop off and pick up. We stayed on the top the whole time. The water was choppy and it felt a lot better to be in the fresh air than down below where it was a little bit stuffier.
Our first view of the destination we'd been trying to get to on Friday. Next time.
Arriving at South.
And back in Leland.
- I'd go there again - I feel like now that I've been there once, I have a better idea of what I'd do next time. I'd like to explore more of the island.
- I'd bring my toilet paper next time. I completely underestimated my toilet paper usage.
- Speaking of toilet paper - I was really impressed with how well backpackers keep things tidy, especially this being my first adventure. Catholes were noticeable, but everything was covered up neatly. I only saw a few stray scraps of toilet paper all weekend, and nothing more.
- I said going in that I'd love or hate my hydra-pak, and I have to say that I did love it. The only time that I would have preferred a water bottle was when we took a walk down the beach to visit.
- I borrowed the sleeping pad that I gifted Greg a few years ago, and I may look into getting one of my own. I ended up having to reroll his and find a different way of storing it in order to carry it on my pack. I think I could find one that is a little wider and lighter.
- I ordered some Tyvec this week so I can make a footprint for my tent before it gets used again. The reviews on the actual footprint were poor (too big, slips out) and making my own is cheaper. A good project for next week.
- My water filter was a five star hit. Props to the husband.
- Since getting home, I've purchased one backpacking magazine and a book of Michigan hikes.
- Someone was surprised that I purchased everything and didn't try borrowing, especially since it was my first time out, but I knew I'd love it, and I knew I'd be signing up to go again. No question.
- Whip-poor-wills are LOUD at 4:30 in the morning.
- I would pack more clothes next time. I was so focused on packing light, that I failed to consider what I'd wear while my clothes were drying after a wash and rinse.
- Get the topographical map next time.
- I also packed light for cooking with just my jetboil and my coffee cup. Greg had gotten me a small pot to use on my jetboil, but I left it behind. The only time I felt I may have used it was when I wanted my coffee and hot cereal at the same time.
Now to start planning the next one....