Leaving Daisy Farm was pretty relaxed. The biggest issue I encountered during my stay was thst upon unpacking I could not locate my hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is a MUST when you don’t want to wind up with food poisoning. After checking everywhere a galf dozen times I concluded that I must have left it out the last time I repacked my hygiene/first aid bag. I looked and looked and looked and it was nowhere to be found.
(When I got home I found it on the bottom shelf under the bags at our front counter. How it got there is a mystery to me.)
My itinerary destination for the day was Lake Richie but I felt good and was pretty sure when I woke up that I would be going further. A couple of packets of oatmeal later I was feeling even better and got my gear stowed into my pack pretty easily despite still having a very full pack – so full that my 3L water bladder was strapped on the outside of the back.
Moskey Basin was my first stop. It’s only about .2 miles off the trail to go there and I arrived about 11:00 to take an early lunch. There is a large pier complete with a picnic table for dining over the water. The breeze was very light and the sun was just present enough to be pleasantly warming without causing me to sweat any. I opened a foil pack of chicken and wrapped it up with a couple of tortillas. Very tasty. The view from the pier made quite a good accompaniment for lunch.
The Moskey Basin site is situated at the end of a long bay but the water there is part of Lake Superior and very clear (and cold). During my travels about the island I was to discover that this is generally the case – the water is Superior is excellent and of beautiful clarity. The low temperature is one of the important contributors to this circumstance; the lake is an environment where biological decay takes a long time to occur. There are over half a dozen documented shipwreck sites around the perimeter of the island that are diveable, many from the 1920’s but as old as the 1880’s. The cold, near-sterile layers of water in the depths where most of the wrecks lie keep the ships preserved in nearly the same condition that they were in when they sunk. It’s said that the paint is still bright under a thin layer of algae. It’s unlikely that I will ever see this firsthand, though. That water is cold.
With lunch done and tidied up I headed back to the main trail and thus towards Lake Richie. Lake Richie is one of the larger inland lakes on the island, though it is only a fraction of the size of Siskiwit Lake, the largest. The trail between Moskey and Richie is only 2.1 miles and not difficult so I found myself arriving on its shoreline in just an hour or so. The trail follows the shoreline for quite a distance, well over half a mile. It was here that I encountered my booth-mate from the ferry ride. He was dutifully casting away, ever seeking that elusive bite. At the time I asked, he was down 1 lure and had no luck with any bites. After lounging about a bit and chatting some I offered encouraging words and got back on trail so that I could end my day at the West Chickenbone Lake campsite. A large Vee of geese, maybe 70 to 80 had overflown while I was lying on my back on the rocks and I was hoping to see more, maybe on Chickenbone Lake. I do spot my first wolf scat along the trail though.
Chickenbone Lake is somewhat L-shaped, and flows out into McCarhoe Cove. When I arrived I could distantly discern 4 pairs of white swans in the far distance across the waters. I arrived at the camp around 15:35, early enough to explore all the sites before choosing one. The campsites were nice but carried none of the amenities found at previous locations I had visited. No shelters, no picnic tables, none of that. Fine by me. Those things seemed pretty weird to me anyway, despite their obvious convenience.
Some previous inhabitant of the campsite I chose (there was no one else around, I was in site #4) had felt the table pinch, or was perhaps just of that very busy personality some people seem to be burdened with. A table of sorts had been constructed from birch logs, sticks and bark. I propped my feet up on it and evidenced my disdain by setting up my kitchen on the ground beside it.
As I fired up my canister stove I noticed a good bit of squirrel chatter. Having been chattered at by many a squirrel I dismissed these noises, which persisted the entire time it took for water to boil and then for my Forever Young Mac n Cheese meal to rehydrate. However, the moment I cracked the seal on my now ready food, it was ON. Squirrel attack!
The initial sallies were innocent enough.
Enter squirrel, stage left, carrying pine cone.
Squirrel zips across campsite.
Exit squirrel, stage right, carrying pine cone.
Chattering emanates from bushes.
Repeat, from right to left.
Repeat entire cycle, only closer to the half-entranced, definitely amused Tom, who sits upon his birch log with spoon paused halfway to mouth.
Repeat entire cycle, only instead of heading into the bushes squirrel climbs onto the toe of my shoe and makes demanding chattering noises.
No longer amused, I treat him like one of our cats when they beg for food. Well, as close as I can without a water bottle handy. I shoo him off.
At the end of my dinner I note that my phone battery is down to 40% so I will need to recharge the next day. I am carrying a 10,000 ma Newtrent battery backup for this purpose. I hope that it will be sufficient.
I settled into my tent early, well before dark and was reading using the Kindle app on my phone when a snowshoe hare (appropriately brown for the season) hopped from the woods right up into the tent vestibule and stared at me through the mesh screen for a good 10 seconds before moving away to nibble at campsite grass. The 10.2 miles hiked today had a strong effect; I was drowsy and did not move, much less try to snap a picture. I fell asleep very content.